My 11th floor office window looks out onto the Mall of America and Ikea. Not a particularly attractive view, but Ikea just got a few more bonus points in my mind.
The retailer generally has a good reputation among consumers: good products at a fair price from a company that treats its workers well. But now there's another reason to be excited: Over the next five years, Ikea plans to invest $75 million in cleantech start-ups that focus on solar power, lighting, sustainable materials, energy efficiency, and water conservation.
And they're not just investing for the fun of it: Ikea wants these start-ups to have their products ready for commercial sale in a 3-5 year time frame. That means solar panels or smart meters could soon be coming to an Ikea near you. The company plans to be "very active" on the boards of the firms they fund to help commercialize products as quickly and efficiently as possible.
via Cleantech Group