In just 3 years, IKEA Austria has been able to increase its renewable energy usage from 27 to 76 percent. At the same time they managed to reduce their CO2 emissions through a combination of different measures, the most important of which was introducing Hybrid transport vehicles and Pedelecs into their fleet.
Background & Objectives
In 2007 IKEA Austria became a partner of WWF Climate Group. This collection of climate friendly companies is now the biggest of its kind in Austria. Strict regulations within this partnership were set up in order to achieve a CO2 reduction of 15 percent over the first three years.
With a reduction of almost 80 percent this goal was more than exceeded by IKEA. One of the measures taken to reach the objectives was the introduction of low emission vehicles, basically hybrids, into the company’s fleet. Furthermore, IKEA delivery transporters were converted into CNG powered vehicles. Renewable energies were used for the heating of buildings and bicycle pools for workers were also created.
Around 35 tons of CO2 - this is the amount saved by the 23 natural gas-powered rental transporters currently in use at IKEA, compared to diesel vehicles of the same design.
The rental transporters, which have been available since February 2009, have proved to be very popular with customers. They were rented out on 8501 occasions in the financial year 2010, covering 422761 km in the process.
IKEA Austria was the first major company in the country to start replacing its company cars with hybrids, in February 2007. Until this time, diesel vehicles were mostly used. The first batch of 13 hybrid cars replaced the old cars in 2007. They opted for the Toyota Prius as it was the most environmentally friendly vehicle on the market at the time - with CO2 emissions of 104 g/km (first generation Prius) or 89 g/km (second generation Prius [according to manufacturer data]). Additional low-emissions vehicles have been in use since 2009 - especially for families with children. The precondition is that CO2 emissions must be below 120 g/km.
The hybrid conversion scheme has enabled IKEA to reduce CO2 emissions of all vehicles by around 55 tons in just four years.
Cars powered with natural gas reduce fuel costs by around half compared to conventional petrol engines. They also reduce nitrogen oxide by around 95 percent, CO2 by up to 25 percent and they do not emit any fine particles.
This allows the drivers of natural gas cars to protect the environment with no loss of comfort, while taking the strain off their wallets. For companies with fleets, CNG vehicles also offer large saving potentials - not least due to the attractive grants provided by the Austrian Environment Ministry and energy suppliers.