Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ikea Southhampton Goes Solar

Ikea’s store in the city center of Southhampton is going green, thanks to the addition of half-a-million-pounds- worth of solar panels.

The Swedish furniture giant has fitted nearly 5,000 photovoltaic panels to the roof of its West Quay Road store.

The £495,000 investment will provide enough green electricity to cover 10 per cent of the shop’s power needs.

Ikea says its solar panels will generate around 217,450 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, which is equivalent to the amount used by 66 homes. It is hoped the green energy will also cut the store’s carbon dioxide use by more than 2,200 tonnes over the panels’ 25-year lifespan.

The panels, which are now up and running, have been added as part of a near-£4m investment in solar power by Ikea in the UK.

By March next year, the firm wants to fit a total of 39,000 panels to the rooftops of ten stores around the country – each cutting the shops’ average electricity use by five per cent. In total, the scheme should generate 1,600,000 kWh every year, cutting Ikea’s carbon dioxide consumption by 662 tonnes a year.

Southampton store manager, Allesandra Taffe said: “Taking care of people and the environment is integral to how we do business, so we are continually working to significantly reduce our carbon footprint from all parts of our operations, while helping to reduce CO2 emissions in society.

“We believe that our solar panel initiative marks a major milestone in our ambition to source 100 per cent renewable energy.”

Solar panels are the latest green initiative at the store, which opened in 2009 and has a geothermal heating and cooling system in place.

Travel plans are aimed at maximising public transport use by customers and staff, while truck movements are reduced by taking more than half of all stock deliveries direct from suppliers.

Delphine Wolfe, from the National Energy Foundation, said: “IKEA’s commitment for sustainability issues is exceptional.

“It provides a real inspiration to all businesses wanting to develop their green credentials.

“Now with their solar installations, IKEA not only reduces its carbon footprint, it also sends a powerful message to all its consumers, promoting renewable energy generation as well as energy efficiency measures.”


No comments: