Ingka Group, the owner of the largest share of IKEA stores, has announced an increase in sustainability investments by €600 million (US$712 million) over the next 12 months in order to reach climate positive status throughout its value chain by 2030. The plan involves spending on clean energy solutions, funding innovative startups and making its existing stores and warehouses more climate-friendly.
Ingka’s latest pledge to invest €600 million (US$712 million) more into sustainability-related investments is a part of the firm’s plan to transition into IKEA’s overall goal of being climate positive by 2030. It takes the Leiden-based holding company’s total investments into sustainability to €3.8 billion (US$4.5 billion).
Under this revamped plan, the focus will be on investing in companies and solutions that have a direct impact towards the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ingka group will also implement a zero-fossil fuel approach and a review of global and local pension funds in order to meet updated environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards.
According to Reuters, a third of the new sustainable investment funds will go towards renewable energy, a third on startups innovating new climate solutions and technologies, and a third on retrofitting its stores and warehouses to meet sustainability targets.
Over the past few years, Ingka has backed a number of sustainable startups, including AI-enabled food waste tracking solution Winnow, RetourMatras, a company recycling over 90% of materials in mattresses, and indoor urban farming company Aerofarms.
We want to be part of the solution, which is why we will continue to focus our future investments to ensure a cleaner, greener and more inclusive recovery.Juvencio Maeztu, Deputy CEO & CFO at Ingka Group
“We believe it’s good business to be a good business. Despite the significant challenges we’re facing in the world, we still have it in our own hands to change the direction of the climate crisis,” said Juvencio Maeztu, deputy CEO and CFO at Ingka Group, in a press release.
“We want to be part of the solution, which is why we will continue to focus our future investments to ensure a cleaner, greener and more inclusive recovery.”
Ingka’s moves fit into IKEA’s overarching strategy to become a recognised leader in sustainable business, which global experts have ranked the brand highly for in a recent report. The furnishing giant has committed to slash more greenhouse gas emissions than it emits by 2030, covering its entire value chain from raw material sourcing to product disposal.
This highlights the role business can play in addressing the challenges of climate change. We must direct investments towards green technologies and solutions that are clean. Companies big and small have an important role to play and an opportunity to turn the challenges we face into solutions, as we build back better.Christiana Figueres
Recent retail-side sustainability initiatives include launching a vegan meatball, dubbed the “plant ball”, which has 4% of the carbon footprint compared to its animal-based counterpart, as well as debuting its first “Home of Tomorrow” store concept that features self-sufficient, low-waste and eco-friendly indoor fittings.
Speaking about Ingka’s reinforced climate pledges, Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary for the UNFCCC who led the Paris Agreement talks, said: “This highlights the role business can play in addressing the challenges of climate change. We must direct investments towards green technologies and solutions that are clean.”
“Companies big and small have an important role to play and an opportunity to turn the challenges we face into solutions, as we build back better.”
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.