Ikea Unveils Its 'Greenest Store Ever'

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CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Diamond Geezer

Upcycling workshops, electric deliveries and limited parking spaces. What's not to like?

Recently, Ikea revealed that it had already achieved its goal of 100% electric deliveries in Shanghai. But a furniture giant of this size, selling this much stuff, is going to have to go a whole lot further to achieve its goals of becoming 'climate positive' by 2030.

Londoners can now get a better idea of what all such a push might entail because Ikea has just launched its Greenwich store, and it is aiming to put sustainability at its core.

As House Beautiful reports, the new store features solar panels, rainwater harvesting, geothermal heating and LED lighting, but it's where it moves beyond the usual green building trappings that things get interesting. Also on-site is a wildlife park, a rooftop garden and—perhaps most encouragingly—a workshop space where folks can learn about upcycling and prolonging the life of their products. (Remember, Ikea man no longer wants us to throw away old things.)

Of course the store also features deliveries by electric van and cargo bike, and, certain to delight my friend Lloyd, it is openly advertising the fact that it has limited parking available, and that all staff are being asked to commute sustainably.

As with any company its size—or any organization at all, really—countless challenges still remain for Ikea to achieve anything close to true sustainability. But from slashing food waste to embracing plant-based foods, Ikea has already done more than most corporations to think holistically about what its true impact is, and where its power to create change lies. The Greenwich store appears to be a continuation of this thinking, and to emphasize this fact the launch was also marked by Ikea workers taking a vegetarian hot dog stand out into the streets of Greenwich to introduce citizens to the benefits of eating less meat.

That said, for all of the talk of sustainable transportation and limiting car use, locals were reporting some pretty awful traffic conditions on the opening weekend:

But then, as others on Twitter were quick to point out, when has traffic in southeast London ever been anything but bloody awful?