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19 Apr 2018

IKEA’s Nina Fall, Deputy Sustainability Manager and Christian Westerberg, Engineering Manager, explains how BREEAM supports environmental and sustainability work.

At IKEA, durability is an integral part of everything we do and we want it to be a natural part of the daily work of all employees. We have an ambitious sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive, that tells us that we want a positive impact on the environment and people. For us to have this, it is of utmost importance for us to change and improve our way of working with product development, but also about our department stores and premises.

In accordance with our People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy, we have decided that all new IKEA Group buildings will be positioned, designed, equipped and deployed to be the most sustainable IKEA buildings at the time. As such, all new IKEA department stores and buildings will be built in accordance with BREEAM-SE, giving us a tool to measure the improvements we make in our endeavour to build more sustainably all the time.

In our ambition for relocating the current department store in Kållered to a new building, the store is required to be certified according to BREEAM-SE Very Good classification.

Green meeting places provide both well-being and clean energy

The IKEA Group’s global office, Hubhult, in Malmö was opened in September 2015 and achieved the highest BREEAM classification – Outstanding. The building is self-sufficient through solar panels on the roof and geo-energy, but also our own renewable energy. In total we have 1,482 square meters of solar cells, according to estimates, the solar cells will generate about 226 MWh.

Hubhult Full

Under Hubhult there is a geothermal plant that works similarly to the geothermal heat from a mountain, the difference is that the groundwater in the geothermal plant is used for heat and cooling. Today, all our department stores and premises are powered by renewable energy from IKEA’s own wind power plants. We produce more electricity than we consume in the Nordic region, which has been a significant milestone in sustainability for us at IKEA. In the future we plan to construct several smaller greenhouses and a garden outside Hubhult.

The office is a modern property that we want to live up to the highest expectations for a sustainable office. We are pleased to note that we reached our goal of certifying the Hubhult office according to BREEAM Outstanding.

A proven system that provides lower operating costs

The main reasons why the IKEA Group chose to use just BREEAM-SE as a tool is that BREEAM has been on the market for a long time and is therefore one of the most tested and experienced certification system. In addition, it is internationally well-known and flexible enough to be used in many different countries, yet still offering comparability.

We feel that we are getting higher quality and lower operating costs on our properties due to the requirement of BREEAM. The certification system also offers credibility to our work because the buildings are evaluated by an independent third party.

Text: Nina Fall, Deputy Sustainability Manager and Christian Westerberg, Engineering Manager at IKEA


Take a look at some of the most sustainable buildings in the world on the BREEAM Case Studies.


About the Author
Sweden Green Building Council is one of the leading organisations on sustainable built environment in Sweden, with more than 300 members working in its domain. Together we influence and promote the transformation of local buildings toward a sustainable society where people can live, work and play.

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