We’re creating positive changes

Forest with sun streaming in
For a long time we have been making more from less; it’s part of our heritage. We’re also busy turning waste into resources, sourcing food and materials in a responsible way and protecting natural resources. And because we want to become energy independent, we’re making the switch to renewable energy.
A road less travelled
We sell millions of products around the world every day, so we need to get them from our suppliers to our stores and customers in the most efficient way. Our products are designed to be easy to transport (thank you flatpack!) and we are continuously working on reducing the number of journeys and making vehicles as fuel efficient as possible. More than half our products are sent directly from where they are made to stores (rather than via a distribution centre), reducing distances travelled. And we fit as many products on each load as possible. All this helps to keep our costs and prices low while protecting the environment. Since 2011, we have cut CO2 emissions per cubic metre of products transported by 13% and we are aiming for 20% by 2016.
IKEA store employee moving products stacked on a paper pallet
Switching from wood to paper pallets reduced our footprint of transporting IKEA products by 75,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
VIDJA lamp
Going back to simple
We’re always looking for ways to improve products. For example, we redesigned our VIDJA lamp, making it easier to assemble by eliminating 24 of the 33 components. This reduced the packaging weight by 28% and because there’s less volume, we can fit 128 lamps on a pallet, where there were previously only 80 lamps. See the VIDJA table lamp
Thinking outside the box
Sometimes when we think a product can’t be improved we decide to try anyway. One of our product designers found a way to pack the EKTORP sofa flatter and make the shipping box almost half the size. This cut down on shipping costs, lowered our CO2 emissions and lowered the price – with no change in quality! See the EKTORP sofa range
We’re big fans of wood
We love wood because it’s durable, renewable and recyclable. As one of the largest users of wood in the retail sector, we always look for ways to use it wisely. Watch our films to learn about the work we do to protect and conserve this precious resource.
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See how forestry specialist Egle Petrylaite works closely with our suppliers to make sure wood is sourced responsibly.
Four people in the woods going through an IWAY quality checklist
Clear standards for responsible forestry
Our IWAY Forestry Standard sets clear requirements for all wood used in IKEA products. This includes a ban on wood that has been illegally harvested from sources involved in forest-related social conflicts, or from High Conservation Value Forests. All suppliers must comply with the standard before they can start deliveries. We improve our relationships with suppliers with certification audits to check compliance. Download our IWAY Forestry Standard to learn more (PDF)
 WF Map that shows IKEA & WWF collaborations in Lithuania, Ukraine, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, China and Laos
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Certifying forests together with WWF
We work with WWF and others to combat illegal logging and promote responsible timber trade. IKEA and WWF have worked together since 2002 to support credible forest certification. The work includes mapping and protecting High Conservation Value Forests to secure biological and social forest values. So far, we have helped to improve forest management in Europe and Asia, and contributed to increasing FSC® certified forest areas by around 35 million hectares (about the size of Italy) in the countries where we work together. Visit the WWF site to learn more about our partnership
Making things right when things go wrong
Several years ago we discovered tropical hardwood fibres in some of our paper products. This is not in line with our standards. After a full investigation, we improved our internal procedures to make sure this couldn’t happen again.
Preventing the use of illegally logged walnut
Our forestry experts detected illegal logging of walnut in China about five years ago. So, we stopped using this wood in our products. As a result, the MOLGER bathroom series is now made of birch from certified forests.
Learn more about how we work with forestry
In addition to suppliers meeting our IWAY Forestry Standard, the volume of wood from more sustainable sources – recycled wood and wood from forests certified by the FSC® – increased to 41% in 2014. We are aiming for 50% by 2017. Visit the FSC® website to learn more about this effort
Download The IWAY Forestry and Forest Stewardship Council® Standards (PDF)
We’ve gone all-in for cotton
from more sustainable sources
We’re happy to announce that from 1 September 2015 onwards, all the cotton we use for IKEA products comes from more sustainable sources. This means that the cotton is grown with less water, chemical fertiliser and pesticide, while increasing profit margins for farmers.
It is important to note that some products (produced prior to 1 September 2015) may still be available for some time in the stores until they are sold out. This constitutes a very small volume and only a handful products.
Cotton farmer, standing in a cotton field, holding a cotton ball.
Through the Better Cotton Initiative, cotton farming has become better for the environment and the farmers who grow it.
Close up of ÄLSKAD baby blanket.
Why more sustainable cotton matters
Cotton is one of our most important raw materials. You’ll find it in many IKEA products, from sofas and cushions to bed sheets and mattresses. Although we love working with cotton, we were uncomfortable with the fact that conventional cotton is often harmful to the environment and the people who grow it.
When grown conventionally, cotton farming uses large amounts of chemicals and water. This practice often leads to significant health risks to famers, soil erosion and water scarcity. And since most cotton is grown on small farms in developing countries, many farmers struggle to make a profit.
So, we decided to find a way to tackle these challenges and made a commitment to improve the cotton industry.
