IKEA Sustainability Platform Takes a ‘Next Big Step’ – People & Planet Positive

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IKEA was the poster-brand for banning disposable shopping bags in American retail, and that early commitment keeps growing and getting greener.

The IKEA Group has just announced an ambitious sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive (as seen above), as a brand striving for energy independence. Their commitment is to produce as much energy as they consume by 2020 through a $1.95 billion investment in solar and wind projects.

In the near term, as outlined in its sustainability microsite and report, the mega-furniture retailer plans to gather 70% of its energy demands from renewable energy sources by 2015, leveraging wind farms in six European countries that generated 152 gigawatt hours of electricity last year, about 12% of the total needed for its stores and distribution centers. 

“The People and Planet Positive plan is designed to protect the company from price shocks and tap into customers’ desire for a greener lifestyle,” the Guardian reports. “Alongside its energy and resource goals, the plan commits the company to helping Ikea’s 770 million customers save money through the use of more efficient products, improving sustainability throughout its supply chain, and supporting human rights and education efforts.”[more]

In the US, IKEA has upped the number of solar installations to 34 stores and distribution centers, with five more in the works, representing a 90% solar presence in the US, along with 33 electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the western part of the country.

“We want to create a better every day for the many people. A better life includes living more sustainably. We have been working towards that goal for many years and have already done a lot, and we are now ready to take the next big step. People & Planet Positive will help us to do that; transforming our business and having an even greater positive impact on the world,” stated Mikael Ohlsson, President and CEO, IKEA Group. 

Several non-energy-centric goals in the new initiative include sourcing 50% of the company’s wood supply from FSC-certified forests by 2017, (a sticky wicket for the wood-centric brand), and being 100% “forest-positive” by 2010, helping to reduce supplier’s carbon emission 20% by 2015, and sourcing cotton that meets the standards of the Better Cotton Initiative.

The new campaign by IKEA UK reinforces the value of compassion, family, sharing and play:

The spot “explores the insight that adults and children all behave better when they’re sat around the same table together, rather than the children being sat at the end of the table.” Spoiler: The reveal at the end is that the oversized toys are actually the kids’ parents. Equally charming is the making-of video, narrated by Darren the Bear:

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