Skip to main content

85% of Australians concerned about climate change but hopeful it’s not too late to make a difference – but we must act now

IKEA store solar panels
Corporate news2 September 2021Last edited: 3 September 2021
New research released today by IKEA Australia reveal climate concern is running high amongst Australians, with 85 per cent worried about climate change. While 84 per cent remain hopeful it’s not too late to make a change, three in five (66%) say we need to act immediately to make an impact.

3 June 2021- The findings form part of IKEA Australia’s Leap Year of Sustainability Report 2021, a collection of sustainability achievements over the last 12 months. The report captures how the company is tracking towards its goals including the transition to a circular business and becoming climate positive by 2030, reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than produced. It also explores how IKEA continues to inspire people to live more sustainably by enabling customers to affordably live a more sustainable life at home.

Mellisa Hamilton, Country Sustainability Manager for IKEA Australia, said, “IKEA has an ambition to inspire one billion people around the world to live more sustainably on our one shared home – the planet. We are continuing to transform what we do and how we do it as we work to become climate positive, and create a positive social impact across the IKEA value chain and communities we operate in.”

The report finds while the majority (51%) believe the government holds the most responsibility for tackling climate change, almost one in five Australians (19%) believe consumers are most responsible, followed by business at nine per cent. With nine in 10 Australians (92%) believing businesses can do more to reduce emissions, IKEA is firmly committed to delivering on the expectations of consumers to act by transforming their business processes and supporting people to do their part at home with solutions that help reduce waste, water and energy.

Over the last 12 months, IKEA globally has introduced over 30 big-impact sustainable-focused initiatives, with many significant initiatives taking place in Australia. For example, an Australia-first clean energy storage initiative was launched to support the South Australian power grid as the company aims to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030.The report also celebrates one year of the home solar range, SOLSTRÅLE, in Australia as IKEA works to having the offering available in all 30 Ingka markets by 2025.

IKEA also launched the Buy Back Service to give furniture a second life, where 178 tonnes of furniture was returned by customers and potentially diverted from landfill. New electric vehicle charging stations were installed at IKEA Logan, North Lakes, and Canberra. IKEA was the first home furnishing company in Australia to commit to zero emissions last mile deliveries and assembly services, including the bold commitment to use only electric vehicles for all operations and services by 2025. This journey was first begun with a trial in Victoria in 2018. Sustainable food also played a big role in 2021, with the launch of the plant ball substitute of the classic meatball, and with a climate footprint of only 4% to the original. A plant-based sorbet was launched in the summer, and digital technology was implemented in restaurants to identify, measure, report and analyse food production waste in all IKEA Australia stores.

As part of its ambitions, IKEA is also committed to creating a positive social impact and a fair and inclusive environment. In the last 12 months, IKEA started its reconciliation journey with its first ever Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in partnership with Reconciliation Australia, supported refugees through a Skills for Employment program, and partnered with several organisations including GIVIT.Hamilton said, “As a business, we’re proud of the changes we have made and are continuing to make. While sustainability has always been deeply embedded in IKEA’s DNA, we recognise there is still a way to go to meet our goals and drive collective action for environmental, social and economic sustainability with government, businesses and the public.”

The report is available for download here.

IKEA has an extensive range of energy efficient solutions for the home

Research finds sustainability top of mind in Australia:

The research confirmed while most Australians believe they could be encouraged to do more to address climate change, 77% believe there are barriers including not enough government support (43%) not enough support from businesses (29%) and that it is too expensive (25%).

The areas where Australians are most likely to think businesses can make improvements are recycling within their own supply chain (68%), reducing production waste (67%), investing in renewable energy to run their operations (64%) and producing sustainable products at an affordable price (64%).

However, an overwhelming 93% of Australians say they are taking climate action in at least one area including: sorting waste and reusing plastic bags (75%), energy saving in the home (61%) and avoiding food waste and single-use bottles (57%).

IKEA is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement; working towards a 1.5°C future. 63% of Australians have heard of the Paris Agreement, with 55% of these respondents believing Australia will not meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. 79% of Australians believe that if the same efforts of government, business and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic were applied to environmental issues, it would have a positive effect on addressing climate change in Australia.

About the research:

This study was commissioned by IKEA Australia conducted online between the 14th – 18th May 2021 by YouGov. The sample comprised of a nationally representative sample of 1,053 Australians aged 18 years and older. YouGov designed the questionnaire, a copy of which has been included in the report. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics population estimates.