IKEA Canada Announces Electric Vehicle Last Mile Delivery [Interview]

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IKEA Canada is partnering with Second Closet and Lion Electric for last-mile delivery in the Greater Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver markets using zero-emission electric vehicle trucks.

The IKEA and Second Closet co-branded, five-tonne EV trucks will service last-mile deliveries for IKEA locations in Boucherville, QC, Etobicoke, ON, and Richmond, BC beginning in the fall of 2021. 

“Electrifying our last-mile delivery service is an important step in our journey to become climate positive by 2030, especially with the rapid acceleration of our online business over the past year,” said Michael Ward, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Canada. “We are pleased to work with Second Closet and Lion Electric, two great Canadian innovators, to support us in meeting our customers with people and planet in mind.”

Second Closet is a technology-enabled logistics and last-mile delivery provider based out of Toronto. It has submitted a purchase order to Lion Electric, a leading provider of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles, for 15 Lion6 heavy-duty zero-emission trucks.

Mark Ang, CEO and Co-Founder of Second Closet, said a key area of focus for the company is ensuring both the quality and sustainability of its processes. 

“We’re super excited to be taking this next step in the journey. It’s an important one and as a newer company it’s kind of on us to change the landscape. So hopefully this helps have an avalanche effect,” he said. 

The company was launched in April 2017.

IKEA and Second Closet co-branded five tonne EV trucks. Photo: CNW Group/IKEA Canada

The company is focusing now on adding value to its enterprise clients where it stores and fulfills their finished goods and their business products.

“We’re a full end-to-end tech-enabled fulfilment house where we will store finished goods like a Shopify merchant, take the package and ship that product to an end-user or we will store like a large sofa and deliver it with our last-mile fleet for companies like IKEA or other larger furniture retailers,” said Ang.

“We consider ourselves to be a very young company in terms of our age and stages of business. But our team and our mindset and our energy is more youthful than the typical half-century-old logistics company. We’ve grown up in a society where we’ve seen climate change and global warming become a bigger impact on society. That’s been a topic in school. That’s something we can read about today. It’s shocking to me there’s still deniers and there’s people that are dragging their feet at acting quickly and swiftly.

“For me, as we become more successful and as our skill grows, we were on a path to just be consuming an ungodly amount of fossil fuels and emitting emissions, having greenhouse gas emissions on a daily basis and it just didn’t really feel right to be doing that. We shouldn’t consume more than we provide and I think we can probably be in a position where we are carbon neutral or carbon positive in that business. So electric vehicles were an important step in that direction in the sense that one of our core operating mechanisms are trucks and are fully electric. We wanted to be able to grow the business in a progressive manner both from a scale perspective but also from a climate and health and earth conscious perspective.”

IKEA is committed to 100 percent zero-emission deliveries by 2025. The company said its relationship with Second Closet will enable the retailer to achieve 20 percent of its ambitious zero emission delivery goals. The retailer said it is committed to reaching its 2030 goal to become a circular and climate positive business by reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than the IKEA value chain emits while growing the IKEA business at the same time.

In 2020, IKEA Canada completed over 500,000 home deliveries, a 30 percent increase from 2019.

IKEA has 14 stores in Canada. Last year, it had 22.9 million visitors to its stores and 178.4 million visitors to IKEA.ca and the IKEA app. 

“Overall as a business we have a goal to be 100 percent circular and climate positive by 2030. So not just closing the loop of our business but also reducing our emissions by 80 percent as a whole operation and as part of that climate positive goal we have the aim to provide 100 per cent EV delivery and services by 2025. This announcement was the first big step in the IKEA Canada journey to be able to fulfill that commitment for our market,” said IKEA Sustainability Manager Melissa Barbosa, adding that the home furnishing retailer has a responsibility to positively impact people and the planet.

“As a global organization we feel it’s important to do what we can to reduce those emissions . . . EV is just one part of that. We are doing a lot when it comes to our actual operations in terms of building more sustainably and reducing emissions by investing in renewable energy projects as well. This is just one area. We know that more and more customers are looking for home delivery as an option for purchasing their goods. We know that this is a transition we need to make to be able to reduce those emissions and be the climate positive business that we’re aiming to be.”

She said Canadian consumers are being much more selective these days of the brands they’re choosing. They want to ensure that brands are responsible, sustainable, while maintaining affordability and that they’re having a positive impact on people and climate.

“We know it’s what our consumers want. We know that’s the right thing to do as a business. As we see these kind of purchasing habits shifting and more demand to have at home delivery, this is one of the really customer facing ways we can show that we are a responsible business by being able to provide . . . 20 per cent of our delivery and services in Canada with EV vehicles.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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