IKEA brings solar LEDs to refugee camps
- 24 February 2014
LONDON: IKEA has partnered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on a new campaign, Brighter Lives for Refugees, which aims to bring solar powered street lights and renewable energy to refugee camps globally.
From February 3 to March 29, IKEA will donate €1 (US$1.37) to UNHCR for every LEDARE brand LED light bulb it sells.
These funds will be used to provide solar-powered street lights, indoor solar lanterns and other renewable energy technologies such as fuel-efficient cooking stoves, to refugee camps in countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Chad, Ethiopia and Jordan.
IKEA is a key corporate partner of The Climate Group and is committed to spreading clean, sustainable energy. In 2013, renewable power accounted for over 25% of its electricity and by 2020, the Scandinavian furniture giant hopes to produce more renewable energy than it consumes.
Through the IKEA Foundation, the company aims to improve the lives of young people in the poorest parts of the world. According to the Foundation, there are currently 10.5 million refugees, half of whom are children. Many children live in camps which are not adequately lit and can be dangerous after nightfall, so the low carbon lighting will have a big impact.
Per Heggenes, IKEA Foundation Chief Executive Officer, commenting on the hazards associated with camp darkness, said: "The absence of powered light limits everyday activities we take for granted, such as sharing a meal or doing your homework. It impacts safety and security and the ability for families to generate an income."
It is hoped that the ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’ campaign will bring an effective renewable lighting solution to the camps, and in doing so contribute to the wellbeing and dignity of refugees.
Separately, The Climate Group is running a similar program called Bijli – Clean Energy for All* in India, which is principally funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. It aims to reduce emissions and enhance the lives of rural inhabitants by deploying renewable energy technologies and improving infrastructure in off-grid communities, over two years.
*Bijli means ‘electricity’ in Hindi.
By Alana Ryan