“Sustainability is a core part of IKEA’s business strategy,” according to Mike Ward, President, IKEA US. Ward was part of a 6-person sustainability panel on September 19 at the Annual Climate Week event at 7 World Trade Center in which Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Rt. Honorable Tony Blair and other dignitaries presented. Ward spoke about a number of IKEA’s sustainability initiatives.
“We are committed to a long-term strategy in which all IKEA stores and buildings will be supplied with 100% renewable energy. In addition, we want to improve our overall energy efficiency by 25 percent over 2005. We already have more than 40 solar panel installations around the globe (11 in the US), and are expanding our efforts with both on- and off-site renewables. These energy efficiency measures are in the long-term interests of our customers, business and our world,” stated Ward.
The Climate Group notes that by 2050, there will be more than 9 billion people living on the planet. Simultaneously, the world’s middle class will grow from less than 2 billion to more than 5 billion. The Group and its members note the call-to-action for a Clean Revolution in which businesses need to be swiftly proactive to initiate programs to support climate change.
Ward took part in a panel entitled The Role of Business in a Clean Revolution, which brought together a select group of corporate leaders from such companies as SwissRe and GE. The panel focused on a new way of producing and consuming energy, but in a manner that protects people’s livelihoods, creates jobs and ensures worldwide economic growth.
IKEA has an ongoing commitment to sustainability programs that impact its business while leading its customers in good environmental practices. Some of these initiatives include the following:
•First mass retailer to ban the use of plastic bags in all US stores
•Elimination of wood pallets in favor of loading ledges to allow for extra space, resulting in 25,000 less containers and 58,000 less tons of CO2 emissions annually
•Totally phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs in all US stores
•Partnering with American Forests to plant 1.9 million trees across America
•Introducing flat packaging, allowing more items to be shipped in a single trip
•Creating the same products from less materials with a new lower cost for the customer
The Climate Group spurs the world’s most powerful decision-makers into action against climate change.It is an independent, not-for-profit organization, working internationally with government and business leaders to advance the smart policies, technologies and finance needed to cut global greenhouse gas emissions, and unlock a “clean industrial revolution.”
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