Industry Market Trends

IKEA's New Sustainability Strategy Includes Energy Independence

Nov 15, 2012

IKEA is taking another step toward its green goals by introducing a new sustainability strategy designed to help the company become energy independent by 2020.To demonstrate their commitment to an eco-conscious consumer base and corporate responsibility, many companies have devised sustainability strategies that incorporate both the supply chain process and products.

Last month, IKEA, which currently ranks in the top 20 commercial solar customers, announced a plan to boost its sustainability efforts.

Through its "People and Planet Positive" plan, the Swedish furniture giant aims to become energy and resource independent. According to the company, new sustainability measures include converting all traditional lighting to LED lighting, which uses up to 85 percent less electricity and has a lifespan of 20 years. It will convert its full lighting range by 2016.

IKEA currently sources products from 1,018 suppliers in 53 countries and will also offer energy-efficient home appliances at relatively low prices.

"We believe that sustainability should not be a luxury good - it should be affordable for everyone," Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer at IKEA Group, said in an announcement.

The plan also states that the company will become energy and resource independent by "securing long-term access to sustainable raw materials, promoting recycling and using resources within the limits of the planet." That goal includes adding funds to the $1.8 billion already allocated to its wind and solar projects. Currently, the company owns wind farms located in six European countries and has 342,000 solar panels installed in stores, Reuters notes.

Before the People & Planet Positive plan was announced, the company had already surpassed a 70 percent solar presence in its U.S. locations, according to the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire.  As of last month, the company has introduced solar installations to 34 additional stores and distribution centers, with 5 more in development, representing 90 percent solar presence in its U.S locations.

The third goal is to boost sustainability among suppliers by encouraging them to focus on compliance and shared values. IKEA plans to accomplish this by extending a code of conduct through its value chain.

In an interview with Green & Clean, IKEA's corporate public relations director Mona Liss said that it's important to have the supply chain follow the company's overarching standards. "We see that in most cases, sustainability creates efficiencies, therefore saving money and creating new business opportunities," she explained.