Originally published on RenewEconomy
by Sophie Vorrath
Swedish furniture giant IKEA has announced it will dedicate €600 million to investment in renewable energy, as part of a €1 billion climate change funding plan.
In an announcement made to coincide with Thursday’s climate meeting in Bonn, IKEA Group said the majority of the €600 million figure would be invested in wind energy (€500m), while around €100 million would be invested in solar up to 2020.
The new funding commitment builds on the €1.5 billion the manufacturer has invested already in wind and solar since 2009 – including the 3.9MW of rooftop solar PV systems it is building across all of its Australian east coast stores and warehouses.
The company says it is on track to become energy independent, producing as much renewable energy as it consumes in its buildings – according to its website, the IKEA Group itself owns 267 stores in 25 countries – and has already committed to own and operate 314 offsite wind turbines and installed 700,000 solar panels on its buildings.
As well as the €600 million for renewables, the IKEA Foundation has committed €400 million to support communities most impacted by climate change, also announced on Thursday – a mechanism that would also support the uptake of renewable energy technologies in homes, schools and businesses.
“Climate change is one of the world’s biggest challenges and we need bold commitments and action to find a solution,” said IKEA Group president Peter Agnefjäll.
“That’s why we are going all in to transform our business, to ensure that it is fit for the future and we can have a positive impact. This includes going 100 per cent for renewable energy, by investing in wind and solar, and converting all our lighting products to affordable LED bulbs, helping many millions of households to live a more sustainable life at home.”
Australian renewables lobby group, Solar Citizens, welcomed IKEA’s announcement, offering it as proof that the energy revolution was in full swing.
“(This) is an incredible step for showing the power of the business community in clean energy investment,” said Solar Citizens national director, Claire O’Rourke.
“With business and communities around Australia and the globe supporting the transition to renewable energy, it beggars belief that the government isn’t on board.
“IKEA has set a shining example of leadership on renewable energy. It’s time our federal government recognises Australia is being left behind and act immediately to set down a more ambitious solar and renewable energy goal of at least 50% by 2030,” she said.