With 9,500 different products, 280 stores in 26 countries, 23 billion Euros in annual sales, and a catalog more widely published than the Bible, Ikea leaves quite a footprint just by virtue of their size. Luckily they're interested not only in minimizing that footprint, but also in making their processes transparent.
To that end they've just made their 2010 Sustainability Report available for public download. They open the document with letters to the public not only from the CEO, but from Steve Howard, Ikea's Chief Sustainability Officer. (How many corporations have one of those?)
The 91-page document was clearly designed for public scrutiny—it's as art-directed as their catalogs—and contains plenty of interesting facts about their efforts to push the company towards increasing green-ness, as well as detailing their targets for 2015. Some highlights of their accomplishments thus far:
- PRODUCT SCORE CARD: The introduction of the IKEA Sustainability Product Score card. This is a new internal tool for more sustainable product development and purchasing that will help classify the IKEA home furnishing range within 11 criteria that have an impact on the environment.
- CERTIFIED WOOD: The share of certified wood increased substantially from 16.2 to 23.6 percent.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY: The number of IKEA buildings with solar panel systems nearly doubled, taking us one step further towards the goal of operating all IKEA units on 100 percent renewable energy.
- IKEA FOUNDATION: Decision made to invest an additional 7.5 million euros in UNICEF's water sanitation program in India. This support will help expand the scope of the program in 15 states.
- MORE SUSTAINABLE COTTON: More than 80,000 farmers in India and Pakistan are now using more sustainable farming practices. The share of more sustainable cotton in the IKEA range more than doubled compared to last year to 13.4 percent of total IKEA use.
Hit the jump to read about their initiatives in the United States and get the download link for the entire report.Highlights from the Ikea US Sustainability 2010 Report
- INCANDESCENT LIGHT PHASE OUT: IKEA announced in June 20th that it would start to phase out the sale of incandescent light bulbs in all US stores, placing focus on selling a comprehensive range of energy saving bulbs including CFLs, plus LED and solar lamps.
- GEOTHERMAL TECHNOLOGY:IKEA US announced that the new store opening in Fall 2011 in Centennial, Colorado will be constructed with geothermal technology. In support of this effort, IKEA has partnered with the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to study geothermal efficiency in large-scale buildings. The study will also help IKEA to continue to make decisions that optimize efficiency and operations of IKEA building systems.
- SOLAR PANELS: IKEA initiated 11 solar panel projects on 7 IKEA stores including California, Arizona, two stores on the east coast, and the Southwest distribution center,the largest IKEA US building. Upon completion, these eleven systems combined will have the capacity to generate 6,800 kW (6.8 MW) of electric power; an outputthat is equivalent to reducing 7,700 tons of C02, a total which could be equivalent to emissions produced by over 1 ,300 cars on the road.
- REDUCING C02 BY PLANTING TREES: Through the support of both IKEA customers and IKEA US, 1.5 million trees were planted across America through the IKEA Plant A Tree campaign. This tree planting has been a partnership program between IKEA and American Forests since June 2006 supported in part with the generous donations from IKEA customers. The IKEA Plant A Tree program has been asking customers to donate $1 to plant one tree at check out.