As I celebrated Earth Hour this year, I recalled the People’s Climate March last September in New York. Around 400,000 people came together, united behind one cause: to urge world leaders to take action on climate change.

That day I met people of all ages and backgrounds, from across the US and around the world. It was a fantastic experience to be among so many people who care about the future of our planet. It was a march for a better future.

Earth Hour is another powerful day. Think about it. Hundreds of millions of people all acting for one hour, all to raise awareness and drive action on climate change. Beyond a symbolic gesture, it is an opportunity for us to collectively consider the different actions we can take to safeguard our climate.

Companies have a vital role to play. That’s why at IKEA we are going all-in to be part of the solution. We’re transitioning to 100% renewable energy and cutting emissions in our supply chain. For us, addressing climate change is a driver of innovation and an opportunity to make our business better.

So far, we’ve committed to invest €1.5 billion in renewable energy to move us towards our 100% goal and have installed over 700,000 solar panels and committed to own and operate 314 wind turbines in nine countries.

There are many other businesses taking bold action now, working together through initiatives such as We Mean Business and RE100 – two partnerships we helped to form to push for action on climate. The RE100 brings together companies like IKEA with commitments to 100% renewable energy – showing that renewable is the energy of choice of forward-looking businesses.

But beyond business, every person has a role to play, and we want to help enable millions of people to live more sustainably. That’s why we are increasing the amount of products that support people to save and generate energy, use less water, reduce waste at home.

It’s about providing affordable products that bring tangible benefits to our customers and our climate, like our solar panel offer. For example, an average UK family can cut their electricity bills in half and after about 7 years they will have paid for themselves and turn sunlight into electricity for free for decades.



I am also excited about the fact that by September 2015 we will only sell LED lighting. It just makes sense – for our customers and the environment. LEDs use 85% less energy than conventional lighting and last up to 20 years. Imagine the difference we could make, not to mention the energy we could save, if everyone participating in Earth Hour switched to LEDs before turning back on the lights?


As Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA I am lucky to work alongside 147,000 dedicated co-workers. But companies can’t do it alone. Policy leadership is crucial to accelerate business innovation and investment. All eyes will be watching world leaders as they come together at the COP21 meeting in Paris in December. With bold actions from governments and business, and the many small changes we can all make by using our power to address local climate issues with WWF’s Earth Hour, together we can build a low-carbon society and prosperous future for all. 

Watch Steve's video and post your questions in the comments section!

© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2015

climate change, ikea, led lights