Lots of companies talk about going green, but the scale of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA's ambition is breathtaking. In its quest to get 100 percent renewable, the firm skipped right over the usual, intermediate step of buying renewable power from a third party.
Instead, IKEA is generating power with wind turbines and solar panels it owns and operates itself. In the U.K., the company is installing 39,000 solar panels on the roofs of its stores, with a total investment in solar of
$6.5 billion $6.5 million. Naturally, those panels will be manufactured in China, by GS Solar Fujian Co.
The company also owns 67 wind turbines spread across Europe. Its 12.3 MW wind farm in Huntly, Scotland is big enough to provide 30 percent of its U.K. energy needs.
This is key: IKEA's motivation to "go green" is motivated entirely by profit. The company says it wants to insulate itself from spikes in energy prices; by going the DIY route and eliminating the cost of fossil fuels, it adds predictability to its energy costs.