We at IKEA, believe all children have the right to play and need a safe space to be a child. The Lets’ Play for Change campaign specifically focuses on children’s rights to play and development, highlighting the benefits of play for all children. For every toy, book, game and selected Children’s furniture sold from November 20 – December 24, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1 for projects that support children’s development and learning, equal participation, sports and sports activities and play in some of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in the world.
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. To reach and support more children, IKEA is working with strong strategic partners recognized for their innovative approaches: Handicap International, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF and War Child.
Since 2003, the IKEA Foundation has donated $1 for every soft toy sold during the Soft Toys for Education campaign in IKEA stores in November and December. This campaign has raised over $97.7 million and has helped more than 12 million children in 46 countries have better schools, teachers and learning materials. In the United States, each of our stores work with organizations within their communities by donating soft toys to children in need. In 2015, we donated over 18,500 soft toys to local charities.
Bringing safety and comfort to families during emergencies with the American Red Cross
IKEA is an American Red Cross Disaster Responder which ensures that support is provided on location following a disaster and resources are made available to help those in need.
In 2016 & 2015, IKEA stores created a total of 8,600 care packages to be used in emergency situations by local American Red Cross chapters. These care packages will allow the chapters to respond proactively in emergency situations. Each care package is a FRAKTA blue bag filled with IKEA items including sheets, pillows, towels, and washcloths.
IKEA FAMILY card supports children's literacy in the US
During May 2016, IKEA donated $75,000 to Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success literacy program.
The Early Steps to School Success program is designed to assist children, from prenatal to age 5 with language, social and emotional development, to equip parents with the skills and knowledge to successfully support their child’s growth; and to develop strong home-school connections.
This year, four IKEA co-workers traveled to rural West Viriginia to see first-hand the Save the Children Early Steps to School Success program. Follow their journey, see pictures and read their reflections on our @IKEAusajourneys Instagram account!
Furniture donated for Save the Children emergency response in Texas
In 2014, Save the Children estimates that over 68,500 unaccompanied children fled from Central America into the United States seeking refuge from violence, poverty and other difficulties in their countries. Many of them arrived in need of urgent care and assistance. Working with local community groups, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other organizations, Save the Children connected with the local assistance centers and is providing a long-term strategy to support children in this crisis.
As a longtime supporter of Save the Children and their efforts, IKEA US donated furniture for children in assistance centers in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and greater Houston area. The in-kind donations included children-sized tables, chairs, rugs and rocking chairs to create a more comfortable space for the children in need while they were in transition.
We raised enough to provide over 3.8 million meals for children and their families in our local communities!
According to Feeding America, more than one out of five US children live in a household with food insecurity, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal.
Now in its third year, the IKEA U.S. ‘Feeding the Future’ campaign raised over $350,000. These donations will help provide more than 3.8 million meals for children and families in local IKEA communities through Feeding America®, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization.
IKEA U.S. thanks its customers for their generous contributions to the IKEA in-store program, which has generated more than 8.8 million meals since it started in 2014.
Brighter Lives for Refugees
Helping families forced to flee
This campaign has raised over $33.5 million since 2014 to help make refugee camps safer and let children study after sunset. When customers buy an LED light bulb or lamp, the IKEA Foundation donates $1 to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The campaign has improved the lives of 380,00 refugees providing educational opportunities, solar street lights, solar lanterns and other renewable energy solutions.
Helping over 12 million children in 46 countries since 2003, the IKEA Foundation has donated $1 for every soft toy sold during the Soft Toys for Education campaign in IKEA stores in November and December.
This campaign has raised over $97.7 million and has helped more than 12 million children in 46 countries have better schools, teachers and learning materials.
In the United States, each of our stores work with organizations within their communities by donating soft toys to children in need. In 2015, we donated over 18,500 soft toys to local charities.
IKEA and UNICEF have a long-standing collaboration - since 1988, IKEA has sold UNICEF cards in our stores. During the holiday season, all of our US stores sold UNICEF cards with 100% of the proceeds donated to the UNICEF US Fund. To date, through the sales of the cards, IKEA has raised over $7 million dollars for UNICEF efforts in the United States.
Co-workers see first-hand how the Soft Toys for Education help children in Kosovo
Our co-workers work hard to promote the Soft Toys for Education campaign in their stores so that we can donate more money to fund incredible educational projects run by Save the Children and UNICEF around the world. The IWitness program grants small groups of IKEA co-workers to visit some of these projects.
In 2015, IKEA US awarded six co-workers the opportunity to travel to Save the Children programs in Kosovo to see first-hand what a difference our support makes in the lives of children around the world.
