Urbanisation is accelerating to the point that the average European city now dedicates half of its area to traffic. At the same time, customers’ shopping behaviour is moving towards e-commerce with ‘here & now deliveries’ leading to more vans and trucks in city centres. Unfortunately, this has a negative impact on air and life quality.
“Being able to breathe air that’s not harmful is a pretty basic need, so we asked how can we meet our customers’ expectations without contributing to the pollution?” says Angela Hultberg, Head of Sustainable Mobility at Ingka Group. Ingka Group operates IKEA stores in 30 countries.
Tackling climate change with clean transport
Clean transport in city centres – where low emission zones are often already a reality – is now the Ingka Group approach to home deliveries. In fact, by 2025, all customer deliveries and services across 30 markets will use electric vehicles (EVs) or other zero-emission solutions.
Ingka Group is committed to generating more renewable energy than it consumes across its operations. “The IKEA ambition is to become climate positive by 2030 by reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than the IKEA value chain emits, while growing the IKEA business. This includes taking full responsibility and enabling and inspiring our customers and co-workers to travel in more sustainable ways” says Angela.
“We want to be more accessible to people through sustainable services free from air and noise pollution. Reaching 100% zero emissions for last-mile home delivery is one of many steps towards meeting our climate targets and contributing to the elimination of global warming. It’s also essential for securing IKEA business operations for the future,” says Angela.
The “100% zero emissions” quest starts here
The journey towards the zero emissions goal has already started. During 2020, the number of home deliveries using electric vehicles and other zero-emission solutions doubled. Tests were also conducted of new EV prototypes for last-mile home deliveries. Today, electric vehicles are used in 19 countries. And Ingka Group wants it to go even faster, so the deadline has been brought forward: 100% of IKEA deliveries in their markets will be emission-free as soon as 2025.
“Transformation will not happen by simply replacing combustion engines with electric engines, while everything else stays the same. This transition will require challenging our current ways of working and finding service partners who want to join us on our journey,” says Angela Hultberg.
“It is important to consider that the overall climate footprint can actually be increased by electrification, if for example, the electricity is generated from coal. We are therefore committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity”, she says.
Shanghai first city to reach the goal
“In Shanghai, we are managing more than 900 daily home deliveries, and we are proud to say we have already reached our goal of using only electric vehicles to make all home deliveries,” says Ken Zhong, Service Fulfilment Operations Manager China, Ingka Group.
Electric vehicles are also deployed in Australia, France and India, with more countries on the way. As Angela Hultberg puts it, “The technology is already good enough, and we have experience from different markets to help us make these strategies become reality – the time to act is now!”
Designing a future for people, not traffic
IKEA stores attract about 1 billion customers worldwide each year, and emissions from vehicles going to and from these stores account for around 15% of the total IKEA climate footprint. To make that footprint smaller, shuttle buses and EV charging stations powered by 100% renewable electricity are now being provided.
Also, by building small stores in the city centres of Paris, London, and New York – areas where many people live and work – the hope is to encourage low-emission transport like public transportation, walking or biking. In Shanghai, a new store connected directly to the city’s metro system opened in July 2020.
Contributing to the electric revolution
Today, 93% of Ingka Group stores have EV charging points for customers and are on track to providing charging stations to customers and co-workers in all Ingka Group touchpoints – IKEA stores, shopping centres, offices, and distribution centres – across multiple markets. The target is to halve relative emissions from co-workers and customers by 2030.
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