Swedish retail giant Ikea is pushing further towards being climate-positive by 2030, partly by selling renewable energy to factories and energy-efficient LED bulbs to customers. The interior design chain now wants to show its part in air pollution.
More necessary than ever
From January to August, Ikea had a climate footprint of 25.8 million tonnes of CO2, which is 5 % less than a year earlier. The emissions are already 12 % less than in 2016, when the company started the measurements. Relative to its own production volumes, the overall climate footprint has already fallen by 20 %. In Belgium, the footprint fell by 13.6 % compared to 2016 and by 6 % compared to 2021.
Yet there is still a lot of work to be done, because by 2030 Ikea wants to be climate-positive – meaning the department store chain will then eliminate more greenhouse emissions than it emits itself. It is becoming more necessary than ever to make such efforts, CEO Jon Abrahamsson Ring stresses: “With six years of CO2 budget left in the world to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, the need to act is more important than ever.”
Last financial year, the Swedish retailer’s shops and distribution centres used more renewable energy: more than three quarters of the electricity used is now renewable. In 24 countries, a full 100 % of the electricity used by the chain is now renewable. For the factories, the share is still much lower (64 %), although Ikea is making bigger leaps there. For instance, Chinese suppliers can now buy renewable electricity. This year, ten more countries will be able to do so, including Germany, Sweden and Turkey.
Mapping air pollution
Ikea also includes the environmental impact of its assortment in its footprint, which is why the chain has expanded its range of more energy-efficient LED lamps, while its restaurants are also increasingly selling plant-based meatballs and vegetarian hot dogs. For example, almost half of the food in Belgian Ikea shops is already vegetarian or vegan. Ikea also took further steps in second-hand sales last year, as well as extending the lifespan of products.
Ikea will now also calculate its part in air pollution. The company says it aims for “a holistic approach”, because “climate change, nature loss and inequality are interdependent”. By sharing those findings, Head of Climate Andreas Rangel Ahrens hopes to inspire other companies as well. “Every year, more than 2.4 billion people are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution. There is a strong synergy between reducing GHG emissions and air pollution”, he explains.