NANCY POWELL RADLAUER (PowellReviews@aol.com)
IKEA Group released its 2011 Sustainability Report, outlining initiatives and achievements both domestically and worldwide for fiscal year 2011. In 2011, IKEA allocated $670 million to renewable energies covering both current equipment and installations over the next year and a half.
The investments of over $600 million, focusing on wind and solar power, are strategic moves toward IKEA’s long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy.
More than half of the energy needed to power IKEA buildings now comes from renewable sources. Currently, IKEA has 69 wind turbines and 124 photovoltaic projects, and has purchased 27 additional wind turbines thus far in fiscal 2012.
Energy efficiency across all IKEA stores improved measurably, an additional 4%, mainly through their store equipment improvements, ultimately saving the company $8.16 million during 2011. Their share of more sustainable cotton in the IKEA range increased by 50,000 tons, represented 23.8% of total cotton use at IKEA.
Total donations from the IKEA Foundation increased to $84.5 million in 2011. Currently funded programs, run by partners such as UNICEF and Save the Children, will benefit an estimated 100 million children.
Domestically, IKEA U.S. is in the midst of investing $150 million in photovoltaic systems covering almost 85% of IKEA
U.S. rooftops. Photovoltaic systems are those made up of one or more solar panels, usually a controller or power converter, and interconnecting components that provide energy to a single consumer. These solar panels were added on 11
units in 2011, and 17 more will be completed in 2012.
IKEA U.S. completed its first geothermal project with the opening of its 38th store near Denver during the summer of 2011. Geothermal power draws heat from hot water or steam reservoirs deep in the Earth, and is a premium renewable power source because it provides reliable, around-the-clock power with no specific ties to fluctuating fuel costs. The company is in the process of completing the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at nine store locations in the western U.S. Since 1998, IKEA US, its customers and co-workers have funded the planting of nearly 2 million trees across the country through its partner, American Forests.
In January 2011, IKEA became the first major U.S. retailer to stop the sale of all standard incandescent light bulbs. This decision was made in advance of The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the
legislation that is phasing out many of the incandescent light bulbs. They decided instead to offer a comprehensive range of energy saving lamps and bulbs including CFL, LED, Halogen and solar options.
“The IKEA approach to sustainability – How we manage sustainability in our business,” a description of how IKEA works with sustainability, is available at www.IKEA.com (under “About IKEA, People & the Environment”). Like-minded consumers are invited to share IKEA’s vision for a sustainable future.