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People & communities
Putting people first
We want to play our part in creating a better life for the people and communities touched by our business. From our co-workers, suppliers, to children and families living in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities – we always strive to promote equality, diversity and respect for human rights in everything we do.
This year we have a million reasons to be excited, as we celebrate planting one million trees in communities across the UK!
Since 2007, IKEA has contributed more than £2.4 million to the Woodland Trust – funding over 4,500 tree packs to community groups across the UK through the free tree scheme – giving more than 150,000 people unique access to nature. All these community groups are within the vicinity of IKEA’s 18 stores in the UK, and they have all played an active part in this achievement.One such group is Street Life, a charity which works in a deprived area of Bradford and aims to empower people to overcome life barriers such as poverty and unemployment. David Holt, Project Manager for Street Life said: “We are planting trees to create a “pocket park” which will bring so many benefits, from increasing leisure space, encouraging volunteering – and boosting the environment. We have planted the trees around the perimeter of a patch of land with the goal to create a pollution screen to the nearby very busy road, we hope that the trees will provide a natural filter for car emissions.”“In fact the tree planting will form the basis of a long term study of natural screens to pollution – our aim is to prove that the many children who live in this area will have purer air to breathe, thanks to these IKEA funded trees.
IKEA Family´s ’A Foot of Forest’ campaign initially funded 309 acres of fresh new woodland in the UK but also raises funds in its UK stores by allowing generous shoppers to pledge a tree for their local community by donating £1 on top of their bill at the till point. Beccy Speight, our Chief Executive said: “These trees, funded by IKEA, are inspiring new generations of nature and tree lovers – we know because they tell us!”You can support the Woodland Trust by donating at the IKEA checkouts in the stores.
Our vision “to create a better everyday life for the many people” includes our co-workers, customers, the co-workers of our suppliers and the communities where they live.
Social entrepreneurs use business as a way to create social change. The social enterprises we partner with employ local artisans – mostly women who live in rural areas, with previously limited or no access to paid work and sustainable income.
Each year IKEA co-workers and customers have joined together in campaigns to help create a better everyday life for children all over the world. The Let’s Play For Change campaign supports children’s right to play, development, learning, equal participation and sports. The IKEA Foundation together with six of the world’s most prominent NGO’s are funded to create safe spaces for vulnerable children to play and develop.
As the refugee crisis continues to unfold, we have been active in supporting local organisations with essential items needed to provide better conditions for newly arrived refugees. Many IKEA co-workers are volunteering their time and assisting refugees to re-establish their lives in new communities.