Ikea to be self-sufficient

Wired has a great article about Ikea's efforts to create as much electricity as they consume by 2020:

The target seems achievable, considering the 342,000 solar panels on its outlets and factories already generate 27 percent of its total energy. Add to that the fact that Ikea has wind farms in six countries across Europe and the fact that, since 2009, it has already invested half of that €1.5 billion figure, and it looks like the long-term strategy has been in the works for some time.

It's a cool headline, but apparently it's only one of the many ways Ikea is trying to minimize its environmental impact.  They also buy half their wood from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a nonprofit which works to vouchsafe responsible logging -- and, they plant a tree for every one they use in production.

They're also looking into recycling people's kitchen fixtures:

"Some things are best recycled by local authorities," Ikea's chief sustainability officer Steve Howard told the Financial Times, "but others, we can help, like kitchens, wardrobes, mattresses. Maybe we could have low-cost leasing of kitchens and see a product offering become a service one. We want a smarter consumption, and maybe people are less attached to ownership". Ikea would presumably have to slash the cost of its kitchens significantly to make this a reality -- it's unlikely anyone would intend on having their kitchen gutted a few years after installation, and the next homeowners would not be too pleased. But it's an interesting model, nonetheless.