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Ikea president to keynote Retail Sustainability Conference

President of Ikea USA Mike Ward is scheduled to keynote this year’s Retail Sustainability Conference, which will run from Monday, Sept. 30 to Thursday, Oct. 3 in Orlando, Fla. 

Ward will discuss, in part, how Ikea plans to use sustainability to drive innovation and shape investments. Ikea is no stranger to sustainability. Globally, Ikea evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs.

This week, the company plugged in the solar energy system installed at its distribution center in Perryville, Md. The 768,972-sq.-ft. PV array consists of a 2,674.9-kW system, built with 18,576 panels, and is the state’s largest rooftop array.

Ward will also address Ikea’s latest sustainability strategy, dubbed "People & Planet Positive." 

RILA's Retail Sustainability Conference is the only event of its kind that brings together sustainability executives in marketing and communications, real estate and facilities, merchandising and sourcing and compliance to discuss sustainability challenges and strategies. 

Last year, more than 400 retail and product manufacturer executives, along with innovative solution providers, participated in the Retail Sustainability Conference.