'energy independence' as sales rise
Recent investments in France, Canada and Lithuania mean that IKEA, which operates 355 stores in 29 countries, now owns 415 wind turbines, the company said.
“This means Ikea Group now owns more wind turbines than stores and is getting closer to its target to become energy independent by producing as much renewable energy as consumed through operations, by 2020,” Ikea said.
The update came as IKEA reported that overall group sales for the year to August rose 3.8% to €34.1bn (£30bn), with 817 million customers entering stores. New IKEA chief executive Jesper Brodin said that the business would use its stable financial situation to invest in “meeting the needs of our customers even better”.
Sustainability funding has seen IKEA invest €1.5bn in wind and solar projects since 2009, with €600m allocated for further investments into renewable energy. The flatpack furniture giant’s flagship goal to produce renewable energy corresponding to the amount of energy it uses by 2020 sat at 71% upon release of its last CSR report.
The retailer's People & Planet Positive strategy also places an emphasis on making consumer lives more sustainable. Alongside offering the 'sustainable life at home' products, Ikea now offers residential solar arrays to consumers in three countries.
The solar panels are designed to link up with energy storage systems to store surplus renewable energy. Earlier this year, Ikea partnered with renewable energy firm Solarcentury to launch a new domestic battery storage solution that could help to double the amount of solar energy used by UK households and reduce electricity bills by 70%.
Combining energy storage and solar will cost Ikea shoppers £6,925 in total, and homeowners can pay off the initial capital in around 12 years, at a 6% annual return.