Smart Energy Voices- Episode 94

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 94

Balancing Profitability and Sustainability at IKEA

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At Smart Energy Decisions’ recent Net Zero Forum, Adrian Avino, Engineering Construction Manager for IKEA Property, North America Real Estate/US, gave an overview of how IKEA plans to meet its sustainability goals. Adrian shares IKEA’s holistic approach including the company’s strategy to use renewable heating and cooling for projects across its North American portfolio.


You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • IKEA’s sustainability goals [01:36]
  • Renewable solutions for commercial buildings [03:12]
  • Decarbonizing existing buildings [11:01]
  • Holistic sustainability [14:25]


IKEA's sustainability initiatives

IKEA is a global company with over 480 retail stores worldwide that emphasizes sustainability in its operations. The company’s three-year focus areas include health and sustainability, sustainable living for the many, fair and equal company practices, and becoming a circular and climate-positive company. 

To achieve its real estate goals, IKEA has set its sights on reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than it produces and ensuring the company is aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement targets. Their strategies include phasing out fossil fuels, achieving 100% renewable energy onsite, and implementing solutions such as carport PV systems and battery energy storage systems.

IKEA’s PV projects

IKEA’s existing PV projects include 2020-generation high-efficiency panels. These projects are predominantly on the West and East coasts, where states have demand-response programs. The company emphasizes rooftop and carport PV systems and battery energy storage systems, which utilize AI to predict and forecast weather models to integrate with the utility grid.

As technology advances, IKEA recognizes the need for repurposing and recycling, particularly when it comes to PV panels. The panels from 2011 and 2012 that are being replaced can be repurposed in the secondary market such as residential Latin America, but transportation is a significant obstacle. The company is working toward solutions with SEIA-validated companies.

Decarbonization and energy efficiency

IKEA has developed a roadmap to decarbonize its existing portfolio by 2030, primarily by eliminating the use of natural gas through renewable heating and cooling projects. Like most retail companies, IKEA uses rooftop HVAC units, which have high operating and maintenance costs. The company has approved five projects to implement a new renewable heating and cooling, high-efficiency HVAC system composed of air-cooled or water-cooled chillers. 

Heat recovery systems, cooling towers, and air handling units are 150-300% more efficient than standard heating and allow for better building management and monitoring. IKEA works with companies that provide artificial intelligence and weather forecasting to optimize energy efficiency and right-size equipment, leading to less energy consumption and a lower global warming potential.


Resources & People Mentioned


Connect with Adrian Avino

Adrian holds a civil engineering and an MBA finance degree, is a voting member of the Climate Positive Forum, and is the lead Engineer for IKEA North America in the US. In this role, he spearheads the approval, research, and development of Sustainability Projects.  Adrian and his team have approved over $500 million in large-scale Sustainability Investments, among PV, ESS, Energy Efficiency, and Renewable Heating and Cooling projects, with the ambition to eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 80%. Adrian is also an ambassador for the IKEA Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, and collaborates with diverse partners and organizations on renewable energy investments and sustainable development to combat climate change.


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