IKEA’s Key to Sustainability

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Loves Data’s office move from a natural bushland setting off the beaten track to less than a ten minute walk from North Sydney Station is being done with the environment very much in mind. Loves Data’s new office is in a 100% green energy rated building (entirely from renewable energy sources not carbon offsets) with efficient low energy usage lighting, dishwasher, refrigerator and waste recycling system.

Our office move and recent posts on renewable energy and smart lighting including IKEA’s smart home system got us thinking about how we can use lighting creatively to give our new office a unique feel.

We’re also looking to bring in a personal posture trainer to coincide with our office move to remind us all, well, to move!

Back to IKEA, not a brand we automatically associate with new technology or sustainability. The paradigm we generally have in mind is ‘one stop shop’, reasonably stylish, affordable, convenient and instantaneous. Very much part of a consumer-led, disposable society.

However, this poster child for a disposable lifestyle is putting serious money into sustainable forestry and recycled materials. In fact, IKEA has announced plans to spend a billion euros on renewable energy and sustainable manufacturing aiming to become energy independent. IKEA already runs 224 wind turbines across the world and has installed over 700,000 solar panels.

Ironically the really big wins for the environment are going to come from IKEA’s influence on the buying decisions of its millions of customers. The retailer is democratising household innovations and it’s not pulling any punches.

IKEA already sells energy efficient appliances, faucets with aerators and by 2016 will only stock LED lighting. And while the sexy new Philips Hue/Apple Homekit is offering starter packs at $199 US, IKEA Ledare bulb at $4.49 US for a pack of two is likely to make it into many more millions of households.

IKEA’s products span the whole household and with it comes a massive opportunity to go beyond the company’s famous Allen keys to smart turnkey systems for consumers with wireless charging integrated into their furniture and other automation options such as motorised sit/stand desks and even smarter counter tops!

Who doesn’t need a kitchen that offers meal ideas?