Water

Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands. Clean, fresh water pouring over cupped hands.

Treating water with respect

Water is necessary for life – but clean, fresh water is something of a luxury in some parts of the world. That is why water, both when it comes to quantity and quality, is an important issue for us and our suppliers. By August 2020, we aim to become water positive by promoting water stewardship throughout our value chain. By working with others, we will contribute to improved water management in water stressed areas where we operate, focusing on both water use and water quality.
Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh. Water in open-top tanks at a water treatment facility at a textile factory in Bangladesh.

Saving water in Bangladesh

One of our major textile suppliers in Bangladesh uses a significant amount of water for IKEA production: around 1.7 million m3 a year. In 2011/2012, as part of our Supplier Development Process, we launched a project together to cut water consumption at their site by at least 20% and to test our water recycling guidelines for textiles. The supplier installed 30 water meters around the plant to understand which process uses the most water. They are expected to save around 292,000 m3 of water per year, equivalent to the annual water consumption of around 10,256 people in Bangladesh.

We are monitoring water consumption in each process and reduction targets will be set across the textile production process, from bleaching to printing and dyeing. We’ve also identified several points where wastewater could be recycled and used elsewhere in the plant and will run pilot projects to test potential solutions and savings.
Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh. Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh.

IMPROVING WATER TREATMENT IN BANGLADESH

Access to clean, safe water is not universal. In Bangladesh, water treatment facilities struggle to keep up with population growth and urbanisation so water cleanliness suffers. This can harm health and the environment, especially during frequent flooding in the rainy season.

In partnership with GIZ (German International Zusammenarbeit, a sustainable development consultancy), we’ve created a 60-hour training course for wastewater plant operators and managers working at our supplier sites.

The course helps IKEA suppliers manage their wastewater more effectively, enabling them to meet IKEA IWAY supplier code of conduct requirements. Five suppliers participated in last year’s pilot programme and 15 people were certified.