Sustainable Triumph: IKEA’s Pioneering Approach to Waste Reduction and Food Wastes Solutions in UAE

January 3, 2024

DUBAI, UAE — IKEA Jebel Ali, one of IKEA’s largest stores in the United Arab Emirates, spanning 35,000 square meters, has taken significant strides in its commitment to sustainability by installing an LFC-300 biodigester. This groundbreaking initiative, mirrored by another installation at a sister store in Abu Dhabi, marks a pivotal moment in Dubai’s retail landscape.

The Jebel Ali location, situated within the Festival Plaza Mall and part of the Wasl Gate residential development, has seamlessly integrated the biodigester into its multifaceted establishment, comprising a market hall, bakery, café, restaurant, food store, kids’ play area, and a warehouse.

In a parallel initiative, IKEA Yas Island Abu Dhabi, located on a remote facility in the sprawling leisure destination of Yas Island, also embraced the LFC-300 biodigester to enhance waste management practices. Together, these installations at the two largest Ikea stores in the MEA region, IKEA Jebel Ali and IKEA Yas Island, have collectively diverted an impressive 66 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere within just two months of operation.

IKEA Becomes First Global Company to Halve Food Waste

In tandem with the global call to action outlined in Target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, IKEA has emerged as a leader in the reduction of food loss and waste. Aligned with the World Research Institution’s (WRI) 10x20x30 initiative, IKEA joined forces with other major food retailers to activate a network of suppliers committed to halving food loss and waste by 2030.

In 2022, IKEA’s largest retailer, Ingka group, celebrated a remarkable 54% reduction in food waste across its iconic restaurants in 32 markets. This achievement, equivalent to saving over 20 million meals, not only contributes to environmental preservation by avoiding 36,000 tonne of greenhouse gas emissions annually but also results in substantial cost savings, amounting to $37 million for IKEA each year.

Food Waste Solutions and Evaluations

The choice of the LFC biodigester as a waste management solution for IKEA Jebel Ali was the outcome of a thorough evaluation process led by IKEA Al Futtaim and their operations team. The team explored various waste management solutions, including composters, dehydrators, and digesters, before selecting the LFC biodigester from Power Knot. The LFC biodigester operates as an onsite food waste solution, converting organic waste into water.

Its cost-effectiveness, low environmental impact, simplicity, ease of use, and superior build quality, as demonstrated through onsite demonstrations, made it the ideal choice for a bustling location like IKEA Jebel Ali.

The LFC biodigester at IKEA Yas Island is also used to manage food waste generated by the cafe, restaurant, and grocery market on premise. This eliminates the need for waste transportation from Yas Island, reducing associated costs and environmental impact.

IKEA’s comprehensive strategy not only aligns with city ordinances and corporate sustainability goals but also exemplifies a holistic and scalable approach to reducing food waste.

IKEA’s comprehensive strategy utilizing the LFC biodigester showcases a holistic and scalable approach to reducing food waste, contributing not only to global sustainability goals but also embodying the positive impact on the environment, society, and the company’s financial success. As a trailblazer, IKEA sets a commendable example for businesses worldwide, urging them to integrate innovative and efficient solutions for a more sustainable future.

Staff from Ikea and Power Knot Middle East pose at the newly installed LFC biodigester in IKEA Jebel Ali