Everyone knows you go to IKEA if you want affordable furniture with impossible to pronounce names. The global chain has undoubtedly staked out a specific brand, but now, the company is bringing American customers an extra serving of sustainability handed out right alongside their world-famous Swedish meatballs.
IKEA recently partnered with SunPower, a residential energy services provider with a 35-year tenure in the solar space. This partnership will bring solar panels directly to consumers through Home Solar with IKEA. The rollout is slated to launch initially in California this fall but will gradually expand across the country.
“We’re proud to collaborate with SunPower to bring this service to the US and enable our customers to make individual choices aimed at reducing their overall climate footprint,” stated Javier Quiñones, CEO and chief sustainability officer for IKEA US. “The launch of Home Solar with IKEA will allow more people to take greater control of their energy needs, and our goal is to offer the clean energy service at additional IKEA locations in the future.”
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While this venture into residential solar here in the states should be exciting to their American audience, it is not IKEA’s first jaunt into residential solar. The global furniture giant already sells residential solar in 11 other markets. Plus, IKEA’s American energy portfolio includes wind, utility-scale solar, biogas-fuel, and rooftop solar installed in 90 percent of the company’s stores across the country.
Still, this partnership is going to bring a new and unique element to IKEA’s American energy offerings. Speaking with Electrek, a SunPower spokesman explained: “SunPower is creating solar offerings exclusively for IKEA US, and information about the products and services will be available to customers in-store and online. The program will launch this fall in select California stores to members of the IKEA Family customer loyalty program.”
IKEA is not just pursuing sustainability through the way the company powers its operations. The chain has been working to make its entire global footprint more environmentally friendly. Through efforts such as the phase-out of disposable batteries, striving to make all materials recyclable or renewable by 2030, and the use of almost 100 percent Forest Stewardship Council®-certified (FSC®) or recycled wood, IKEA truly is turning into a holistic sustainability model.
Want solar, sustainably sourced materials, shelving, and Swedish meatballs all from the same place? The market has provided. Just head to your local IKEA.
Kelvey Vander Hart is a native Iowan, a member of the American Conservation Coalition, and a communications specialist at Reason Foundation.