The philanthropic arm of the world’s biggest furniture retailer is setting up a fund that will support renewable energy programmes in developing nations.
If you read about the introduction of Ikea’s first ever sustainable second-hand furniture store last year, chances are you’re already aware of the efforts being made by the conglomerate to better its environmental impact.
To recap, in addition to repurposing and reselling its flat-packed goods, it purchased an entire Romanian forest in 2015 with the promise of doubling its sales but using half the amount of wood.
Ikea also announced a rental hire scheme in 2019, around the same time it pledged to decarbonise its entire delivery sector by 2025 and earmarked $4.75bn to invest in green energy projects.
Well, in another triumphant move towards safeguarding the future of our currently struggling planet, Ikea has partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to make their biggest investment yet.
With the hope they can eventually finance more than $10bn of small-scale renewable power projects, reduce one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and lift more than one billion people out of energy poverty, they have launched a joint initiative to support such programmes in developing nations.
It will be run as a public charity to rapidly channel development funds to life-changing projects on the ground.
‘Our collective ambition is to create a platform that supports renewable energy programmes which can deliver greenhouse gas reductions fast and efficiently,’ said CEO Per Heggenes at the announcement, outlining plans to attract funds from international agencies.
So far, they’ve signed agreements with the International Finance Corp, an organisation affiliated to the World Bank, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corp.
‘We need to replace polluting sources of energy with renewable ones, provide access to energy to communities and unlock further funding for sustainable models. Ultimately, we aim to unite countries and communities in urgent action to tackle the climate crisis. By doing so, we hope to positively impact the lives of 1 billion people.’
At present, 800 million people across the globe lack electricity and a further 2.8 billion have unreliable access.
The goal is to help countries ‘leapfrog’ to renewables so that emerging economies can stop depending on fossil fuels going forward. This will prevent a downward spiral of the climate crisis during post-pandemic recovery and, in the long-term, galvanise a healthier Earth.
‘We need to be honest and recognize that the current approach is not delivering the impact the world needs in the time that we have,’ added Heggenes. ‘If global energy consumption doesn’t change from fossil fuels to renewable energy, we will not meet the Paris Agreement ambitions, and millions of families will be left behind in poverty.’