How is IKEA using BIOFUELS?

29 August 2021

Chem Chat

The world-famous home furnishing company IKEA, which is headquartered in Sweden, has made headlines in the UAE by switching to biofuels in its delivery vehicles. The move is expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 90% and serve as part of the company’s overall strategy to achieve emission-free deliveries within four years.

As a readily available alternative to diesel which requires no special adaptations or mechanical upgrades to the vehicles it powers, biofuel is a quick and easy way for private businesses and individuals to slash their carbon footprint. The myriad ways in which biofuels have changed over time mean that they can now be manufactured from a wide variety of sources, offering versatility and fuel security going forwards.

IKEA leading by example

After opening the doors of its first Emirati store in 1991, IKEA has gone on to become a hugely popular brand in the country and elsewhere. Since 2008, it has enjoyed the prestige of being the largest furniture retailer anywhere on the planet. For such a multinational and influential company to make real strides towards improving its environmental profile is a positive step towards a greener tomorrow.

Having already indicated that they are aiming to achieve carbon-free deliveries by 2025, IKEA UAE have now taken concrete steps towards achieving that goal by using biofuels in their delivery fleet. Now, all goods which depart the Jebel Ali port to distribution hubs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai use Neutral Fuels B100 Net Zero Biofuel instead of diesel.

The change has been as effective as it was immediate. “Discovering the ease with which we could switch to biofuel was a happy revelation for us,” explained Farjad Shah, the company’s sustainability developer in the country. “From one refuelling to the next, we exchanged dirty fossil fuel for clean, green biofuel without any modifications at all. We immediately became part of the solution to climate change rather than continuing as part of the problem.”

A quick fix with long-lasting consequences

Indeed, the simplicity and speed of the transition from diesel to biofuels is not peculiar to IKEA UAE. The fact that the vast majority of existing internal combustion engines can handle biofuels without being upgraded or modified makes it a straightforward step that virtually anyone can undertake today.

According to Karl Feilder, CEO of Neutral Fuels, the cumulative effect of every diesel car owner doing so would monumental. An immediate and outsized impact upon greenhouse gas emissions would become apparent, which is why Feilder is so appreciative of the efforts made by IKEA and so optimistic that others may now follow suit.

However, for such changes to be truly realised on a sweeping scale, Feilder believes it must fall to governments and regulatory bodies to mandate a switch to biofuels. Top-down legislation is often the way in which meaningful change can be realised – and with a subject as serious as climate change and the future of our planet at stake, its introduction is required now more than ever.

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