IKEA announces largest renewable energy investment with US wind farm
IKEA has announced its largest global renewable energy investment to date, purchasing a 98 megawatt wind farm in Illinois, US.
The wind farm is expected to generate up to 380GWh of renewable energy each year – the equivalent amount of electricity to meet the needs of 34,000 average American households.
IKEA’s chief sustainability officer Steve Howard said: “The US has amazing wind and sun resources that will never run out. We are delighted to make this investment – it is great for jobs, great for energy security, and great for our business. Importantly, it’s great for the future of our climate”.
The announcement is the most recent in a series of renewable energy investments, seeing the company now committing to own 206 wind turbines worldwide.
IKEA has also installed 550,000 solar panels on its buildings in nine countries. In the US, these investments include solar installations completed on 90% of IKEA locations across 20 states, with a total of 165,000 solar panels providing 38MW installed capacity.
According to the company, it produced 1,425GWh of energy from renewable sources, including wind and solar, in 2013 – the equivalent to 37% of the company’s total energy needs.
As part of its sustainability strategy, the company has allocated $2bn to invest in wind and solar until 2015 to get closer to its goal of producing 100% as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes by 2020.
IKEA also reports that since 2010, the company has saved nearly $55m through energy efficiency efforts in its stores and warehouses.
In February, IKEA’s forest management certificate was suspended for its operations in Karelia, Russia, after the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) revealed concerns with poor forestry practices. However, the suspension was lifted in March following a successful appeal by the company.
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