IKEA’s solar investments have helped the global furniture brand to attain the 'Outstanding' BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) award at its Greenwich operations.
It was awarded by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) under the UK New Construction regulations, and IKEA achieved a score of over 90%. It is the second retailer in the world to achieve a sustainability score of more than 90% and the first in Britain.
IKEA's Greenwich operational site has a large solar array along with other measures designed to increase sustainability. These include a geothermal heating and cooling system, renewable material choices for construction, energy-efficient LED lighting and the use of greywater.
The site also uses renewable energy and natural light and has a series of landscaped gardens which are accessible to the surrounding community and to customers and which support local insect life.
The company has a long-standing relationship with solar energy. Recently it signed up to a partnership with SolarCentury to develop new solar panel products.
IKEA UK and Ireland's sustainability manager, Hege Sæbjørnsen, said that the achievement was a milestone in IKEA's drive to become a clean, green and sustainable business.
He explained that the drive towards total sustainability and carbon neutrality was at the heart of every business decision made at the company, both across IKEA itself and with the partnerships that it has with its supplier network.
IKEA now hopes that their sustainability rating will encourage other retailers to work towards the same level of BREEAM attainment.
The BREEAM award assesses new buildings against a set of sustainability measures such as water usage, indoor air quality and innovation initiatives.
As a holistic system, it aims to measure building environments which support the overall health and wellbeing of those who use the space whilst protecting the environment.