Over the last decade, Ikea’s parent company has invested around $2.7 billion in renewable energy. Today, the company announced that its latest investments—in two large solar plants in the U.S. and a wind farm in Romania—will tip it over a milestone that it originally aimed to achieve a year from now: The company will be able to produce more renewable electricity than it uses in all of its own buildings, including its hundreds of retail stores. “We’re a year ahead of schedule,” says Pia Heidenmark Cook, chief sustainability officer for the Ikea Group. When the company started working on renewable energy, it made the most sense to own renewable energy directly, and Ikea stores are now plastered with more than 900,000 solar panels. It also has more than 500 on-site wind turbines. Now, as the cost of renewable electricity has steeply fallen and many more projects exist, it’s becoming a part owner in sprawling off-site plants. “We’re going into bigger projects and partnering because otherwise it’s difficult to get to scale,” she says. [Photo: Ikea] The work is part of a much larger goal to become “carbon positive” throughout the company’s entire value chain, meaning that it will reduce […]

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