Ikea to invest £171m in nature and clean power under ‘climate positive’ pledge

Ikea is aiming to generate more renewable power than it consumes in operations by 2020

The package will fund two strategies, the first of which is designed to support Ikea’s ambition to use 100% renewable energy across its direct operations and supply chains within the next decade.

As of April, Ikea has used renewable generation to meet 86.7% of the heating and 81.1% of the electricity needs across its manufacturing supply chain. The firm has said it will collaborate with direct suppliers to close these gaps, and to begin tackling non-renewable generation for cooling. It notably already generates more renewables than it uses in its direct operations.

The second part of Ikea’s investment strategy covers projects which aim to remove and store carbon through reforestation and responsible forest management. The company is on-track to achieve its 2020 ambition of sourcing all wood from FSC-certified sources, so the new funding provides a vehicle for Ikea to build on this progress.

In order to deliver these forestry projects, Ikea has said it will collaborate with NGOs and other businesses to “achieve scale and maximum impact”. The retailer, which uses 23 million cubic metres of round wood annually, hopes the projects supported by the fund will assist in the delivery of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recommendations on using responsible land use to adapt to, and mitigate, climate issues.

“We believe that the best way to minimise our climate impact and to contribute to limiting climate change to 1.5°C is mainly by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions – but we also need to remove existing carbon from the atmosphere,” Inter Ikea Group’s chief sustainability officer Lena Pripp-Kovac said.

“We can make a positive difference through our integrated supply chain, our global presence and our forest and climate expertise.”

People and Planet Positive

Ikea’s ambition to become a ‘climate positive’ business forms part of its People and Planet Positive strategy, which was updated in summer 2018.

The strategy additionally includes targets to remove all single-use plastics products from the Ikea range globally; design all products using only renewable or recycled materials; and to ultimately align with the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious 1.5C trajectory.

Ikea posted its first update on progress towards these targets in April, documenting good progress on its plastics and materials aims but challenges in decoupling emissions from growth.

“Decoupling our growth from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will take time, and we expect our emissions to increase for a few years before decreasing,” the report stated.

“Becoming climate positive will be a huge challenge for Ikea. We will only achieve it by joining together with others and listening to feedback from our stakeholders on how to improve.”

Sarah George

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