Image: IKEA

Solar has helped IKEA to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM UK New Construction Post Construction rating at its Greenwich site.

The site was awarded a score of 90.44%, making it the first retail unit in the UK and only the second in the world to receive the sustainability rating with a score of over 90%.

The site has a solar array, as well as other features to increase its sustainability, including the use of renewable construction materials, a geothermal system for heating and cooling, rainwater harvesting and LED lighting.

IKEA has a rich history with solar, most recently as a partnership with Solarcentury, which replaced its previous partnership with Chinese thin-film solar manufacturer Hanergy in 2016. However, the retailer pulled the plug on its solar panel offering after the feed-in tariff came to an end earlier this year.

Hege Sæbjørnsen, country sustainability manager at IKEA UK & Ireland, said the rating was a “prolific milestone” in the retailer’s journey to becoming more sustainable.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and through our combined efforts across the business and in partnership with others, we have been able to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM UK New Construction rating.

“The many new sustainable technologies and initiatives allow us to meet the needs of our customers, whilst staying within the limits of one planet,” he added, saying he hoped the rating would inspire change beyond IKEA.