Ikea’s Eco Energy Subscription Furthers Sustainability Push
With this month’s IPCC findings reasserting the urgency of the climate crisis, from September 2021, Ikea is moving into the role of ‘brand as service provider’ by selling renewable energy – as a subscription service – to households in its native Sweden. The move aligns with the company’s goal to become ‘climate positive’ by 2030.
Tapping into eco-conscious consumers’ demand to decarbonise their energy supplies, the service, called Strömma, will allow households to purchase energy from solar and wind parks via Ikea for a fixed monthly fee, plus a variable rate depending on usage (exact prices to be confirmed). Users can track their usage through a dedicated app, which also allows owners of Ikea solar panels to sell back surplus energy.
To do so, Ikea has partnered with Swedish energy company Svea Solar and European power exchange Nord Pool (which owns the wind and solar parks), and is selling power on to consumers without surcharges. Ikea plans to expand Strömma globally to create the “world’s biggest renewable energy movement” whilst reducing the 10 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) it generates each year through lighting, heating and cooling its buildings.
Strömma shows an awareness of the precarious role retailers play in the climate crisis, as consumers become increasingly concerned with how to consume less, or more efficiently. It also ties into Ikea’s long-standing eco agenda, which spans recommerce (see Rebooting Recommerce), environmentally friendly store design (see Sustainable Store Design, 2021) and even the semiotics of sustainability itself (see Reframing Frugality, publishing on September 20).
This month, Ikea also launched a ‘Home Experience of Tomorrow’ concept store in Shanghai, China. It will host sustainability workshops and features a repair space where customers can bring old Ikea products to be fixed.
To see how fellow Swedish retail giant H&M is also focusing on generating revenue via subscriptions rather than product mark-up, see Singular Society: H&M’s Subscription-Based Retail Model.