Ikea commits €1bn to sustainability

Ikea has committed to spending €1bn on renewable energy and sustainable manufacturing, rivalling the efforts of some developed countries to fighting climate change. “People want their leaders to lead. That includes companies like us”, said Peter Agnefjall, Chief Executive.

Ikea’s announcement comes as senior officials from across the world meet in Bonn, Germany, to prepare for a summit in Paris in late 2015 at which governments aim to agree a deal to slow global warming.

The Swedish flat-pack furniture company will spend €500m on wind power and about €100m on solar energy over the next five years, and claims to be on track to become energy independent. The Ikea Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, will spend €400m to help those in places adversely affected by global warming.

Last year, Ikea ran a marketing campaign based on the importance of sustainability to emphasise that it is a central part of the brand.

The company has a history of sustainablity, having invested €1.5bn in wind and solar power since 2009. The investment is a large one, considering the company’s size: net profits were €3.3bn (£2.4bn) in the 12 months to August 2014.

The company has also sought to change details in its manfacturing – such as developing more energy efficient LED lightbulbs and using more sustainable sources for cotton, paper and wood. By November 2015, the company plans to have planted one million trees in the UK.

It hopes that the recent introduction of vegetarian meatballs will also help cut carbon emisions. The company sells 150 million meatballs a year, the production of which created 651,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2014.