IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer, is investing 1.5 billion euros ($1.95 billion) from 2009 to 2015 in solar and wind power.
IKEA already owns wind farms in six European nations and has 342,000 solar panels on its stores, warehouses and factories that generate 27% of the company's electricity. IKEA hopes to increase this to 70% by 2015, and 100% by 2020.
"We know we're going to be using energy in 20 years' time," said IKEA Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard. "If we can own our own renewable energy plants ... it gives us complete price certainty."
The initiative is part of IKEA's People & Planet Positive strategy, which aims to satisfy consumer demand for more sustainable products, while also saving money for both IKEA and its clients.
The People & Planet Positive strategy also calls for IKEA, one of the world's top users of wood, to grow at least as many trees as it uses to make products such as beds or cupboards by 2020. Already, IKEA says it does not take wood from natural tropical forests, such as in the Amazon or the Congo basins.
"With the opening of IKEA in Winnipeg we can look forward to IKEA wind turbines in Manitoba too," said Gaile Whelan-Enns Director of Manitoba Wildlands.
John Sauven, head of Greenpeace UK, said the People & Planet Positive strategy "puts IKEA at the forefront of leading companies" trying to transform their businesses in the face of environmental threats.
View October 23, 2012 IKEA press release
View October 25, 2012 Global Fund Exchange, Future of Energy blog
View October 24, 2012 National Geograhic, Great Energy Challenge blog
View October 23, 2012 Reuters coverage
View October 23, 2012 USA Today coverage