IKEA
IKEA flags outside storeReuters

Swedish furniture manufacturer Ikea and its non-profit arm Ikea Foundation have committed a sum of €1bn (£730m, $1.13bn) to combating climate change.

They announced a €600m commitment to renewable energy, building on previous investments of €1.5bn in wind and solar energy sources in the past six years.

The company said it currently has 700,000 solar panels on its own buildings and 314 wind turbines in operation. IKEA said it would invest €500m in wind energy and €100m in solar energy before 2020.

"Climate change is one of the biggest challenges and we need bold commitments and actions to find a solution," chief executive Peter Agnefjall said.

"That's why we are going all-in to transform our business, to ensure that it is fit for the future and we can have a positive impact."

The €600m is almost 20% of the company's last reported full-year revenue.

The Ikea Foundation, which usually focuses on humanitarian issues, will invest €400m in communities and families most affected by climate change.

Jamie Clarke, executive director of environmental charity Climate Outreach, said the charity was very pleased that such a big name has raised the issue of climate change.

"It is great that someone who raises this at such a level also backs it up with funding," Clarke said. "It's a great development to see businesses picking this up and it not just being the environmentalists who speak about climate change."

Clarke added that the investment sends a significant message to other businesses and governments that climate change should be taken seriously. He also said that the way the money is distributed seems like the right way to go about investing in the environment.

Solar energy is a source increasingly used for electricity and it is thought to be one of the most useful and sustainable ways to generate energy.