A new sustainability strategy unveiled by IKEA has the retailer planning for 100% renewable energy by 2020. The People and Planet Positive plan, as it is called, is designed to tap into sustainability desires of its customers while preventing price shocks during transitions.
The plan also has IKEA committed to helping its 770 million customers save money through more efficient products that go through a sustainable supply chain and support human rights and education.
According to Steve Howard, IKEA’s chief sustainability officer, the company aims to meet 70% of the energy demand from renewables within just 3 years, and will reach 100% renewables between 2015 and 2020.
So far, IKEA has installed more than 342,000 solar panels on stores around the world and is committed to owning and operating 180MW of wind energy capacity across 5 countries.
“All our solar [installations] pay back in 10 years or less and will last for 20 years,” he said. “It’s a really good use for the money we’ve saved for a rainy day.”
Some of the most simple yet creative ways the store is reducing its footprint while saving everyone money is by making sure delivery trucks are at least 60 to 70% full, and replacing 1.2 million light sources with low-energy consumption LEDs. The company has recently committed to selling only LED lights in stores by 2016.
As far as products go, IKEA plans to recycle 90% of store waste and ensure a sustainable product line by making sure all furnishing materials, including packaging, are either recyclable, recycled, or renewable. 10 million cubic meters of certified sustainable wood will be purchased and all cotton will be certified by the Better Cotton Initiative, which uses half the water and pesticides of most cotton producers.
IKEA is putting sustainability at the heart of its business model, and once the numbers are out and other big companies see how these wise investments have positively impacted company finances, as well as public image, it could be a great model for other businesses to follow.
Will changes like this encourage you to shop at IKEA more, or does it not make much of a difference?
Image CC licensed by Yusuke Kawasaki: IKEA