Biowaste to energy

Biogas production is a sustainable and comprehensive way to utilize biodegradable fractions generated in the operations of an enterprise.

 

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26.03.2019  

IKEA Finland at the core of the circular economy

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The IKEA stores in Finland collaborate with Gasum to produce biogas from their restaurants' food waste. IKEA wants to be a forerunner in sustainability and also set an example to other service companies.

Collaboration in biogas production provides enterprises with new opportunities to improve their sustainability and participate in the circular economy. The collaboration between Gasum and IKEA Finland is one example of this. The companies have produced biogas in cooperation with each other since late 2017. Food waste generated at the restaurants of IKEA stores is used as feedstock to make biogas. Biogas is a clean and 100% renewable fuel.

Food waste powers 25 gas cars for a year

Customers of IKEA Finland have also been able to benefit from the outcomes of the circular economy. In 2017, gas filling stations available to IKEA store customers as well as others driving a gas vehicle were opened in conjunction with the Espoo and Vantaa stores.

IKEA Finland also aims to gradually replace vehicles such as those used by personnel and the IKEA buses with vehicles running on biogas or another environmentally friendly fuel.

The biogas produced from food waste generated at Finland's IKEA stores is enough to power an average of 25 cars for a year.

Efforts are made at IKEA restaurants to reduce food wastage in other ways as well, including by carefully matching the volumes of food prepared to demand rates. The company is happy about being able to utilize any remaining food waste as a fuel.

Purchase decisions impacted by sustainability

IKEA wants to be a forerunner in sustainability, which is also an important business value for the company.

IKEA Finland has surveyed consumer views on sustainability. Conducted by the market research company Taloustutkimus, the survey showed that sustainability plays a role in the purchase decisions of nine in ten respondents. A total of 2,400 people in Finland responded to the survey.

According to IKEA Finland, utilizing food waste is also way of improving customers' opportunities to make more sustainable everyday choices and support the circular economy.

IKEA determined to promote climate positivity and the circular economy

IKEA wants to act sustainably in its own operations and to inspire its customers to live more sustainably.

The company's sustainability objectives include the 2020 target of producing more renewable energy than IKEA consumes globally. This is why IKEA Finland owns a wind farm operating in Kemi and has also invested in four new wind farms in Finland. IKEA stores also utilize geothermal heat and solar power.

Alongside energy self-sufficiency, the company wants to support the circular economy, with the collaboration with Gasum being an important example of this. The Finnish IKEA stores are the first IKEA units in the world to have a gas filling station operating in conjunction with them.

The circular economy is also visible in business operations: the IKEA Finland recycling service enables customers to recycle their kitchen, sofa or mattress. Customers can also bring any IKEA furniture they no longer need to an IKEA store where new homes will be found for the items. The global target set by the IKEA is to only use renewable and recycled materials in its products by 2030.

Cleaner solutions created by circular economy for enterprises and customers
The circular economy provides enterprises with opportunities to operate sustainably and for their customers to increase their environmental efficiency and contribute towards action to curb climate change.

IKEA Finland wants to set an example also to other enterprises that could utilize side streams from their operations as feedstocks for biogas production.

Long-term partnerships in biogas production and the location choices for gas filling stations benefit all those involved. Collaboration also enables the transport partners of enterprises to renew their fleets to run on environmentally friendly biogas.

The range of gas vehicles available is getting broader all the time. The number of gas vehicles is growing strongly in Finland, the Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe. Gas-powered tractor units and gas buses have received a positive welcome on the market.

Renewable biogas is an excellent choice for cooperation

  • Biogas is a clean and 100% renewable fuel. In transport use, biogas helps reduce the fuel's lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85%. Read more about biogas.

  • Biogas is renewable energy produced from waste and side streams. It can be produced from almost any organic matter, such as biowaste, wastewater sludge, wastewater, manure, industry side streams and plant biomass. Only wood-based material is not suitable for feeding into a biogas reactor without processing. Field biomass could be used as feedstock in considerably larger volumes.

  • Biogas production also creates nutrient-rich sludge for agricultural use and organic nutrient products for industrial needs. Using recycled fertilizers reduces the use of conventional artificial fertilizers. In biogas production, feedstocks are transformed into a form that is easier for plants to use.

  • Finnish biogas plants have capacity for the annual production of up to 10 TWh of gas. This would be enough to power around 1 million gas vehicles. So far, less than 10% of this production potential has been utilized.

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