- The Swedish retailer Ikea is installing a massive rooftop solar array on its 1.25 million square-foot distribution center in Joliet, IL, Chain Store Age reported Tuesday.
- The 470,545 square foot solar array will be built with 8,966 panels to produce roughly 3,411,600 kWh of electricity each year, which would reduce approximately 2 thousand tons of CO2 emissions.
- The solar rooftop, which is slated for completion by fall 2017, will be Ikea's third and Illinois' largest. Ikea also owns a 49-turbine wind farm in the state, Chain Store Age reports.
Ikea's investment in renewable energy is part of a larger initiative to reduce carbon emissions throughout the entire supply chain.
The Swedish retailer's goal is to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020, an ambitious goal which requires active collaboration with suppliers and logistics providers to curb emissions while investing in renewable infrastructure within its own operations.
The retailer's 2015 sustainability report reveals the various efforts the retailer is engaging with to reduce emissions at every step of the way. The efforts include using more sustainable packaging, encouraging more recycling efforts, collaborating directly with suppliers on sustainability goals and creating sustainable procurement policies.
But as recent news show, reaching 100% renewable consumption requires not just reducing emissions but also investing in infrastructure to produce renewable energy. For this, the company's warehouses and retail stores will be an important part of the plan.
Since 2012, the company has expanded its solar capabilities by 27% to produce 109GWh, allowing both its distribution centers and stores to produce more than 50% of its electricity consumed on-site. Most of the company's renewable will be sourced from biomass and wind turbine production, but its investments in distribution centers ensure every link in the supply chain is carrying its weight in sustainability.