Ikea begins work on 'most sustainable' UK store

Global furniture retailer Ikea has started construction on a £100m new store in London which will be designed with an array of sustainable features.

Ikea customers at the Greenwich store will be able to use cycle spaces and electric vehicle (EV) charging points free of charge

Ikea customers at the Greenwich store will be able to use cycle spaces and electric vehicle (EV) charging points free of charge

The Greenwich store will incorporate green technologies such as PV panels, rainwater harvesting, renewable construction materials and greywater treatment - the latter expected to reduce water consumption by 50%.

Also, several in-store solutions will aim to help customers live more sustainably. These include a furniture take-back scheme and a dedicated 80 square metre space to encourage customers to reuse and recycle their own products.

Ikea claims that the Greenwich store, which it hopes will gain BREEAM ‘Excellent’ accreditation, will be the most sustainable store in the UK to date.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Ikea,” the group’s sustainability manager for the UK and Ireland Hege Sæbjørnsen said.

“Not only will Ikea Greenwich be our most sustainable store in the country, we are also very excited that the new store will demonstrate our commitment to circular economy.” 

The Millennium Way Retail Park store is due to open in winter 2018. Ikea will spend around £2m in the local area including on sustainable transport solutions, with customers able to use cycle spaces and electric vehicle (EV) charging points free of charge.

'Truly circular'

The Greenwich store builds upon Ikea UK’s ambitions to become a “truly circular retailer”. Earlier this month, the company's annual report highlighted resource-efficiency progress and a second consecutive year of zero waste sent to landfill during a period of economic growth.

As well as offering domestic battery storage solutions to customers, Ikea is selling kitchen fronts made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The global Ikea group has already trebled the sales from its 'sustainable life at home' products, while UK branches have increased overall sales by 57% in the last six years.

Ikea UK’s sustainability manager Sæbjørnsen recently appeared on an episode of edie's Sustainable Business Covered podcast, to discuss how the retailer has enabled its consumers to get on board with the sustainability transition, at an Ikea house party event in London celebrating the company’s 30th anniversary in the UK.


Ikea at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

edie Sustainability Leaders Forum will be hosting a two day conference on the 24 – 25 January 2018, with two days full of talks, panel discussions, workshops and networking – delivering sustainability professionals the most comprehensive, interactive and immersive programme.

Ikea UK’s sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen will be speaking at the event to showcase how embracing new ways of working is proving a profitable business venture for the retailer.

To ensure you don’t miss out, book your place to attend either one day or two days through the link here.


George Ogleby


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