IKEA has finally opened in Reading, the store has the grand title of “the most sustainable store in the UK”.
Although store manger, Johanna Heuren adds it is “the most sustainable store in the UK, to date” as IKEA is always pushing to make each of its stores greener than the last.
For now IKEA Reading boasts a host of eco-features, including electric car charging points, rain water harvesting and ground source heating.
IKEA staff will tell you the idea of sustainability is built into the heart of everything the brand does, from the design of its buildings to the creation of its products- for example its water-saving taps.
The brand even favoured the design of its IKEA PS watering can because it is stackable and so can be transported more efficiently.
IKEA Reading also includes roof lights and more windows than you might find in other IKEAs, this means less energy is wasted lighting the cavernous interior of the store and warehouse.
Johanna said: “Roof lights help us reduce electricity. They are amazing, something very special in the IKEA Reading and there are a lot of windows in the store.”
IKEA is also a promoter of LED bulbs. The only bulbs you can buy in store are LED and the whole store is lit by them.
Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability at IKEA in UK and Ireland, bet people they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between some of their LEDs and the older filament bulbs.
The 32,000 square metre store has installed eco-friendly ground source heating to keep shoppers warm.
Ground source heating produces less CO2 than traditional systems and can use much less energy to provide the same amount of heat as a gas or oil heating system.
IKEA Reading has its own four-storey car park with 1,000 parking spaces, six are reserved for electric cars which can be recharged free while the drivers pick up a Hemnes coffee table.
The Swedish furniture giant has teamed up with Reading Buses in another effort to keep the store’s carbon footprint down.
For the first week the store opens, until Saturday, July 14, a free shuttle bus from Tilehurstwill take passengers right to IKEA.
Johanna said: “They will stop just outside the entrance, encouraging people to travel to us more sutainably.”
Rain water harvesting is also being used in store to provide water for toilets and cleaning, reducing the amount of water the store consumes.
Johanna said: “Rain water for toilets and cleaning, the only [mains] water we buy is for food, cooking, drinking and dishes.”
All of this is even before the solar panels go up. IKEA Reading’s roof will be fitted with solar panels in the next few weeks.