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Ikea makes first greentech investment

Ikea’s venture capital firm plans more investments next year as the company undertakes several new "green" initiatives.

Wind power in Sweden breaks new record
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Ikea invests in more wind power plants

It took more than two years for Ikea to announce its first investment in its venture capital unit Ikea Greentech, which is dedicated to find business opportunities in innovative clean-tech companies.

The Swedish furniture giant invests 2 million euro in energy storage devices maker Alelion Batteries, making Ikea the second biggest owner after Swedish state-controlled venture capital firm Fouriertransform. The investment is to be used for development of alternative energy solutions and lighting.

“We hope to be able to develop small-scale eco-efficient products for Ikea customers through this investment”, said Christian Ehrenborg, chief executive officer of Ikea GreenTech. “Alelion is a company within the field of energy storage for small devices. This is well in line with the way Ikea wants to develop the range of energy products”.

The world’s biggest home-furnishings retailer told Swedish media it plans to announce more green investments next year. Ikea Greentech invests primarily in technology-based companies, that improve the sustainability of the Ikea business activities. It has 50 million euros to invest.

Ikea aims to cut its carbon footprint and also looks to invest more in wind and solar power and other "green" initiatives. In September the company bought six German wind farms. Ikea is now the owner of 52 wind turbines after a similar deal involving four French wind farms last year. “We are conscious of our impact on people and the environment, so we feel duty bound to act responsibly in all we do,” chief executive Mikael Ohlsson told the FT.

The retailer has undertaken several other green initiatives in recent years, such as charging a small fee for plastic bags at the checkout registers, urging customers instead to opt for reusable bags. It has also announced plans to phase out incandescent bulbs in its U.S. stores.

Ikea said last month its net profit for the 2009 fiscal year was up 11 percent to 2.5 billion euros (3.43 billion dollars), in a first annual summary of its financial details.

Last Updated (Monday, 01 November 2010 10:40)

 

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