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Towards zero waste, towards a better tomorrow

The world around us moves fast and so do we. We change the place we call home more often than before, we buy new things and get rid of others at a faster pace than we used to. A sofa is suddenly too small, or we get tired of its style. We leave the lights on, even when we’re not home.

Every day, we fill up our rubbish bins with big and small things. We’re using – and wasting – more energy and resources than ever before, and this isn’t good news for the planet.

But what if we could all pull together to turn things around? At IKEA we’re working hard to do our part and we want to help you do yours. We see waste as value. It’s embedded in the IKEA DNA to use resources carefully, to create more from less and to optimise our logistic operations. Because we know that when we produce less waste, we’ll be able to leave a cleaner, healthier planet to the generations to come.

A collection of crumpled cardboard paper and scraps to be reused.
A collection of crumpled cardboard paper and scraps to be reused.

70% of the GLANSVIDE quilt filling is obtained from recycled PET plastic.

Re-thinking the way we work

We think hard about the way we work, from how we choose materials, to how we design, produce, transport, sell and even what happens to our products at the end of their life cycle.

We’re always looking to find new ways to use renewed and recycled resources as materials, we re-design the production of an existing product to make it more sustainable, and we also try to make products that can be reused, repaired, reassembled and recycled by our customers. In addition to this, we always try to save as much energy as possible in our operations.

TÅNUM is a rug made from leftover fabric from our bed linen production.

Creating from what we already have

Have you ever tried to build something new out of things you found around your home? That’s what we try to do when we develop a new product. Looking for ways in which we can be sustainable by using either leftovers from other productions or recycled materials is a hot topic in our design process. The result is that you can buy products made from 100% surplus or recycled materials.

Did you know?

Our goal is to buy all of our major materials from more sustainable sources by 2020. We achieved this for cotton already in 2015.

Re-invent, re-arrange, re-assemble

There are lots of ways we can work together to reduce waste. One way is to design products that can be re-invented whenever you feel like it. As many of our sofas, KLIPPAN has extra covers, so that, when you get tired of one pattern, or whenever you have a big stain that just won’t budge, there’s no need to buy a new sofa – just change the cover. In this way, you produce less bulky waste and get a whole new look.

Some sofas, like VIMLE, offer even more than that: not only can you change the cover, but also re-arrange the modules to create a new layout.

The same goes for many of our wall unit systems and wardrobes. You can buy one combination and add or remove elements to create a new one.

Saving energy for a brighter future

When we talk about waste, we don’t just mean resources, we mean energy too. The IKEA Group wants to be as people and planet positive as possible, which is why by 2020 we are going to be 100% renewable – producing as much renewable energy as we consume using renewable sources, such as the wind and sun. We are also making our buildings more efficient, so we need less energy to run them.

But we don’t stop there. Today, more than 50% of our products are delivered directly from suppliers to our stores, which means cheaper prices and less vehicles involved. Also, the packaging of our products is designed to be as compact as possible and to fill our pallets in the most efficient way. We have many products we sell in flat packs: they are easy to transport not only for our customers but also during our logistic operations. You benefit from lower prices, and in some cases lower weight and easier assembly. The planet benefits from lower CO2 emissions.