Starting this Fall shoppers at IKEA stores across California will be able to pick up some solar panels along with their cheap and nominally comfortable (but stylish) beds, chairs, bookshelves, and other various and sundries.
IKEA is partnering with the U.S. solar panel retailer SunPower to pitch solar panels to members of the Swedish company's customer loyalty program.
“The launch of Home Solar with IKEA will allow more people to take greater control of their energy needs, and our goal is to offer the clean energy service at additional IKEA locations in the future," said Javier Quiñones, the chief executive and chief sustainability officer of IKEA U.S.
Home Solar with IKEA is part of a new push by a number of furniture and home improvement retailers to get in on the renewable energy craze.
Late last year, Home Depot partnered with SunRun to bring home solar and energy storage services to locations in 15 states including California.
“Americans are united in their desire for clean, renewable energy," said Sunrun co-founder and chief executive, Lynn Jurich, in an October statement announcing the partnership. "Sunrun’s solar service and Brightbox give people the freedom to create their own energy, contribute to healthier communities, and support a safer, more resilient energy system for everyone.”
At IKEA, the decision to go with SunPower's panels is that latest in a series of moves aimed to increase the fast-furniture retailers climate bona fides.
IKEA has developed 2 wind farms, 2 solar farms, 2 geothermal systems, seven biogas-fuel cells and rooftop solar arrays on 90% of its locations.
The company also launched a Buy Bank & Resell service at 37 locations, where used furniture is sold in the "as-is" section of stores.
Still, the company has a long way to go -- especially as the head of IKEA's home furnishings parent company has been quoted saying, “greenwashing is less dangerous than silence.”
“I’m of the strong opinion that greenwashing is less dangerous than silence,” Jesper Brodin, chief executive officer of Swedish home-furnishings giant Ikea and Ingka Holding, told Bloomberg in an interview last year. “We need to bring hope to people, we need to be accountable for actions we take and we need to tell people what we’ve done.”
For SunPower's chief executive, Peter Faricy, the most important aspect of the deal is getting new solar products in front of a broader group of would-be buyers.
“We are thrilled to deliver exceptional solar products to IKEA customers through a unique and simplified buying experience,” said Peter Faricy, SunPower CEO. “Together with IKEA, we can help introduce the incredible benefits of solar to more people and deliver on our shared value of making a positive impact on the planet.”