Reuters reports: IKEA essentially paid for its electricity in advance by purchasing solar panels so the cost to it is the same for decades (and also keep in mind that the cost of electricity from fossil fueled sources is continually increasing). Wind farms do require routine maintenance, but most of the cost of wind power is the initial cost of the turbines.
"The direction of travel for us is 100 percent renewable. We're likely to hit 70 to 80 percent by 2015. We've built up sufficient experience in the area to be more confident in the timeline, so we will set a timeline in the next few months," stated IKEA’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Steve Howard.
In keeping with their 'green' efforts in all of their stores worldwide, IKEA banned the sale of incandescent bulbs beginning on January 1st of this year, and the company committed to selling 100% sustainable cotton products by 2015.
Here in the states, IKEA has been working toward reducing their carbon footprint by evaluating their stores for potential solar energy opportunities. They've fitted their Brooklyn, NY, and Pittsburgh, PA, stores with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, and have even installed solar water heating systems on their stores in Charlotte, NC; Draper, UT; Orlando, FL; and Tampa, FL.
Being the largest furniture manufacturer in the world and seeing the measures they're taking toward treading a little lighter on the planet, maybe other companies will take notice and follow suit — the least it can do is save them money on their energy bills.
Read more about IKEA's green initiatives here.
Information via Reuters, IKEA and Inhabitat.