IKEA to Help UK Staff and Customers Make Clean Energy Switch

World | Sustainable Development

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IKEA is planning to launch a new clean energy drive before the end of the year aimed at encouraging staff and customers to switch their household electricity suppliers to those which only use renewable sources, the company has revealed.

The Swedish retail giant is currently working with the Big Clean Switch initiative with a view to offering lower electricity tariffs to employees in return for them switching to renewable energy suppliers for their household power needs.

In an interview with BusinessGreen, the company’s sustainability manager for UK and Ireland, Hege Sæbjørnsen, said the plan was to then extend this offer to IKEA Family member customers in the new year.

“We’re currently working with the Big Clean Switch campaign, and we are negotiating a lower renewable energy tariff for our customers through IKEA Family,” Sæbjørnsen said. “It is being launched internally for co-workers first at the end of this year, and then early next year for IKEA Family members.”

The Big Clean Switch initiative – a ‘social business’ partnership between campaign group Purpose and social enterprise Clean Energy UK – works with renewables suppliers such as Bulb, Ecotricity and Good Energy on targeted campaigns to quicken the move towards zero carbon power. It recently launched a campaign with 10 councils in Greater Manchester to offer local residents and businesses lower tariffs through 100 per cent renewable energy suppliers.

No firm launch date has yet been confirmed for IKEA’s clean energy drive, but Sæbjørnsen said it formed part of the retailer’s wider strategy to encourage greener staff and customer behaviour beyond its own stores, in keeping with its Sustainable Life at Home product range.

The move follows IKEA’s decision to team up with Solarcentury for its new home solar panel and battery storage product offering, which has seen positive early sales since its launch back in August, according to Sæbjørnsen.

She explained the Big Clean Switch project would enable staff and customers who do not own their own homes or are unable to invest in a solar-battery storage product to also benefit from lower electricity bills thanks to renewable power sources.

“It’s wonderful if you own your own house, but not everyone does,” said Sæbjørnsen. “Also, people move, so do you want to invest x-amount in a solar set up? So this is actually helping this whole shift, and it is very aligned with the [UK government’s recently published] Clean Growth Plan.”

Source: businessgreen.com