With sustainable living and helping the environment at the forefront of everyone’s mind today, major businesses are starting adjust their business practices to fall in line with the changing habits of consumers.
The first to completely revolutionise their shopping process could well be Ikea who have opened a new store in Greenwich, London, designed with the environment central to its construction and purpose.
The new sustainable Greenwich store is billed as the furniture giant’s most environmentally friendly store and follows the announcement of the Swedish company’s move to a more sustainable business model.
Inside the unique space visitors are able to experience greywater recycling, rainwater treatment and solar panels – plus a sensory wildlife garden, learning lab and much more.
What is different?
Incorporating renewable materials in its construction, the building is powered by solar panels and has been built with access in mind with it simple to visit by bike, boat or foot. With sustainability at its core, the new store also boasts a rooftop garden and a dedicated wildlife haven for bats, birds and a variety of bugs.
With a solid commitment to reusing, recycling and upcycling, Ikea have also pledged to support the local communities and surrounding environment as well.
Created from a number of renewable materials — such as wooden beams — the store operates using a range of sustainable technologies, including solar panels, which covers more than 75 percent of the rooftop and delivers power to the store.
Glass and skylights are utilised to let natural daylight in and reduce the need for artificial light. In winter months, the store is heated using a smart geothermal system, and in the summer months, cooled via boreholes. Even those typical British rainy days contribute to Ikea’s sustainability ethos, with rainwater being harvested and recycled into the stores day-to-day system.
And, with Zedify bike courier services and Hertz vans on hand to hire, there are many ways to get your purchases home.
Not Just a Store
Ikea’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop with the store itself.
The multinational retailer is aiming to incorporate the local community into its stores as well with the inclusion of a number of in-store installations to educate shoppers differently about sustainability.
The Ikea Learning Lab has also been added, which is an in-store creative hub where upcycling workshops and demonstrations take place for anyone keen to introduce refreshed interiors to their home using furniture they already own.
From bunting-making classes utilising off-cuts of Ikea fabrics, to customisation demos, opportunities to acquire upcycling skills abound.
Those keen to engage with the natural environment are able to experience a rooftop garden which features a variety of plants, selected especially for their air cleansing capabilities. Free for all to use, it can hold 500 people.
Then there’s the rooftop pavilion and hangout spot for friends catching up over coffee, a workstation for those in need of a change of scenery, or a learning area. The space has a capacity of 150 and availability for booking.
As part of its planning application commitments, Ikea Greenwich supports the neighbourhood’s wildlife through the sponsorship of a nearby ecology park, offering a safe and secure habitat for the local flora and fauna to grow and thrive.
The store is also working with three local schools, sharing its sustainable expertise through its Live LAGOM programme. Lagom är bast – a well-known Swedish phrase meaning the right amount is best, and is IKEA’s mantra when it comes to sustainable living.
The new IKEA Greenwich store is open now. For more information on the store and its sustainability, visit Ikea Greenwich.