Every year, millions of people eat at IKEA restaurants. And even here we’ve got an eye on the environment – at least one dish made with organic ingredients is offered in all IKEA restaurants.
Many markets are sourcing organic ingredients for their national menu in the restaurants; for example IKEA Italy has around 70 organic ingredients used for restaurant food preparation, ending up on the plates as delicious dishes.
NORDEN birch tables are a great example of how IKEA tries to get the best possible return from every tree trunk. Introduced in 1998, it was probably the first time anyone had thought of making furniture also from the knotty top part of the birch tree instead of burning it as firewood or grinding it for chipboard production.
We never use optical brighteners in the textiles used in IKEA comforters and pillows. Comforters and pillows must not contain hazardous substances and we always try to minimize the use of chemicals. Whenever practicable, we apply the strictest health and safety requirements on any of our sales markets to all markets.
Since its launch in 1996, EKTORP sofas have been one of IKEA’s most popular and enduring products. They are also the bulkiest, making it a challenge to transport and store them in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. We have recently made EKTORP a customer assembly piece – which means that the product can be packed in a way that reduces space consumption during transport and warehousing by half. With this change, each EKTORP pallet fits twice as many sofas, which has made transport costs drop sharply. And guess what? So has the price, along with improved functionality and maintained quality.
MICKE series is one of the latest IKEA products made from wood-based frames filled with recycled, honeycombed paper, a fabrication chosen for its strength and rigidity. MICKE uses less raw material than particleboard. It is also more lightweight and thus easier to handle during transportation and ultimately, for our customers.
The cotton in DVALA bed linen is grown in a more sustainable way, using substantially less water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Not only that, the fabric is woven using 15% less cotton but still feels just as good as comparable bed linen.
STRANNE is one of our most fun and popular lamp products, and it’s been in the range for many years. Now we’ve updated it to include LED technology, which lowers the energy consumption of the lamp.
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and it has caused a revolution in lighting because of its many positive environmental and energy consumption benefits. The new LED STRANNE has a lifetime of 25,000 hours and even better the new STRANNE has a significantly lower energy consumption than its predecessor.
Our Starbase is a huge innovation, allowing us to stop transporting a lot of the air normally present in big and awkwardly shaped office chair packaging. VERKSAM swivel chairs are one of the first to be re-launched with a new Starbase assembly system where the five legs in the base snap together at the center. It’s quick and easy for the customer, and the chair is just as stable and sturdy. Meanwhile, the number of VERKSAM chairs transported per container has nearly doubled which lead to less CO2 emissions. And soon lots of other office chairs will follow VERKSAM.
KASSETT magazine files are made from 80% recycled paper, and now arrive to our customers flat folded. This means more files per truck, for less impact on the environment (and a better price). Each pallet now holds five times as many KASSETT. CO2 emissions from transporting it have decreased 75%.
SUNNAN work lamps combines low energy LED technology with solar cell panels. Since there’s no need for electricity, you can use it anywhere indoors not depending on your sockets. Just charge the panel for 9-12 hours in the sun and get four hours of full lamplight. From summer 2009 onwards, UNICEF will receive one SUNNAN lamp for every SUNNAN sold in IKEA stores worldwide. This enables children in homes without electricity to read, write and draw even after dusk. The first donations go through UNICEF to Pakistan.
RINGSKÄR taps come with a flow control function. The water flow can be adjusted in two steps with the lever, so customers can avoid unnecessary water waste. Most IKEA taps are fitted with a Pressure Compensating Aerator (PCA) that can reduce water use by 30%.
RETUR and DIMPA are simple waste system that helps people organise and recycle more effectively. RETUR comes with easy-to-clean bins and DIMPA with waste sorting bags. Both are available in a variety of sizes and are designed for different types of household waste - from glass bottles and newspapers to batteries.
In 2005 IKEA initiated a pilot project in which approx 2,000 women took part. They embroider cushion covers, IKEA PS GRINDTORP, which are sold in IKEA stores. The women had previously been part of self-help groups during the IKEA and UNICEF partnership to prevent child labour in 500 villages in northern India, 2000-2007, and they were trained in children’s rights, health and nutrition.