The trips are an incredible opportunity to see first-hand what a difference our support makes in the lives of children. Save the Children has been working in Kosovo since 1997 establishing strong working relationships at local and national levels with ministries, institutions and the community in general.
While travelling, IKEA co-workers shared photos, thoughts and blogged about their experience. Our iWitness Ambassadors share their experiences so that all co-workers, customers, friends and family can see how, together with our partners, we are helping children create better opportunities for themselves and their families.
IKEA Round Rock and Houston stores build collaboration with social entrepreneurs
Since 2012, IKEA has been creating collaborations with social entrepreneurs across the world that focus on benefitting social issues and creating lasting change in their communities. IKEA chooses to partner with artisans in small-scale producer groups who would not usually meet the company’s regular demands of supply due to their limited resources and small numbers. Through these partnerships we are creating something a little different for our customers - limited edition, hand-made collections that have been created with a social mission and still affordable for everyone.
In 2015, the IKEA Houston and IKEA Round Rock stores worked with the Austin-based Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC) and Open Arms to offer a limited edition textiles collection available for purchase only to Houston and Austin area customers. They collaborated with MRC because IKEA supports the organization’s social mission of providing job opportunity, fair wages and development to refugees in our communities. We applaud the sustainable efforts that Open Arms provides by creating unique items with reclaimed fabrics while providing empowerment through employment.
Over 200 local charities have received over $1.7 million in IKEA products, design expertise and manpower
This year 120 charities across the US received either a full IKEA makeover or smaller product donations as a result of this year’s IKEA Life Improvement Challenge. Since 2011, over 200 local charities have received over $1.7 million in IKEA products, design expertise and manpower.
Each year, IKEA receives many inspiring proposals from IKEA co-workers as candidates for the campaign. Then each store’s IKEA steering committee selects up to three organizations for co-workers and customers to vote online. The charitable organization, from each store market, with the highest number of online votes becomes the winner, and the 2nd and 3rd place winners receive a smaller donation of IKEA products.
At IKEA, we want to have a positive impact on the environment, and be part of the solution to climate change, which is why by 2020 we’re going to be 100% renewable – producing as much renewable energy as we consume using renewable sources. This year, we made encouraging strides including…
● Fuel cells -IKEA US is increasing our commitment towards producing as much energy as we consume by installing a biogas-powered fuel cell system at five stores: four California locations (Costa Mesa, Covina, Emeryville and San Diego), and our first fuel cell project on the east coast (New Haven, CT).
● Wind Farms - In 2015, IKEA announced the purchase of our second wind farm with our 165 megawatt Cameron Wind Farm in Texas. Our first investment was made in 2014 with the purchase our 98 megawatt Hoopeston wind project in Illinois.
● Solar Panels – Currently, 90% of the IKEA US buildings are outfitted with solar panels.
● Geothermal – IKEA Centennial and IKEA Merriam stores were built with a geothermal unit which is a heating and cooling system
● In 2016, approximately 80% of waste in our US stores was recycled or turned into energy.
We love electric cars
At IKEA, sustainability means ensuring environmental, economic and social well-being for today and tomorrow. That’s why we have electric vehicle charging stations at select stores available for our visitors and our community to use. We want to enable our customers to live more sustainable lives, and this journey begins at our stores.
Electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions. By offering EV charging stations, we are supporting our visitors to reduce their carbon footprint. This furthers our commitment to have a positive impact on people and the planet.
Don’t forget to bring your Blink Incard to charge your car while you shop!
IKEA stores with EV charging stations:
• Tempe, Arizona
• Carson, California
• Costa Mesa, California
• Covina, California
• East Palo, California
• Emeryville, California
• San Diego, California
• Atlanta, Georgia
• Bolingbrook, Illinois
• Portland, Oregon
• Dallas, Texas
• Houston, Texas
• Seattle, Washington
In July, IKEA donated $75,000 to American Forests to help restore forests damaged or devastated by wildfire and provide wildlife habitat through 10 projects in 8 states (CA, CO, MI, MN, OR, TX, VA and WA)
IKEA donated $75,000 in 201X for restoring forests.
In total, IKEA US has contributed to planting more than 2.5 million trees in the USA.
IKEA and American Forests create a film for children
IKEA US and American Forests want children to know just how important forests and planting trees are to cleaning the air and cooling the globe.
To help educate children, a video has been created by American Forests, in collaboration with IKEA, that simply explains how forests and trees benefit all life on the planet, including wildlife, and help to slow or mediate climate change.
This video is currently being shown in all IKEA store’s Smaland playrooms, designated areas for children’s play and learning.