Taking action to transform the cotton industry
Over a decade ago, IKEA began taking steps to transform the way cotton is produced. Along with WWF and others, we helped set up the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which aims to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.
Since 2005, we have been working with WWF to make cotton farming more sustainable. Our work began with 500 farmers in Pakistan. In the beginning they were reluctant about the idea of changing their cultivation techniques. However after one year, the results were significant enough to inspire more farmers to join our projects in India and Pakistan.
Through hands-on training and field schools, together with our partners we’ve helped around 110,000 farmers learn more sustainable farming methods. This initiative has allowed farmers to cut costs, increase their profits and improve their working conditions. As a result, they can afford a better quality of life for their families, including schooling for their children.
Cotton farmers kneeling down in a cotton field inspecting water tubes.
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Making a lasting impact
We’re pleased to have reached our 100% target, but we won’t stop there. IKEA is committed to creating positive change throughout the entire cotton industry. Our vision is that more sustainable cotton becomes a mainstream material - affordable and accessible to many people beyond our business.
Learn more about IKEA and WWF cotton projects
Clean, fresh water pouring over 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 treatment facility at an IKEA supplier 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.
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.
Water pumped into a water treatment facility in Bangladesh.
Recycling in the big, blue box
Not being wasteful and making more from less goes back to our roots. We want to economise with resources and this influences us every day.
We strive for zero waste to landfill wherever possible in our stores.
A recycling waste station in an IKEA store
Lightbulbs collected to be recycled
Bring your recycling to IKEA!
We want to make recycling as easy as possible, which is why we offer the possibility of recycling your waste in IKEA stores. Did you know that you can leave batteries and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs at most IKEA stores? See what you can recycle at your local IKEA store.
Customer recycling station at an IKEA store
Packaging is an important part of an IKEA product. It tells you what the product is and protects it for the journey home. However, packaging can also have a negative effect on the environment so it is important that we continuously improve how we work with it. In cooperation with the Australian Packaging Covenant, we have created an action plan that demonstrates our commitment to seek improvements to our product packaging to benefit our customers and our environment.
View the APC Action Plan for IKEA SA and WA here.
Food you can feel good about
We want to offer food that’s delicious, sustainable and nutritionally balanced. That’s why we include a variety of more sustainable and organic options at our IKEA Restaurants and Swedish Food Markets. We’re always carefully selecting ingredients that have been certified to meet standards of environmental and social responsibility, while also adding new products to our range that are better for you.
Enjoy a serving of veggies in a tasty ball
Our veggie balls are packed with fresh ingredients, such as chickpeas, green peas, carrots, bell peppers, corn and kale. You’ll enjoy a nutritious meal that is full of protein and nutrients. Plus, they come with a lower carbon footprint. All in all, they’re a delicious alternative to our iconic meatballs.
IKEA veggie balls in a cast iron pan surrounded by an onion, a carrot and greenery.
We are committed to sourcing food in a responsible way.
We are committed to sourcing food in a responsible way
Close up of the head and tail of salmon on a bed of ice.
Responsibly sourced salmon
Healthy and tasty fish make for healthy and happy customers. That’s why IKEA was part of a dialogue with global environmental experts to develop responsible salmon farming standards that are better for the fish and for the environment. All IKEA salmon comes from Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farms.
Close up of fish and shrimp on a bed of ice.
Offering you tasty, more sustainable seafood
All wild-caught fish and shrimps served and sold at IKEA come from fisheries which are independently certified to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards. When you enjoy MSC certified seafood you can be sure you are supporting sustainable fishing and protecting seafood supplies for generations to come.
Close up of raw Swedish lingonberries in a bowl.
We’ve picked some great organic options for you
You can always find organic food in our Swedish Food Market, like lingonberries, jam, coffee and cookies.
Close up of coffee beans in a ceramic bowl surrounded by leaves.
Coffee that’s good right from the source
All the coffee that we sell in our Swedish Food Market is produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way. It’s UTZ Certified, which means it meets strict, independent requirements to ensure sustainable farming standards and fair conditions for workers. You can even trace the origin of the coffee you buy at
Close up of cocoa beans in a black bowl surrounded by leaves.
Chocolate you can feel good about eating
The cocoa in IKEA labelled chocolate bars meets strict, independent requirements to ensure sustainable farming standards and fair conditions for workers. Just look out for the UTZ Certified label in our Swedish Food Market. To trace the origin of the cocoa in your UTZ certified chocolate bar, visit
Close up of a bag of food waste, used for composting or biogas.
Nothing goes to waste
We’re working towards a big goal: to send zero food waste to landfill. This is just one of the ways we try to reduce our impact on the environment. So, where does all our food waste go? It is used for composting or biogas.
Waste sorting solutions can help reduce your impact on the environment
Small actions add up
Find out what makes IKEA an inspiring place to work. Hear directly from See how waste sorting can help reduce your impact on the environment. Go to Sustainable Life at Home
Empowering girls and women helps create holistic solutions to poverty and child labour
Putting people first
We’re helping to create a better everyday life for people around the world. Learn about People & Communities