SPARSAM low energy bulbs are a great alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. They last up to ten times longer and the energy consumption is reduced by up to 80% over the bulb’s lifetime. One 20-watt bulb provides as much light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb, without getting anywhere near as hot. IKEA will phase out incandescent bulbs in favor of more environmentally friendly alternatives before Sept 1, 2010. IKEA customers can return low energy bulbs to most IKEA stores for recycling.
Versatile NÄSUM baskets are made from what most people would consider waste: remnants from banana trees after the harvest. Once a banana tree has produced its golden fruit, the trunk slowly dies. Instead of being thrown away, the trunk is cut into strips and left in the sun to dry. Once woven, NÄSUM is made durable with water-based lacquer.
Formaldehyde is a common chemical compound present in for example water, fruit and wood, but it can also be added through industrial processes. To avoid health problems, there are strict requirements of formaldehyde emissions from furniture. We want the formaldehyde emission levels in IKEA wood products to be equal to the levels of natural wood. So, first we cut formaldehyde-based lacquers (1993) from our products. Next, we removed formaldehyde from glue systems used to glue veneer surfaces on furniture. DAVE laptop table, for example, has a fibreboard top that has contributed to cutting formaldehyde emissions by nearly 40% in recent years. The levels are now significantly below EU requirements.
SAGOSTEN inflatable children’s floor cushions are made from polyolefin, a smooth and durable plastic without the chlorine and other harmful additives found in the more commonly used PVC. Use of PVC is banned from IKEA products since the early nineties. The only exception is electrical cords, where no viable alternative is available – yet.
The soft, densely woven fabric in IKEA 365+ RISP bed linen is made from 50% cotton and 50% Lyocell. Lyocell is a renewable cellulose-based material derived from wood fibers from tree farms (which use less water than cotton farms). Also, the necessary chemicals in IKEA 365+ RISP bed linen production process are recycled in a closed system to minimise environmental impact and waste.
IKEA induction cooktops offer modern technology at affordable prices. Induction cooktops use magnetic field technology and are much faster and more energy-efficient than traditional cast iron and glass ceramic cooktops. Only the pots and pans are heated and not the cooktop itself, so very little heat goes to waste. The efficiency of energy transfer for an induction cooktop is 80 percent compared to around 55 percent for glass ceramic cooktops.
Did you know that up to a quarter of all food is thrown away every day in many households? That’s not only a waste of money. Food production generates lots of CO2, so cutting waste helps reduce our carbon footprint. IKEA food savers help take better care of fresh food and leftovers. Some products have benefits making them especially good for saving your food and using just the right amount of food to prevent waste when cooking. For example, some sizes in the IKEA 365+ food storage series come with a removable plastic bottom grid to allow excess moisture to drain off and help food last longer. And, in the RARITET series the jar for dry storage has a measuring cup in the lid to make getting it right easier. The jar itself is transparent and graduated so you can see how much is left.
Lee, a co-worker in one of our Californian stores, came up with a way to improve the packaging of ALÄNG table lamps. Lee discovered that the box could be shrunk as much as 30 percent if only the lamps components were rearranged. So, Lee tipped off IKEA packaging technicians in Sweden who in turn conferred with suppliers. Now, thanks to a great initiative and teamwork, each pallet holds 24 ALÄNG lamps compared to only 18 before.
All coffee sold and served at IKEA is UTZ Certified. That means that you can trace the bean all the way back to the plantations through a code on the packaging. UTZ Certified is an independent non-profit organization that sets social and environmental standards for sustainable coffee growing and distribution.
IKEA products shall be free from questionable substances. We use only water-based and UV-based lacquers in IKEA products. UV coating is a coating system where monomers (a molecule) are hardened to a coating when illuminated with UV light. Almost all flat furniture’s surfaces are UV coated, and that is an alternative that minimizes the harmful effects to health and environment.
IKEA PS GULLSPIRA is one of three different wall hangings with masks depicting characters from Scandinavian fairy tales. Indian village women entrepreneurs make them, with a hand-stitched quilting technique using wool and cotton. Each wall hanging is a one-off piece, with the Hindi name of its maker embroidered on the back. The women were previously part of a joint IKEA Social Initiative and UNICEF project, started in 2000, which has helped to economically and socially empower more than 20,000 women through self-help groups, as part of a broad programme to prevent and eliminate child labor in Uttar Pradesh in northern India.