PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES

Putting people first

Woman and childen 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.
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: HUMAN RIGHTS | SUPPLIERS | SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
HUMAN RIGHTS
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 IKEA Southeast Asia
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
Supporting the ethical recruitment of migrant workers
There are over 200 million international migrants across the world, with over 100 million of them working. Some leave home and succeed in finding better work and improving their quality of life. But for others, the promise of a better future can result in large debts from recruitment fees and – in the worst cases – bonded labour. At IKEA we set clear standards for the recruitment and employment of workers through IWAY, our code of conduct. Under no circumstances do we tolerate forced labour or human trafficking. We also expect our suppliers to treat migrant workers fairly and to offer transparent employment terms and good working and living conditions.
Supporting the ethical recruitment of migrant workers
Working together to drive change
In some countries recruitment practices are complex and involve many different organisations, so it’s important also to work with others.IKEA has joined forces with four other companies – HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever – to drive positive change in the way that migrant workers are recruited. The Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment will advocate for the ‘Employer Pays Principle’, which calls for all recruitment fees to be paid by the employer, not the worker.
To support our suppliers in dealing with the challenges of responsible recruitment, we are also partnering directly with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In South East Asia we have already worked together to successfully map the recruitment process from suppliers back to the workers’ home countries. We will use the findings to further support the ethical recruitment of migrant workers and to work towards creating lasting change.
Learn more about the International Organization for Migration
An Indian girl in school
We believe in protecting children
We do everything we can to act in the best interests of children and protect children’s rights. We do this through advocacy, raising awareness and supporting children in vulnerable communities.
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.
Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more information
SUPPLIERS
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.
No Youtube Player
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.
No Youtube Player
No Youtube Player
Not just your ordinary rug
The TÅNUM rag rug is a great example of how we can bring together two of our core passions – reducing waste and creating a better everyday life. TÅNUM is made from leftover materials from the production of our fabric and quilt covers, and thereby no two rugs are alike. It’s also the kind of staple piece that has been around in Swedish homes for about 150 years.
The idea for the design came from young Finnish design student, Erik Bertell, who wanted to reinvent the rug in a more modern way. But, some great ideas don’t just stop there; they go a step further. Not only is the production of TÅNUM responsibly turning waste into a resource; skilled craftswomen in Bangladesh weave them. This provides the women with jobs, and a stable income. Watch the video for the full story about TÅNUM rug.
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 125,000 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.
Visit the WWF website to learn more about our partnership
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: HUMAN RIGHTS | SUPPLIERS | SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
Building partnerships with social entrepreneurs
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.
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.
No Youtube Player
No Youtube Player
These women inspire us. Hear the story of one social entrepreneur and one artisan in India.
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: HUMAN RIGHTS | SUPPLIERS | SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
IKEA FOUNDATION | GOOD CAUSE CAMPAIGN | refugees
IKEA FOUNDATION
Improving opportunities for children
No matter what the circumstances, every child deserves a placeto call home, a healthy start in life, a quality education and a sustainable family income. The IKEA Foundation supports programmes run by well-regarded organisations – like UNICEF and the Clinton Health Access Initiative – 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 Foundation’s currently funded programmes will benefit 100 million children by the end of 2015.
Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more info
Two children at a refugee camp
The IKEA Foundation donates tens of millions of euros to charity each year through funds set aside from IKEA profits.
4 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 providing a loan to set up a small business – we can improve children’s health, education and future opportunities. The IKEA Foundation funds programmes to empower and educate women, giving them a better chance to provide for themselves and their families.
Visit the IKEA Foundation website to learn more about their empowerment programmes
A young boy at a refugee camp
A better life for refugee children
Every year millions of children are forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters and conflicts. The IKEA Foundation is supporting the UN’s Refugee Agency with €76 million to provide shelter, care and education to refugee families in Ethiopia, Sudan and Bangladesh.
Visit the IKEA Foundation website to find out how they are building safe places for refugee families to call home
Young children that are not in school are the most vulnerable
Preventing child labour
Since 2000, we have donated €80 million to UNICEF and Save the Children to fight the root causes of child labour in India and Pakistan. Our programmes have already helped 12 million children have access to better schools and better protection from having to work, and we're extending them to reach many millions more.
Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more information on how they are working towards preventing child labour
Young child sitting on his mother's lap while a female doctor listens to his heart
Emergency response
All children should have the right to learn and play. But when natural disasters and conflicts turn their lives upside down, they lose the chance to simply be a child. That’s why the IKEA Foundation provides financial support and donates IKEA products for emergency relief efforts to humanitarian partners like Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Visit the IKEA Foundation website to learn more about the emergency response programmes
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: HUMAN RIGHTS | SUPPLIERS | SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
IKEA FOUNDATION | GOOD CAUSE CAMPAIGN | refugees
GOOD CAUSE CAMPAIGNS
Join the play movement!
