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Sustainability 11 November 2020

IKEA installs cargo bikes to drive change

When more and more customers turn to IKEA in cities for their life at home shopping, suitable transportation solutions are required for urban areas. Germany and Spain are two Ingka Group markets introducing cargo bike rental as a more sustainable transport option in the city centres.

By 2025 Ingka Group will offer 100% of zero emission home deliveries and by 2030, emission from customers travelling to stores and centres will be cut in half. As part of its commitment, Ingka Group has implemented electric vehicles (EV) for deliveries in 19 markets.

“87% of Millennials prefer socially and environmentally conscientious companies, and there has never been a time of greater change for the last mile. But we will not reach our goals under current conditions,” says Angela Hultberg, Head of Sustainable Mobility at Ingka Group.

She is convinced that in a not so distant future, there will be hydrogen solutions and new technology that we don’t even know of yet. 

“But why wait? Cargo bikes already exist, and there will never be only one perfect solution to emission problems. Instead, we must find the best solution for every problem, every market, every business and every community,” says Angela Hultberg.

IKEA Germany’s first cargo bike fleet 

As one step towards reaching the goals, IKEA Germany has purchased electric bike trailers that customers can rent, using a third-party app. 

“The electric bike trailers can be used with the customers’ own bike but can also be pulled by hand – always supported by an electric engine. Cargo bikes can take the narrow roads and reduce pollution of noise and air. It is accessible for the many people and it makes it easier for all of us to act sustainably. It obviously works best in customer meeting points that are well-connected to public transits, and close to where people live and where car ownership rates are low. City centres are predestined!” says Marius Wilhelm Gerz, Sustainability Business Partner at Service Office, IKEA Germany.

Too much to carry sparked change in Spain 

After opening the Goya store in the Madrid city centre, IKEA Spain detected that many people didn’t buy what they wanted – they just couldn’t carry it. Kristien Nuyts, Country Customer Fulfilment Manager, IKEA Spain:

“With cargo bike deliveries, we could offer our clients the possibility to buy what they need and have them delivered at their homes on the following day, in a both sustainable and socially responsible way. The zero-emission delivery is a big challenge, so we need to be creative. To me, cargo bikes can be a perfect solution for parcel deliveries in city centres.”

“Change is happening now” 

Angela Hultberg thinks IKEA needs to work together with the customers to find better ways for them to reach the customer meeting points. She also thinks that companies need to step up quickly: 

“We are on a deadline, and if a company doesn’t get going, today, they will be left behind. Change is happening now.” 

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