Home retail giant IKEA has outlined its ambition to increase the number of â€˜zero emissionâ€™ deliveries made to customers, in a bid to combat air pollution.
The Swedish-owned furniture and homeware manufacturer and retailer has published its 2017 Sustainability Report today (6 March) in which it outlines efforts to cut emissions from deliveries and travel across its worldwide operations, as well as initiatives to cut waste and encourage sustainable living.
According to the retailer, increasing online sales are reducing the number of trips being made to-and-from stores by customers in cars, equating to â€˜smaller and more frequentâ€™ deliveries, â€œessentially putting more trucks on the road.â€
But, in its report IKEA notes: â€œâ€¦thereâ€™s no point in replacing emissions from customer travel to our stores with emissions from our own deliveries.
â€œWeâ€™re following three steps to reduce emission from customer travel and deliveries: being at the forefront of electrification, promoting and joining sustainable travel networks and choosing locations and store formats that encourage sustainable ways of living.â€
The report adds that on electrification, IKEA has publicly available charging points at 69% of its stores and 42% of its shopping centres, with an aim to extend this to â€˜enable the shift to electric vehicles for all suppliers, customers and co-workersâ€™.
IKEA also notes that it will seek to make home deliveries by electric vehicles or other zero emission options such as bikes, where possible.
In China, the company has 53 electric trucks â€“ with around 30% of customer deliveries from its Xuhui store expected to be handled by the electric fleet from early this year. Additionally at its store in Hyderabad in India, 20% of its customer delivery fleet will be electric â€“ rising to 60% by year three.
â€œWe want to go beyond converting our own business, to have a wider impact, making zero emission deliveries the new normal, the report adds. â€œAnd we are joining together with others to advocate for a transformation to electric vehicles. In September 2017 we became an original member of EV100 â€“ a global initiative committed to accelerating the conversion to 100% electric vehicles.â€
Elsewhere in the report, IKEA has highlighted some of the â€˜over-100â€™ sustainable transport initiatives it is involved in worldwide, including providing low-cost cargo bikes to customers in the Netherlands, vehicle sharing schemes in Sydney, Turin, Vancouver and Vienna, a shuttle bus service offered in Osaka, Japan.