Feature

Retailers and renewables


Vicky Kenrick

Case study: IKEA Group and its strategy to be energy independent.

Note: this article first appeared in Renewable Energy Focus November/December 2012. Click here for a free signup.

In October, IKEA unveiled a new strategy that will see it “become energy independent and help millions of people live an affordable, sustainable life at home”.

Its People & Planet Positive strategy is an integrated part of the company's long-term growth direction and outlines a new set of goals and actions for delivery up to 2020.

Key aims

People & Planet Positive has three key focus areas:

  • Becoming energy and resource independent, which includes producing as much renewable energy as is consumed in IKEA Group stores and buildings, building on the €1.5bn allocated to wind and solar projects. It also includes improving the energy efficiency in IKEA Group operations by at least 20% and encouraging suppliers to do the same. Continuously developing the IKEA range, making products more sustainable by ensuring all main home furnishing materials, including packaging, are renewable, recyclable or recycled;
  • Inspiring and enabling millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home, offering products and solutions that help customers to save money by using less energy and water and reducing waste. Examples include: converting all lighting to LED that last for 20 years and use up to 85% less electricity; offering the most energy efficient home appliances on the market at the lowest price; creating low price, functional and easy to use solutions for sorting and minimising waste and using less water at home;
  • Taking the lead in creating a better life for the people and communities, which includes supporting the development of good places to work throughout the IKEA Group supply chain – encouraging suppliers to not only focus on compliance but also shared values. It also includes going beyond the immediate reach of the supply chain and helping to support human rights.

Transformation

“We want to create a better everyday life for the many people. A better life includes living more sustainably. We have been working towards that goal for many years and have already done a lot, and we are now ready to take the next big step. People & Planet Positive will help us to do that; transforming our business and having a positive impact,” said Mikael Ohlsson, President and CEO, IKEA Group.

One of the biggest challenges for the 21st Century is how to address resource scarcity and climate change whilst providing a great quality of life for people around the world, the company notes. “People & Planet Positive will help IKEA Group to play a small but significant part in meeting those challenges.” In addition to contributing to the quality of life of people and communities where it operates, it will use resources with “the utmost efficiency” and turn waste into resources.

“Only renewable energy will be used in IKEA Group operations, while safe chemicals, responsible stewardship of forests, water and farmlands will be the base of its supply chain,” the company stresses.

“People & Planet Positive will enable us to take our responsibilities in the supply chain further over the coming years by, for example, only using renewable energy to power our buildings and advocating for children's rights,” said Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group.

See our 2 part article on Retailers and renewables here.

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