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. Download the 2012 IKEA Sustainability Report PDF
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 has a long history of supporting programmes run by well-regarded organisations – 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. Currently funded programmes are expected to 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.
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 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. 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 lose almost everything during natural disasters and 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. 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
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. Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more information on how they are working towards preventing child labour
A toy fairy flies around roses, books, pencils and a fairy house.

For every soft toy you buy –
IKEA Foundation donates QR 5 –
so more children can go to school.
A partnership for a good cause
The Soft Toys for Education campaign – first launched in 2003 – is a partnership between IKEA Foundation, UNICEF and Save The Children.

The idea is simple:
for every soft toy or children’s book sold in stores (November 10th - January 4th), IKEA Foundation will donate QR 5 to children’s education through UNICEF and Save the Children.

Save the Children and UNICEF then use the funds to strengthen programmes that improve children’s education in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Nothing has a more direct impact on well-being – from better health to increased opportunities – than education. Education presents aspiration and it gives children the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to shape a better future for themselves. And the more money that is donated, the more powerful education becomes.
You can read more about where and how the money is used here. Thank you for contributing, and offering more children the opportunity to get an education and imagine a future full of possibilities.
The power of education
Why does IKEA Foundation support and believe in education? There are a million good answers, but we’ve focused on a few  simple facts that paint a compelling picture of the direct impact that education has on well-being, from better health to increased wealth.
Education is the most effective insurance policy against poverty.
Each additional year of schooling raises the average annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.37%.
Source: UNESCO 2011
Education empowers women – and leads to big changes.
For every year a girl stays in school, she’ll increase her income by at least 10%. With the money she earns, she’ll invest 90% of it back into her family.
Source: UNESCO 2011
Education reduces child mortality rates.
Each extra year that a mother spends in school reduces the probability of infant mortality by 5% to 10%. A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past age 5.
Source: UNESCO 2011
Education combats life-threatening diseases.
Women with post-primary education arefive times more likely than illiterate women to be educated about HIV and AIDS.
Source: UNESCO 2011
Good things are happening, everywhere.
Since 2003, the Soft Toys for Education campaign has reached more than 10 million children through 90 projects in 46 different countries. Here are a few good examples that show a small contribution can make a big difference to a lot of children.
Map of Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
The Soft Toys for Education campaign helped to increase the primary school enrolment rate in Burkina Faso to nearly 80% in 2012, already surpassing the 2015 targets. Find out more here.
Source: UNICEF 2013
Map of Ethiopia
Education is a primary driver for Ethiopia’s development. In 2012, 238,000 children – including 25,000 refugees – stayed in school despite living in challenging conditions. Find out more here.
Source: UNICEF 2013
Map of Madagascar
In Madagascar, where primary education is under severe threat, UNICEF distributed more than 57,500 school kits in 114 of the most vulnerable districts, as part of its “child-friendly schools” programme. Find out more here.
Source: UNICEF 2013
Map of Albania
Save the Children – with the support from the Soft Toys campaign in 2010 – helped to ensure that 33,150 children were enrolled in 60 schools around the country in 2012. Find out more here.
Source: Save the Children 2013
Map of Bangladesh
Save the Children has been working with local NGOs since 2010 to improve the lives of children from the indigenous groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. To date, the project has directly reached more than 25,000 children and 14,500 adults. Find out more here.
Source: Save the Children 2013
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
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
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. Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more information
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
Creating positive change
Learn how we’re sourcing materials in a responsible way and becoming energy independent. Go to Energy & Resources