The retailer’s new sustainability strategy, dubbed People & Planet Positive, includes targets to reach by 2020 and has three focus areas.
In addition to producing as much renewable energy as is consumed in Ikea stores and buildings, Ikea says it will improve energy efficiency in all of its operations by at least 20 percent and encourage its suppliers to do the same. It also plans to make products more sustainable by using home furnishing materials — including packaging — that are renewable, recycled or recyclable.
Ikea says it will “inspire and enable” customers to live sustainably at home by offering the most energy-efficient home appliances on the market at the lowest prices; creating easy-to-use products to help people sort and minimize waste and use less water; and by selling only LED lamps and bulbs in its stores by 2016 – a pledge the store made earlier this month. The company says this lighting will last up to 20 years and cut consumers’ electricity use by up to 85 percent. Ikea also said it will change more than 1 million light sources inside its stores to LED and other more efficient lighting.
Its third area, focused on creating better lives for people and better communities, includes encouraging suppliers to focus on compliance and shared values. These include using renewable energy, safe chemicals and responsible stewardship of forests, water and farmlands. Ikea also says it will support human rights beyond the supply chain.
People & Planet Positive is the latest initiative in Ikea’s ongoing efforts to address resource scarcity and climate change, president and CEO Mikael Ohlsson says. For example, the company has implemented an aggressive rooftop solar program at its stores. Last month, Ikea completed its 33rd solar project in the US. Renewable energy provides 51 percent of Ikea’s energy, up from 47 percent in 2010, according to the company’s 2011 sustainability report, released in February.