As the world’s premier home furnishings retailer, IKEA has for decades been forgetting to offer consumers the most important home furnishing of them all: electricity.
Being that the largest furniture retailer on Earth has a new pledge to cut emissions by 50% by 2030 and get to carbon neutrality by 2050, IKEA has decided to fill in that gap with clean energy, allowing customers to buy wind and solar electricity and infrastructure from IKEA.
Part of these emissions calculations represent a remarkable display of responsibility, as the group looks at sales of electrical appliances, and factor in the electricity used to power them before adding that figure to their climate targets.
“At IKEA, we want to become fully circular and climate positive by 2030, built on renewable energy and resources. We believe the future of energy is renewable and we want to make electricity from sustainable sources more accessible and affordable for all,” stated Jan Gardberg, New Retail Business Manager, Ingka Group.
Since 2016 the Ingka Group, which manages 367 of the 423 worldwide stores, has invested €2.5 billion ($2.76 billion) in renewable energy, including two solar parks in the U.S., a wind farm in Romania, and 534 wind turbines in 14 countries. They’ve also installed nearly a million solar panels on their stores, and market IKEA-brand solar panels to 11 world markets.
As well as powering their furniture fueled empire, this renewable energy can now be bought by customers.
Through the STRÖMMA offer, customers who live in Sweden can buy affordable, certified electricity from solar and wind, and use an app to track their own electricity usage. Customers who have already bought solar panels from IKEA can also track their own production in the app and sell back the electricity they don’t use themselves.
So far their home country is the only one in which IKEA customers can buy electricity, but considering the brand now owns 100 more wind turbines than stores, it won’t be long before they enter the utilities markets elsewhere.
Race to zero
IKEA have just joined up with H&M, Walmart, and Kingfisher Group to start the “Race to Zero” initiative, aimed at taking the lead in the retail industry towards reducing global warming to below levels outlined by the IPCC.
Like IKEA’s personal targets, the Race to Zero pledge involves halving emissions by 2030 and becoming neutral by 2050, a massive challenge for any company in retail where the industry thrives off of large-scale, cheap production and sales.
“At IKEA, we have committed to becoming climate positive by 2030 and as part of that, we are also committed to the 1.5°C goal in the Paris Agreement. This movement seeks to engage the retail sector and by working together and acting with speed, focusing on what makes real impact, we can truly make a difference. For people and the planet,” stated Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group I IKEA.
“Engagement in the Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign is an opportunity for retailers to help the retail sector accelerate a whole-economy transition for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon future,” explains their website. “Retailers will receive sector-specific guidance, access to networks and a ready-made strategic template to achieve net-zero emissions.”
IKEA has been pushing back against emissions wherever they can be found, including through the purchasing of forests as CO2 absorbers, and the buying back of old furniture to prevent it from ending up in landfills.