Ikea pledges sustainability at climate event

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Ikea demonstrated the retail industry's commitment to the environment and sustainability by taking part in Climate Week, which is taking place in New York City this week. Ikea U.S. president Mike Ward was part of a 6-person sustainability panel held at 7 World Trade Center on Sept 19. Others on the panel included NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and former British prime minister Tony Blair.

During the panel, Ward touted Ikea's dedication to sustainability.

“We are committed to a long-term strategy in which all Ikea stores and buildings will be supplied with 100% renewable energy. In addition, we want to improve our overall energy efficiency by 25 percent over 2005. We already have more than 40 solar panel installations around the globe (11 in the United States), and are expanding our efforts with both on- and off-site renewables. These energy efficiency measures are in the long-term interests of our customers, business and our world,” stated Ward.

Other companies represented on the panel entitled "The Role of Business in a Clean Revolution" included SwissRe and GE. The panel focused on a new way of producing and consuming energy, but in a manner that protects people’s livelihoods, creates jobs and ensures worldwide economic growth, according to Ikea.

Ikea reported that it has made the following efforts to be an environmental leader:

  • First mass retailer to ban the use of plastic bags in all U.S. stores

  • Elimination of wood pallets in favor of loading ledges to allow for extra space, resulting in 25,000 less containers and 58,000 less tons of CO2 emissions annually

  • Totally phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs in all US stores

  • Partnering with American Forests to plant 1.9 million trees across America

  • Introducing flat packaging, allowing more items to be shipped in a single trip

  • Creating the same products from less materials with a new lower cost for the customer

Most recently, Ikea's sustainability efforts included the installment of a solar energy system at its East Bay store in Emeryville, Calif. The 68,000-square-foot PV array consists of a 538-kW system, built with approximately 2,394 panels. 

The issue of retail and the environment will be addressed at the Retail Industry Leader's Association's Retail Sustainability Conference. For more information and to register, click here.