Ikea to set aside $2 billion for renewable energy

The leading global furniture retailer Ikea has set aside 1.5 billion Euros, in an effort to get 70 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015. It’s shooting for complete renewable energy sourcing by 2020. The retailer already has 43 megawatts of solar and 180 megawatts of wind power either operating or under construction.

In the U.S. Walmart has gained kudos from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) for its leading role as a generator of solar power, having 65 megawatts of installed capacity powering its stores. This stuff’s beginning to remind me of India and how the major corporations there generate their own power, albeit often using dirty resources like coal and petroleum sources. But companies like Walmart and Ikea are taking to the sustainability game with surprising zeal.

Ikea’s CEO Mikael Ohlsson told Bloomberg, “By producing as much renewable energy as we use through the system, we contribute to development in society and make ourselves even more competitive.” I still have a hard time believing that retailers will get that much of a branding bump from being known as sustainable businesses. But I think that it becomes a lot of little things adding up to the decision to source renewables. It’s a bit of branding improvement (good PR), some internal morale improvements for employees, a hedge against grid energy pricing (often coal or natural gas), and insurance against grid outages, which are seemingly more common in the developed world than one would think. Throw in cash rich business like Walmart and Ikea and sooner or later, you get to yes on renewable energy.

IKEA to sell only LEDs by 2016

IKEA says it will only sell LED lighting by 2016, and will give up all other less efficient forms of lighting. The news follows IKEA phasing out incandescent lighting, getting rid of plastic bags, and putting solar panels on its rooftops.

Ikea TV goes on sale in Europe, comes with DVR add-on

Ikea’s Uppleva TV is starting to pop up in some of the furniture chain’s European stores, and there are some additional technical details available as well, including that the device will offer some basic DVR functionality to consumers that buy add-on flash storage.

Ikea TV will let you buy stuff with its remote control

Ikea’s new Uppleva TV sets will make it possible to order things you see during a commercial break simply by pressing a few buttons on your remote control. This kind of technology could one day be used to sell Ikea goods to Uppleva owners.

New video: Ikea TV comes with slide-out remote control

Ikea’s Uppleva TV set will arrive in stores in Europe any day now, and the company just revealed a few more details about the design and functionality of the device. One interesting fact: Uppleva will come with a slide-out remote control to hide less important buttons.

Ikea TV to run YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion apps

Ikea’s Uppleva TV solution, which combines a Smart TV with living room furniture, will launch in select retail locations in Europe next month. Some of the apps available on the device at launch will offer access to services like YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and TuneIn radio.

Introducing: The new eco label “WindMade”

Eco labels have worked well in some cases, such as organic food, but will they work for renewable energy? The wind energy industry thinks so and proposed a program Wednesday to encourage companies to invest in wind and display their eco-friendly cred.

Easy to Assemble Stuck On a Slow Plane to Sweden

[show=easytoassemble size=large]When the second season of Illeana Douglas’s IKEA-sponsored Easy to Assemble premiered last fall on My Damn Channel, it promised fans a unique bit of interactivity: The big climax of the season, in which Illeana (who plays herself) and her nemesis Justine (Justine Bateman) vied for the honor of Co-Worker of the Year, was determined by a public vote.

And the results of said vote have come out this week as part of the three-episode miniseries event Easy to Assemble: Flying Solo. Approximately 20 minutes total, the series, which premiered yesterday, reveals who won the contest while also chronicling the IKEA team’s long flight to IKEA’s homeland. For, while technically the winner, Illeana is being accompanied to Sweden by all of her co-workers where she will, as usual, be upstaged by Justine at every turn.

Watching the complete miniseries, all three episodes of which were made available for review, brought out both the best and the worst of Easy to Assemble as a whole. Read More about Easy to Assemble Stuck On a Slow Plane to Sweden