Talanoa Stories: IKEA Group on its low-carbon journey so farKarol Gobczyński, Climate & Energy Manager at IKEA Group
Karol Gobczyński, Climate & Energy Manager at IKEA Group, shared his experience of growing up with his electrician father in a small town in the borderland between Poland and Lithuania, as part of the Talanoa Dialogue at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn this May.
“My name is Karol Gobczyński, born in a small town in the borderland between Poland and Lithuania. My father is an electrician. Growing up, I thought energy and everything around it was about as boring as it gets. Today, I am the Climate and Energy Manager of IKEA Group.”
“So how did it happen? My IKEA journey started in Poland. Working with suppliers of IKEA furniture, I saw how bold commitments to energy efficiency and carbon emission reductions empowered co-workers to be more entrepreneurial and innovative.”
“After becoming Climate and Energy Manager of IKEA Poland, I also had the possibility of being part of our investments in wind farms, which lead to IKEA Poland generating more renewable energy than the energy used in all IKEA branded operations in the country.”
“Since 2009, IKEA Group has invested €1.7 billion in renewable energy globally, and now we own and operate more wind turbines than stores. Almost half of our stores have solar PV installations, reducing our electricity costs and carbon footprint. By 2020, we will generate more renewable energy than we consume in our operations.”
“IKEA Group also offers customers affordable home solar systems in five markets, giving people the opportunity to be part of a low-carbon movement. Returning to my childhood hometown, today my parents pay five times less for heating and electricity than the average house owner thanks to energy efficiency, home solar installations and zero-emission heating.”
“So where are we going? The latest step on my IKEA journey, was preparing the IKEA Group science-based targets, and mobilising the people and resources needed to reach them. These targets will challenge us even more to work in new ways, and will drive innovation and renewal in our business.”
“And we are not alone. There are more than 400 companies that have committed to or have already set science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.”
“Business is enhancing ambitions, and can do even more with the right policies in place. I share with you this story to show that the transition to a low-carbon economy is not only a challenge, but something which will bring new opportunities. The low-carbon economy is boosting investment and innovation. It’s inclusive, and will create meaningful work.”
“Going back to my dad, today he is empowering other people through sharing his knowledge about energy efficiency, installing solar panels and creating sustainable jobs.”
“All parts of society – governments, business and civil society – have a role to play in the transition to the low-carbon future we want. So let’s turn climate challenges into opportunities at COP24 in Katowice.”
IKEA Group is a member of the RE100 initiative, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, and a member of the EV100 initiative, also led by The Climate Group. The company has also committed to responsible corporate engagement in climate policy and to reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions.