Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist?
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CANTON, MI, Jul. 10 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its Detroit-area store in Canton, Michigan – the state’s largest such photovoltaic array. The 122,200-square-foot PV array consists of a 977.6-kW system, built with 4,160 panels. IKEA Canton’s program will produce approximately 1,114,943 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 769 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 151 cars or powering 96 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).
This investment by IKEA reinforces the company’s long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and this Canton installation represents the 20th completed solar energy project for IKEA in the United States, with 19 more locations underway, making the eventual U.S. solar presence of IKEA nearly 89% with a total generation of 38 MW.
For the development, design and installation of the Canton store’s customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with SoCore Energy, one of the largest commercial solar developers in the Midwest and developer of more than 65 U.S. commercial PV installations.
“We are thrilled at how this solar energy system furthers our commitment to sustainability at IKEA Canton,” said Anton van Dongen, store manager. “IKEA has a never-ending job where most things remain to be done that encourages us always to ask ourselves how we can improve what we do today for a better tomorrow. We appreciate the support of the Canton Township, Detroit Edison and SoCore Energy, our partners in this project.”
IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims for its operations to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates all locations regularly for energy conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works with Global Forest Watch to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material (paper, wood, plastic, etc.); incorporating environmental measures into the construction of buildings in terms of energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs. IKEA also has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S.
Located on 21 acres along Ford Road off I-275 at the intersection with Haggerty Road, the 311,000-square-foot IKEA Canton opened in June 2006. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, the store presents 52 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a Children’s IKEA area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store.
IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 330 IKEA stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, go to IKEA-USA.com.
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