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Ikea ramps up renewable spending (again)

Posting in Energy

Just a few months ago, Ikea Group announced plans to double its investment in solar and wind installations to $1.8 billion, as part of its larger ambition to become energy independent by 2020.

Now, the company is upping the ante again.

The world's biggest furniture retailer told Bloomberg News this week it will likely double its investment in renewable energy to $4 billion before the end of the decade.

In October, Ikea unveiled its People & Planet Positive plan and announced it would spend $1.8 billion in solar and wind power to produce at least 70 percent of the group's energy by 2015.

Considering the Ikea's rate of expansion and its value chain, the company will mostly likely have to double the investments once more after 2015, said CEO and president Mikael Ohlsson in an interview with Bloomberg.

The additional spending on renewable energy projects aims to keep Ikea's expenses down as it maintains its pace of expansion, said Ohlsson.

As I've noted before, Ikea's global operations require considerable energy. Any efforts to improve efficiency and shift more towards renewable power should help cut costs and shield it from spikes in fossil fuel prices, especially in countries in Europe, which already have high energy costs.

Ikea already meets about half of its global buildings' energy needs using renewable energy, according to the company's latest sustainability report.

Photo: Ikea

— By on January 23, 2013, 12:33 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure