You’ve seen one Ikea, you’ve seen them all, right? Not so fast.
The Swedish furniture chain recently opened its first store in India, in Hyderabad, and this one comes with a twist: It delivers goods by rickshaw. And these aren’t just any rickshaws. They’re powered by electricity harvested from 4,000 solar panels on the store’s roof. Excess power will be used for lighting and other purposes within the store.
“In our first year in India, around 20% of our customer delivery fleet will comprise electric vehicles,” said Ikea India’s Deputy Country Manager Patrik Antoni. “This number is planned to increase to 40% in the second year and 60% in the third year [of operations].”
The move is part of Ikea’s plan to transition its entire fleet worldwide to electric by 2030, a commitment it shares with fellow members of EV100, a 10-member coalition of companies pushing for faster adoption of electric vehicles.
Ikea is busy with other sustainability initiatives, as well. It’s installed more than 700,000 solar panels around the world, with roughly 90% of its stores using power from them. Other efforts include mindful sourcing of fabrics and wood, and smart product and packaging design to making shipping more efficient. For instance, it says that switching from wood to paper pallets has reduced its footprint of transporting products by 75,000 tons of CO2 per year.
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