IKEA, a global furniture retail giant, wants to make a stand and fight off the reliance of companies on fossil fuels. With this mission in mind, the most popular furniture chain owned by the Ingka Group is investing more than €2.5 billion ($2.76 billion) in solar and wind energy systems over the last decade to power its global operations.
Ingka said its renewable energy power now equals more than 1.7 gigawatts (GW)of power – spread over 920,000 solar modules on its sites, 534 wind turbines in 14 countries and the 700,000 solar panels under construction in the United States.
Ingka’s Leiden-based unit, which controls 367 of IKEA’s 423 retail outlets, already has a stake in two solar parks in the US, a wind farm in Romania, 534 wind turbines in 14 countries, and nearly a million solar panel units on stores, distribution centers, and administrative buildings.
Pia Heidenmark Cook, Ingka Group’s chief sustainability officer, said that investing in renewable energy and cutting dependence from fossil fuels isn’t just about a good social initiative. For Ingka Group, she said, mitigating their carbon footprint is an investment for the future as it assures sustainability and ensures the longevity of its global operations.
“We have to do this because we’re here for the long term,” she explained.
A similar sentiment was expressed by the company’s CEO, Jesper Brodin. He said that investing in renewable energy is “good for the business.”
“Being climate-smart is not an added cost. It’s actually smart business and what the business model of the future will look like … Everything around fossil fuels and daft use of resources will be expensive,” he said.
Last week, at the United Nations-hosted Climate Action Summit in New York, Brodin urged company owners, businessmen, and government leaders to commit to limiting the global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).