Putting people first

Woman and children in India
We want to play our part in creating a better life for the people and communities touched by our business. This has always been part of our approach, and it is even more important today as our business continues to grow around the world.
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.
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
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
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
IKEA Power of light LED campaign banner
The power of light is safer streets
For every LED lightbulb you buy, IKEA Foundation donates $1 to light refugee camps.
February 3rd - March 29th
Brighter Lives for Refugees
Today, there are nearly 10.5 million refugees around the world – about half of which are children. They find safety and shelter at the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) camps. But the lack of light in many can have a devastating effect on their safety, education prospects and income.
Providing sustainable lighting can hugely affect the quality of life for refugees. Solar lanterns help girls and boys study after dark, improving their results in school. Solar streetlights improve safety in camps, and enable more community gatherings and social activities. Reliable lighting allows refugees to continue important income-generating activities into the evening, such as weaving, sewing or running small shops and kiosks.
A little light in a refugee camp can make huge difference for the many families who call them home.
Good things are happening, everywhere
The funds will help improve access to lighting, renewable energy and primary education in refugee camps across Asia, Africa and the Middle East – improving those communities for the children and families who live there.
IKEA Foundation LED
Improving and expanding existing lighting and renewable energy programs, as well as funding improved children’s education for Somali refugees living in Ethiopian refugee camps.
IKEA Foundation LED
Helping UNHCR improve the supply of electricity to the many refugee camps being constructed to accommodate hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing civil war at home.
IKEA Foundation LED brighter lives
Providing Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar – one of the longest-running refugee crises in the world – with much-needed renewable energy, and education for children living in the camps.
IKEA Foundation LED_brighter lives
Improving lighting in refugee camps by providing solar streetlights and lanterns, and funding improved children’s education for Eritrean refugees living in Eastern Sudan.
IKEA Foundation LED_brighter lives
Enabling more than 100,000 refugee children in 18 camps to attend pre-primary, primary and secondary school, as well as supporting refugees living in the capital city of N’Djamena.
Campaign proceeds may benefit refugee camps in other countries than the ones above
*All figures refer to the total number of refugees in the country and are correct as of December 2012.
**Due to the on-going crisis in Syria, this figure refers to the total number of Syrian refugees as of September 9th, 2013.
A toy fairy flies around roses, books, pencils and a fairy house.
This year's Soft Toys for Education campaign raised CAD $15 million!
For every soft toy or children’s book sold in stores during the campaign period - which runs every year throughout November and December - IKEA Foundation donates $1 to children’s education through UNICEF and Save the Children.
Once again, THANK YOU for buying soft toys and offering more children the opportunity to get an education - and imagine a future full of possibilities.

Making children's wishes come true

Since 2009, IKEA Canada has partnered with Make-A-Wish Canada to complete room makeover wishes for children living with life-threatening medical conditions. By aligning our expertise in home furnishings with Make-A-Wish's experience in making dreams come true, our organizations continue to make a huge difference in the lives of children and their families across Canada.
Make-A-Wish CanadaMake-A-Wish Canada

Pick a tree, plant a tree
Tree Canada

For 17 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 20,000 trees. That's equivalent to taking 3,360 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
Partnerships with social entrepreneurs
At IKEA, we believe in enabling social change. We do this by working in partnership with social entrepreneurs, people who use innovation to tackle social problems and use business as a means to create change.
Through these partnerships we support social enterprises in becoming self-sustaining and independent, which gives people in some of the world’s poorest communities the possibility to earn a sustainable income and develop their own skills and local businesses for the global market.
This is all part of the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many people. The unique handmade products, produced by local artisans in Thailand and India, are currently sold as limited edition collections in Austria, Sweden and Switzerland. We are actively looking for partnerships with more social entrepreneurs around the world.
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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, the co-workers of our suppliers and the communities where they live.
While we have been working on human rights issues for many years, there is now a global standard to help businesses understand human rights and how to uphold them. Launched in 2011, we welcome the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and we will promote the principles across our value chain. Human rights are also embedded in our supplier code of conduct, called the IWAY Standard.

Download the IWAY Standard PDF
Everybody in the world deserves a better everyday life
It’s not just what goes into our products that’s important; it’s the people behind the scenes, too.
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.

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