IKEA Thanks USA Staff With 12,400 Free Bicycles


Photo: IKEA via Business Wire

IKEA is giving its 12,400 staff, in the USA, an early Holiday present. "We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport," said Mike Ward, IKEA US President. Unlike the 9,000 British employees who, back in 2006, were the beneficiaries of a free folding bike, it looks like American staff have scored a chunkier mountain bike style bicycle.
No official word on whether staff were also given a free allen key / hex tool, and required to self-assemble their new icon of sustainable transport.

Will IKEA USA now follow the lead of the Danish stores and offer customers and staff access to bike trailersr, so they can haul home their flat pack furniture?

IKEA's press release on theh initiative included some of those lovely bicycling statistics we are so fond of at TreeHugger, so we quote:

• Bicycling is an excellent cardio-vascular exercise, which promotes heart health. Just like in any other aerobic workout, bicycling makes your heart pump harder. Also blood circulation increases and eventually, your resting heart rate will decrease. (Helium.com; Benefits of Bicycling by Erich Rosenberger M.D.)

• On average, commuting 10 miles a day by bike in 30 minutes, instead of driving a car burns 110,250 calories (keeping off 30 pounds of fat each year). (Sources: Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, RailstoTrails.org, Fitsugar.com, Adultbicycling.com

• Cycling just 20 miles a week can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. (Sources: Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, RailstoTrails.org, Fitsugar.com, Adultbicycling.com

• Countries with the highest levels of cycling and walking generally have the lowest obesity rates. (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)
For Sustainable living, bicycling also has many benefits.

• Bicycling reduces polluting emissions. A short, four mile round trip by a bike keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. (WorldWatch Institute, www.bicyclinginfo.org)

• In 2001 walking and bicycling accounted for 23 billion miles traveled, worth billions of dollars in fuel savings alone. (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)

• In one year, riding a bike versus owning and driving a car will save an individual $8,000 in gasoline and general car maintenance and insurance costs. (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)


IKEA - USA.

Press releases found spied at Sports One Source (free subscription required) and Business Wire
More IKEA and the Environment
IKEA: Is It Green?
Ikea's Social Initiative Debuts New Wall Hangings
IKEA Meet The Salvation Army - Retail Neighbours
IKEA Admits Sustainability a 'Never-Ending Job' (Part I)
IKEA to Phase-Out Incandescents Starting August 1st, 2010
IKEA Sells Used Furniture (Only in Sweden for Now)
IKEA's Environmental And Social Reports

Tags: Biking | Car-Free | Corporate Responsibility