Putting people first

Nature Nourishes
Nature nourishes our children
IKEA Canada is committed to supporting childhood development wherever you find us across the country. We believe that kids should be healthy and informed, understand the natural world and their role within it, how things grow, and where their food comes from. We’ll encourage them to leave their screens behind once in a while, get outside and explore, and experience how nature nourishes.

Growing together
Did you know that September 23rd is National Tree Day? This week, we invited school children to join IKEA and Tree Canada at outdoor events across Canada to experience first-hand the ways that nature provides. A scavenger hunt through the woods to learn about ecosystems, getting dirt under our nails as we planted young trees and shrubs, and tasting our way through the food chain over lunch. When we value our natural world, we value our future and our children – there’s no better way celebrate National Tree Day!
Nature Nourishes
Tree Canada
Improving opportunities for children
No matter what the circumstances, every child deserves a place to call home, a healthy start in life, a quality education and a sustainable family income. The IKEA Foundation has a long history of supporting programmes run by well-regarded organizations – like UNICEF and the Clinton Foundation – to help children and youth living in the world’s poorest communities so they can create a better future for themselves and their families. The IKEA Foundation donates tens of millions of dollars to charity each year through funds set aside from IKEA profits. Currently funded programmes are expected to benefit 100 million children by the end of 2015.
Learn more about the IKEA Foundation
Two children at a refugee camp
IWitness Global Citizens Program
IKEA's IWitness Global Citizens Program offers a life changing opportunity for two Canadian co-workers to witness first-hand the impact of UNICEF and Save the Children projects funded by the IKEA Foundation through our annual Soft Toys for Education campaign. We were proud to have Natasa Njegovan of IKEA Burlington and Viola May Mah of IKEA Edmonton represent IKEA Canada as ambassadors for the IWitness Program in 2013, visiting educational programs in Malawi.
Read Natasa's blog postRead Viola's blog post
3 ways the IKEA foundation helps children
A young girl in school
Empowering women and girls
By empowering women – through education, skills training, improved healthcare or through providing a loan to set up a small business – we can improve children’s health, education and future opportunities. IKEA Foundation is funding programmes to empower and educate women, giving them a better chance to provide for themselves and their families.

Learn more
Young children that are not in school are the most vulnerable
Preventing child labour
IKEA has worked with Save the Children and UNICEF for over a decade. We have donated €60 million since 2000 to fight the root causes of child labour in India and Pakistan. Together we will reach 16 million children by 2017.

Learn more
A young boy at a refugee camp
A better life for refugee children
Every year, millions of children lose almost everything during natural disasters and social conflicts. IKEA Foundation is supporting the UN Refugee Agency with €73 million to provide shelter, care and education to refugee families in Ethiopia, Sudan and Bangladesh.

Learn more
Customers and co-workers helping together
Each year IKEA co-workers and customers join together in two campaigns to help create a better everyday life for the less fortunate. The campaigns raise money for the charities UNICEF, Save the Children and UNHCR, the (UN Refugee Agency). The money goes to good causes like improving children’s education and providing lighting in refugee camps. The campaigns also create awareness of the problems and the good work being done to solve them.
A group of boys playing football on a dusty patch of land as the sun sets.
Together we make a difference to people’s lives.
A young girl with pig tails and red ribbons in her hair doing school work.
Soft Toys for Education – helping 11 million children since 2003
When customers buy a soft toy or children’s book during the campaign period (in November and December), the IKEA Foundation donates €1 to Save the Children and UNICEF. This campaign has raised €67 million since 2003 and has helped more than 11 million children in 46 countries get a better education. Find out more at the IKEA Foundation
A woman hanging up a lamp inside her home with her baby strapped to her back.
Brighter lives for Refugees – for people who have lost everything
This campaign raised €7.7 million in February and March 2014, its first year. When customers buy an LED light bulb, the IKEA Foundation donates €1 to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The money funds things like solar-powered lighting that makes refugee camps safer and lets children study after sunset. Find out more at the IKEA Foundation

Pick a tree, plant a tree
Tree Canada

For 18 years, IKEA Canada has supported Tree Canada by donating a portion of the proceeds from Christmas Tree sales towards planting trees in urban communities surrounding our stores. So far, co-workers have planted over 25,000 trees. That's equivalent to taking about 4,000 cars off the road for the entire year!

