25 March 2010

IKEA teams up with WWF to encourage Earth Hour participation

International home products retailer IKEA is using WWF’s Earth Hour as an opportunity to encourage people to enact eco-friendly changes to support the reduction of climate change.

"At IKEA, we recognize that our business will be successful only if there is a sustainable management of resources to source and produce our products," says Thomas Bergmark, Sustainability Manager for IKEA. "Earth Hour is an opportunity to remind everyone that we - and everyone - must take steps in order to stop climate change. With 123,000 co-workers and 525 million visitors to IKEA stores annually, we can make a great impact by raising awareness of the possibilities we all have to make a change.”

During this year’s Earth Hour, March 27 at 8:30 p.m. local time, select IKEA stores around the globe will turn off all non-essential exterior and interior lighting, in addition to offering a range of Earth Hour themed activities for customers. Among the activities, some IKEA stores will offer "solar-powered-lit" dinners, distribute free candles to customers, sponsor customer and co-worker competitions, as well as post tips on the IKEA U.S. Facebook page to highlight climate change and ways to positively impact it.

"Never has there been a more important time or better opportunity for the people of the world to stand up and take the matter of climate change into their own hands. Earth Hour brings together communities, businesses and individuals to show world leaders and, more importantly, show each other, that a resolution to global warming is possible if we work on it together. IKEA is helping to lead the way for positive action," says Co-Founder and Executive Director of Earth Hour, Andy Ridley.

IKEA provides the following everyday tips to help reduce climate change:
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs w/ energy-efficient CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs). If every IKEA customer replaced one ordinary 60-watt bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1 million people.
  • Plant a tree to help reduce CO2 emissions.
  • Change to energy efficient appliances; If 1% of IKEA households replaced their 10-year-old fridge with a new, energy-efficient A class refrigerator, approximately 200 gigawatt hours of energy per year would be saved. This is enough to power 40,000 homes with electricity.
  • Dishwashers save water and energy. Washing dishes by hand can use up to one gallon of water for 12 place settings.
  • Learn to reduce waste and recycle. If 1% of IKEA customers (1.7 million people) avoided food waste and the use of plastic bottles and plastic bags, their actions would result in 212,850 fewer tons of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to taking 38,700 cars off the road.
  • Recycling one ton of glass avoids the use of 1.2 tons of raw material. Even after transportation and processing, recycling glass prevents nearly 317 kg of CO2 per ton of new glass.
  • Households throw away aluminum, paper, glass, plastic and other materials that could be reused, or which contain energy that could be recovered.
  • Almost one third of all energy is consumed at home to heat space and heat water. Keep all those lights and appliances turned off when not in use.
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Photo Credit: IKEA