Ikea to switch UK fleet to lower emission hybrids

IKEAIkea is to move its entire UK company car fleet to low emission hybrid vehicles as part of its bid to cut carbon emissions.

In the first phase of its hybrid vehicle initiative, Ikea UK, part of the Swedish home furnishings company, will buy up to 50 Honda Civic Hybrid cars, with further deliveries expected in 2008. The Honda Civic Hybrid offers fuel consumption of more than 60 miles per gallon and CO2 emissions of 109g/km which is below the European Union target of 120g/km.

The switch is part of the company’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 2010 worldwide by 9%.

Tim Lunel, chief executive of the National Energy Foundation, said: “[Now] there needs to be a step change where all employees of a company play their part in reducing emissions. Through these initiatives, Ikea with its high brand recognition will be playing a leading role in making this change happen. It is fantastic that Ikea is helping its workers to reduce emissions both from their homes and from their cars.”

Ikea UK will also distribute almost 60,000 low energy light bulbs to its 9,600 workers in its ‘bulb for life’ give-away. The package contains six energy saving light bulbs which can be returned for a replacement when they stop working. It is estimated that the bulbs could save more than £400,000 per year on the total energy bills of the UK workforce and each pack of six bulbs will save approximately one tonne of CO2 being emitted in their lifetime – the equivalent to five plane journeys between London and Edinburgh.

Charlie Browne, environment manager at Ikea UK, said: “In these two latest initiatives we are again showing how a series of small steps can build to make a real difference to our environment and how we live.”

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Marks & Spencer last week announced plans to fulfil point five of its five year £200m Plan A eco-strategy which commits to: introducing a green company car policy to reduce average CO2 emissions. The retailer announced that once contracts have run out on existing company cars, the company will only offer diesel or hybrid car options, or cash which employees can use to opt for even greener vehicles.