Main Ikea franchisee to hit zero-energy target one year early

Inter Ikea’s biggest franchisee Ingka Group is expected to produce as much renewable energy as the energy it consumes by the end of this year, beating its 2020 target.

The Dutch company, which owns 367 Ikea stores, 23 smaller-format showrooms and 44 shopping centres in 30 countries, this week announced the acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in two US solar parks, due to come into operation over the coming months.

The company has spent 2.5 billion euros ($4.1 billion) over the past decade on wind farms, rooftop solar panels on its stores and warehouses, Reuters reports, and has installed solar panels at 90 per cent of its locations and geothermal projects at two stores.

Through these investments, the retailer expects to be able to produce as much renewable energy as the energy it consumes by the end of this year.

Ingka Group CEO Jesper Brodin told Reuters he would continue to invest in wind farms and solar parks, saying it was good 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.

More retailers investing in solar

Retailers around the world are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and increasingly making changes in the way they do business to reduce their carbon footprint.

Australia-based Domino’s Pizza Enterprises this week announced it would roll out rooftop solar panels across its entire store network to reduce its impact on the environment, as well as energy costs.

“We are really excited that Domino’s Aspley is now sourcing power from renewable energy and are thrilled with the results,” Domino’s Australia and New Zealand chief executive Nick Knight said, referring to the first store to get solar panels in a trial of the program in 2017.

Coles also is investing in solar energy. The supermarket is constructing three solar plants in regional New South Wales which will provide 10 per cent of its national energy electricity needs, and Woolworths is integrating solar panels into the redevelopment of its Adelaide regional distribution centre.

Vicinity Centres has also announced it is investing $75 million into a large scale solar program, which will see 22 of its centres fitted with rooftop solar panels, and will cut the group’s consumption from the national energy grid by up to 40 per cent. 

Several brands and businesses have announced their support for the climate strike on September 20. Vinomofo, Lush, Adore Beauty, RedBubble, Sodastream and Ben & Jerry’s are just some of the businesses taking part.

Franchisor Inter Ikea, which is in charge of product development and supply globally, aims for Ikea as a whole to be climate positive by 2030.

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