Tree Canada

Learn more about the IKEA-Tree Canada partnership
Building good relationships
We want everyone to feel good about the products we sell, which is why we put a lot of work into our supplier relationships – and those relationships that reach beyond ours. There are about 600,000 people working for companies that directly supply IKEA around the world, and we want to be sure they are all treated fairly.
That’s why in 2000 we launched IWAY, our supplier code of conduct. Our suppliers are responsible for communicating IWAY to their sub-suppliers and we are supporting them to do this. All home furnishing suppliers must comply with IWAY requirements, otherwise they are phased out.
An IWAY inspector at an IKEA supplier factory
We visit our suppliers regularly to check that they are following IWAY, and conduct around 1,000 audits each year.
What is the IWAY Standard?
Our supplier code of conduct, the IWAY Standard, plays an important role in positive developments. It specifies our minimum requirements relating to the environment, social impact and working conditions.
We visit our suppliers regularly to check that they are following the IWAY Standard. Around 80 IKEA auditors, as well as independent third party auditors make both announced and unannounced checks at suppliers and their sub-suppliers.
IWAY Standards are clearly posted on a supplier factory wall
The IWAY Standard requirements include:
- No child labour.
- No forced or bonded labour.
- No discrimination.
- Freedom of association.
- At least minimum wages and overtime compensation.
- A safe and healthy work environment, preventing pollution to air, ground and water and work to reduce energy consumption.

Download the IWAY Standard PDF
Building partnerships with social entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs are in the business of making everyday life better in their communities. They use business as a way to tackle social and environmental challenges such as reforestation, reducing poverty and empowering women. That’s why we are proud to create long-term partnerships with social entrepreneurs around the world.
Working closely with our partners we learn from each other, share our business experiences and ideas about design. Our close cooperation allows us to do things like adapt production to the farming seasons so that rural artisans who make the collections can balance their craftwork with family and community responsibilities.
Collaborating with social entrepreneurs gives us inspiration and access to skilled artisans who work with traditional handicrafts. The products we co-create are all made by hand in limited numbers and sold in selected IKEA stores with all profits going back into the initiative.
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Artisans from the social enterprises Rangsutra, Doi Tung Development Project and Industree PT
Community-led education about growing Better Cotton
Working with WWF to improve cotton farmers’ lives
IKEA and WWF have worked successfully together on cotton farming issues for over a decade. As a result, an estimated 110,000 farmers in India, Pakistan, China and Turkey have started growing cotton in a more sustainable way. By using less chemical fertilizers and more natural alternatives to chemical pesticides, small-hold farmers can cut their costs while crops remain as good as before. The money they save might be used to invest in water-saving drip irrigation or perhaps in education for their children.

Learn more about our partnership on cotton (PDF)
Everyone deserves a better everyday life
Our vision “to create a better everyday life for the many people” includes our co-workers, customers, suppliers and the communities where they live. Respect for human rights, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, is part of everything we do and is included in our supplier code of conduct, called the IWAY Standard. Download the IWAY Standard PDF
At IKEA, we believe in people
We do our best to stand for equal opportunities and support human rights. Every co-worker can expect fair treatment and equal opportunities whatever their ethnicity, religion, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation or age. Find out more in Working at the IKEA Group
It’s not just what goes into our products that’s important – it’s the people behind the scenes, too.
Respect for human rights is part of everything IKEA does and is included in the IKEA supplier code of conduct
An Indian girl in school
We believe in protecting children
We do everything we can to act in the best interests of children, whether it’s how we design products or steps we have taken to eliminate child labour.
Our commitment to children runs deep
When it comes to our products and stores, we try to think from a child’s perspective. We want our products to aid their development and for our stores to become play areas, just as if they were at home. We work with experts on children’s development, to learn and understand their needs during different stages of development.
A clear ban on child labour
We believe that children have the right to be protected from exploitation, abuse and neglect. This is why child labour is unacceptable to IKEA and why we work actively to prevent and eliminate it. Our child labour code of conduct, introduced in 2000, was developed in close co-operation with Save the Children and with advice from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF.
Creating long-term solutions
Preventing and eliminating child labour is a big challenge, which can only be tackled by addressing the root causes with a holistic approach. That’s why the IKEA Foundation supports UNICEF and Save the Children child rights programs in 25,000 villages in a number of states in India and Pakistan; reaching a total of 15 million children by the end of 2017.

Learn about the IKEA Foundation
Small actions add up
See how water-saving faucets and energy-saving induction cooktops can help you save money at home.

Sustainable Life at Home
IKEA water saving faucets reduce water usage by up to 50%
Installing solar panels on an IKEA store
Creating positive change
Learn how we’re sourcing materials in a responsible way and becoming energy independent.

Energy & Resources