Brighter Lives for Refugees, Strengthen Brand
Sustainable Development Goals:
#1 No Poverty
#7 Affordable & Clean Energy
#8 Decent Work & Economic Growth
#10 Reduced Inequalities
#11 Sustainable Cities & Communities
#13 Climate Action
Enhance brand value with key stakeholders
Create competitive advantage
IKEA is a values-driven company with a passion for life at home. IKEA promotes sustainability and social impact through a multitude of initiatives in energy, resources, people, and community campaigns.
Since January 2015, more than one million refugees have entered Europe trying to create a better everyday life for themselves and families in Europe. The majority of refugee camps lack basic livable means, such as clean water and access to reliable resources like electricity. For two and a half years, Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp lived with sporadic access to electricity in a desert environment with hot summers and harsh winters. Lack of electricity is a daily challenge, making basic activities such as cooking, washing the clothes, studying or walking safely to the washroom at night difficult, especially for women and children.
IKEA Foundation, through their Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign, partnered with UNHCR, a global organization dedicated to providing renewable energy sources to refugees and their host communities. Through this partnership, Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp became the first to be powered by renewable energy.
The 2-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant offers affordable and sustainable electricity to 20,000 Syrian refugees living in almost 5,000 shelters in Azraq camp. The solar farm will result in immediate savings of $1.5 million per year and will reduce CO2 emissions by 2,370 tons per year. The solar plant, costing 8.75 million Euros, is entirely funded by the IKEA Foundation through the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign that raised 30.8 million Euro for UNHCR projects.
In addition to renewable energy and cost savings, the project offers an income opportunity to over 50 refugees who are trained and employed to help build the solar farm.
“Today marks a milestone. Lighting up the camp is not only a symbolic achievement; it provides a safer environment for all camp residents, opens up livelihoods opportunities, and gives children the chance to study after dark. Above all, it allows all residents of the camps to lead more dignified lives,”
- Kelly T. Clements, UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner