Ikea unveils People & Planet Positive sustainability initiative

An Ikea solar installationEarlier this week Ikea announced a new, global sustainability strategy under which, among other things, the company will generate more power than it uses from renewables and make its products more sustainable. The company, famous for its flat-pack furniture and wordless, infographic instructions, is no stranger to sustainability and renewable energy, in fact, the majority of its U.S. buildings—stores and other sites—have solar power. But this is a new step for the company. 

Under the new People & Planet Positive initiative Ikea plans to inspire others to live more sustainable lives and supporting sustainability and human rights throughout its supply chain. “We’ll also become energy and resource independent by producing more clean energy than we use, dramatically reducing carbon emissions, making our stores and buildings more energy efficient and helping our suppliers to do the same,” a spokesperson said during a video introducing the new strategy. The company plans to accomplish the goals by the end of the decade. 

 

It’s already been working toward those goals. For instance, in the U.S. 89 percent of its buildings have or soon will have solar on their roofs. Including four installations completed in one week earlier this year. In fact, the company is among the most solar-powered companies in the U.S., according to a recent report from the Solar Energy Industries Association. That report found that Ikea and other large box-store type companies, like Walmart and Kohl’s, are leading the way in terms of adopting solar. In all, Ikea plans to spend $1.5 billion on wind and solar projects across the globe, at the same time increasing energy efficiency at its buildings by at least 20 percent.

 

For instance, it will convert all of its lighting to LED lights designed to last 20 years while sipping electricity at rate that’s 85 percent lower than conventional incandescent lighting. It also plans to push that message out by offering highly energy-efficient, low-cost home appliances. 

 

Ikea’s also going to take additional steps to make sure its sure its supply chain also supports human rights. “We want to create a better every day 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 an even greater positive impact on the world,” said Mikael Ohlsson, President and CEO, IKEA Group. As part of the effort, Ikea will eliminate toxic chemicals from its processes, encourage sustainable stewardship of forests used for its furniture, as well as water and farmlands. 

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