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.
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.
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
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 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
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.
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 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
Our IWitness Ambassadors
Helping Children. Sharing Stories.
Two of our co-workers from IKEA Singapore, Yati and Chye Hin are on a mission to find out what a difference our Soft Toys Campaign makes. They are travelling to Indonesia to visit Save the Children projects funded by the IKEA Foundation. They are sharing their stories from their journey with all of us through daily blog postings.

You can join them on to find out more about the trip and their experiences.
IKEA Foundation, Save the Children, IWitnessiwitness ambassadors
IKEA Power of light LED campaign banner
The Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign raised €7.7 million.
For every LED lightbulb sold in the stores during the campaign period*, the IKEA Foundation donates €1 to UNHCR to light refugee camps – making them a safer and more humane place for the many families who live there.
The total amount donated this year was €7.7 million.
The IKEA Foundation has been a partner with UNHCR since 2010, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and children in refugee camps.
By initiating Brighter Lives for Refugees, the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR are able to reach even more children and their families, and provide light to those who need it most.
THANK YOU for purchasing our LED lightbulbs, which help make refugee camps better and safer for the many families who call them home.
*3 February to 29 March 2014