Play is a universal language that unites us all, no matter where you come from. When people play together they connect, learn, grow and have fun.
We know play is an essential component of children’s wellbeing and development. Play is learning for life. So it makes sense that we want to help find ways to play more!
We understand that play isn’t something you can just talk about. You have to experience it. We also know that a lack of safe places to play is a big inhibitor of play worldwide. That’s why during the IKEA Let’s Play for Change campaign, we’re turning IKEA stores worldwide into giant play zones and inviting everyone to come and play with us.
Let’s Play for Change campaign graphics – cubes with childish patterns in different colours.
Play is a basic need
Many people are not aware that play is a basic need, and that every child has a right to it under the UN conventions on the Rights of the Child. The IKEA Foundation has partnered with some of the most prominent NGOs on this topic: Handicap International, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF, and War Child. That’s why IKEA Foundation has granted Є45 million (RM 221,900,000) to its six participating partners to support the fundamental right of every child to play and to develop.
To learn more visit IKEAfoundation.org
Kids playing cricket on a dirt ground in the sunset.
“Every child has the right to play. Stimulation through play is a critical part of a young child’s brain development and emotional wellbeing,”
“Sadly, there are too many places around the world where devastating circumstances prevent children from simply being ‘kids’. Through the Let’s Play for Change campaign, we want to alleviate challenges to play and development in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, while helping build a global movement around play.”
Per Heggenes, CEO at IKEA Foundation.
Three girls having fun skipping rope in the sunshine.
SAGOSKATT – it all goes to charity
SAGOSKATT is finally here! A limited-edition collection of cuddly soft toys drawn and designed by kids as part of the annual IKEA soft toy drawing competition. The soft toys are not only cute and adorable, they serve a much greater purpose. As part of our Let’s Play For Change campaign, IKEA is donating the entire turnover of SAGOSKATT globally to support children’s rights to play and develop. It really is a case of kids designing for kids.
Missed out this year? Not to worry. Join the fourth annual IKEA Soft toy drawing competition at IKEA store
between 3 - 19 November 2017 and your child might be the lucky winner.
”The ten winning drawings are a lovely mixture of imaginary animals. Simply wonderful personal combinations of colours, shapes and expressions that spark my own imagination.”
Bodil Fritjofsson, Product developer at Children’s IKEA, IKEA of Sweden
10 cute cuddly SAGOSKATT soft toys in the foreground, the winners from the previous soft toy drawing competition 2016, standing on a green textile floor with a blue background.
This year’s collection includes a claw-less hippopotamus crocodile, a dachshund with a horn and rainbow-coloured wings, a happy-faced rainbow cloud, a lion named “Tiger”, and six other wildly creative cuddly toys.
See more soft toys
Bodil Fritjofsson
No Youtube Player
The IWitness Global Citizens programme
This programme gives IKEA co-workers a chance to see first-hand how the money raised through IKEA good cause campaigns contributes to a better life for children in the world’s poorest communities. Co-workers visit various projects run by IKEA Foundation partners, and share their experiences on IKEA Foundations’ Global Citizens blog.
blog.ikeafoundation.org
refugees
Supporting refugees
Since January 2015, more than one million refugees have entered Europe trying to create a better everyday life for them-selves and their children in Europe. The Good Cause campaign “Brighter Lives for Refugees” is one of many things IKEA and IKEA Foundation has done to help improve life of refugees. For every LED product sold in all IKEA stores and online, during the campaign periods, the IKEA Foundation donated Є1 to help UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. The campaign generated €30.8 million in donations from IKEA Foundation to UNHCR, to provide light, renewable energy and education for refugee families living in camps in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, enough for UNHCR to continue run the renewable energy and education programmes for years to come.
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. And in some countries, we have started longer term programmes that help refugees integrate into the workforce.
Find out more at IKEA Foundation
Image of two boys walking thru a refugee camp in the sunset. ©UNHCR/Warrick Page
YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN:
SUSTAINABLE LIFE AT HOME
Small actions add up
See how water-saving taps and energy-saving induction hobs can help you save money at home.
Go to Sustainable Life at Home
IKEA water saving taps reduce water usage by up to 50%
Installing solar panels on an IKEA store
ENERGY & RESOURCES
Creating positive change
Learn how we’re sourcing materials in a responsible way and becoming energy independent.
Go to Energy & Resources