Ikea is launching two new sustainability initiatives, including a new solar installation and a large-scale heating and cooling project, that will bring the furniture giant closer to its climate goals.
The new solar installation project will add solar car parks, additional rooftop solar panels, and battery energy storage systems to seven Ikea units across the country, including in New York, California, Connecticut, Arizona, and Wisconsin as well as the Ikea fulfillment facility in Tejon, California. The installation is the second phase of the project, as Ikea already installed its first-ever long-span carpark system that maximizes the number of solar panels and covers the entire parking deck roof. It was completed in July 2023 at the Ikea Paramus.
Ikea plans to complete two more of the installations in 2023, including Ikea Covina and Tejon fulfillment facility, while the remaining four will be completed in 2024. All seven units, once operational, will provide 13.6 gigawatt hours of yearly production, which is the equivalent of offsetting 5,883 tons of carbon that would have otherwise gone into the atmosphere.
Beyond the solar project, Ikea is also installing new heating and cooling systems to replace and optimize existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. It is starting this project with five stores in 2023, including Ikea Canton, Draper, Orlando, Round Rock, and Tampa. The company expects the project will take one year to complete.
“We are taking bold steps to reduce our climate footprint in the United States and become a climate-positive business by 2030,” Mardi Ditze, country sustainability manager, IKEA U.S., said in a statement. “The solar project aligns with our goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy, while the renewable heating and cooling project works toward increased energy efficiency and the goal of eliminating fossil fuels from our operations by 80% by 2030.”
The projects build off Ikea’s ongoing sustainability projects, which include more than 250,000 solar panels across 90% of its locations in the U.S., two geothermal properties, seven fuel cell arrays, and two wind farms that produce renewable energy to supply its U.S. locations.
“At Ikea, we are driven by a vision to create a positive impact on the environment while delivering innovative and sustainable solutions to our customers,” said Adrian Avino, Ikea U.S. Engineer. “Our RHC projects are a crucial part of our Real Estate contribution to building decarbonization and increased energy efficiency. This year is only the beginning as we have a roadmap in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% across our operations by 2030.”
Ikea has also completed a number of other climate initiatives, including removing dairy from its in-store menus by 2030 and focusing its supply chain to phase out harmful chemicals and use more sustainable products.
Ikea is known for its self-assembly furniture products, but the fast furniture sector has a big impact on the environment. In 2018, Americans threw out more than 12 million tons of furniture, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. With Ikea’s lower price point, the company runs the risk of creating more waste by consumers.