IKEA Uses Rainwater: Richmond, BC

Ikea: Richmond, British Columbia - project information

In the autumn of 2018, the Ikea store in Richmond, BC, Canada embarked on a significant endeavor to enhance its rainwater harvesting system. Initially established in 2012 primarily for toilet and urinal flushing, this marked Ikea’s early venture into sustainable water management. However, driven by advancements in rainwater harvesting technology and mounting concerns surrounding water conservation, stormwater management, and water scarcity, Ikea sought to optimize efficiency and integrate more advanced components in this upgrade. The integration of a rainwater collection system into an existing building structure poses multifaceted challenges, necessitating a broad spectrum of technical expertise. Nevertheless, this initiative underscores Ikea’s steadfast dedication to sustainability, aligning seamlessly with broader environmental concerns and regulatory frameworks promoting innovative rainwater harvesting solutions in British Columbia.

The project received support from Cleanflo Water Technologies Inc., a leading manufacturer of rainwater harvesting systems in Canada. Upgrading the system posed significant logistical and technical challenges, such as removing the old setup, navigating the constraints of the mechanical room, and ensuring adherence to updated plumbing codes. The solution involved a comprehensive redesign and installation of new pumping, treatment, and control components. This meticulous process required disassembling and reassembling the pre-built skid system on-site to accommodate restricted access points. Additionally, a fail-safe mechanism was installed to switch to municipal water during system failures, in line with British Columbia’s strict plumbing regulations. This innovative approach not only fulfilled Ikea’s infrastructure needs but also established a model for future rainwater harvesting projects in commercial settings.



The benefits of Ikea’s upgraded rainwater harvesting system are substantial, offering significant financial savings and environmental advantages. By reusing rainwater for non-potable purposes, Ikea Richmond has realized a reduction in water and sewer charges, translating to considerable cost savings and a strong return on investment. Between March and April 2019 alone, the store saved approximately 401 cubic meters of water, amounting to $943.35, which projects to an annual savings of around $20,000, considering water and sewer cost increases. This system not only exemplifies Ikea’s dedication to sustainability and innovation but also contributes to the broader goal of reducing freshwater consumption and managing stormwater more effectively, showcasing a successful integration of environmental stewardship and economic efficiency in a commercial context.

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