IKEA: Aggressive Energy Goals Producing Business Boon
IKEA’s commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency is leading to long-term business benefits, reports Forbes.
The furniture retailer currently owns 157 wind turbines – 96 of which are currently operational – that represent 345 MW. The company has also installed 550,000 solar panels totaling 90 MW. In short, IKEA has as many renewable resources as some energy companies. The company has a 2020 goal of producing more energy than it uses.
According to Steve Howard, the company’s chief sustainability officer, the energy plan is the result of a “rational business decision with a decent payback.”
At any business there is a choice as to where to invest capital, and at IKEA, he argues, it makes the most sense to invest in energy production. Doing so provides free electricity and insulates the company from the volatility of the electricity markets – the most unpredictable markets on the planet, according to Forbes.
The cheapest energy, according to IKEA’s philosophy, is that saved through energy efficiency measures. Since 2010, the company has saved $54 million in warehouse energy efficiency programs including HVAC and boiler upgrades and new energy management systems , Forbes reports.
The same sustainable philosophy that drives the business model is affecting IKEA’s customers too, which with a retailer this size is a significant amount of the population. For example, IKEA has committed its stores to being 100 percent LED lit and its customers have bought 22.4 million LED – including 12.3 million LED bulbs, Forbes reports without giving a timescale as to when these sales took place. Presulably, taking advantage of economies of scale IKEA now sells the 40 watt-equivalent LED bulb for $4.
In September, the retailer announced plans to incorporate geothermal technology into the heating and cooling system of its future Kansas City-area store.
- Let's Do The Math for DR
- 2015 Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards
- Improve Your Company's Environment and Energy Performance
- NAEM 2015 EHS and Sustainability Software Buyers Guide
- Unlocking the Value of Energy & Operational Data
- Smart Companies Utilize Integrated Energy Solutions
- How "Fixed" is the Fixed Price Product?
- Combined Heat and Power
- Increase the Value of Demand Response Through Automation
- Verdantix Green Quadrant for EHS Software
- Connected Buildings, Connected People: A Look to the Future
- Cut Costs and Improve Facility Operations with Energy Data
- Energy Procurement Strategies for Winter 2014 and 2015
- Energy Efficiency Requires Engineering Efficiency
- Integrated Building Optimization: A Crucial Convergence of Demand-side and Supply-Side Energy Management Strategies