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Products and materials

IKEA home furnishing products must be safe, from both a health and environment perspective. Our designers, product developers and technicians take into account safety, quality and environmental impact at every stage of the new product's development.

IKEA and the EU legislation on chemicals, REACH

IKEA aims to refrain from the use of chemicals and substances that can be harmful to people and the environment. IKEA welcomes the EU REACH legislation on chemicals and substances which is in line with the IKEA precautionary approach to chemicals. All IKEA products for all markets, globally, shall comply with the chemical restrictions in the REACH legislation.

Environmental design

When developing products, we first decide on the price tag the item will have when sold in IKEA stores. However, in offering low prices we must never compromise the quality or safety of IKEA products. Designers, product developers and technicians must consider a product's safety, quality and environmental aspects, from the initial design stage throughout its life cycle.

IKEA has a clear strategy to decrease the environmental impact from our entire range over time. We use a set of different tools and processes to ensure the improvement in all the phases of a products life cycle; raw material, manufacturing, distribution, product use and end of life.

Efficient use of materials

IKEA believes in using the fewest resources to make the best possible products, without having a negative impact on their functionality or appearance. The main raw materials used in IKEA products are wood, cotton, metal, plastic, glass and rattan and we work towards using as many renewable and recyclable materials as possible.

Minimising waste

IKEA works actively to reduce waste in manufacturing. Where possible, waste from one manufacturing process should be used in the production of other items. IKEA recycles large quantities of material, such as cardboard, paper, plastic, wood, metal and glass.
Most IKEA stores provide collection points for customers to return waste, such as electrical and electronic equipment, discarded packaging, spent batteries and low-energy bulbs, for recycling.
IKEA attempts to repair products rather than simply discarding them. These products are used as spare parts or sold at reduced prices in specially designated areas of the store.

Making home furnishing products safe

IKEA applies the precautionary principle with regards to the use of chemicals and other potentially hazardous substances in our products and their impact on the health of our customers and the environment. For example, in instances where local laws are strengthened regarding the use of chemicals, we strive to adopt the new requirements in other countries where we do business.

Focus on children's safety

IKEA puts special focus on children’s products, which must meet particularly high quality and safety requirements. IKEA co-workers who develop and purchase children’s products learn about children’s development needs, safety and health in our Children’s School training programme.
We test IKEA children’s products to strict national and international safety standards at our own third-party accredited test laboratory in Älmhult, Sweden. We also conduct safety checks of our products at independent, accredited test laboratories and institutes around the world.

Risk assessment and product testing

Each year thousands of tests are carried out on IKEA products during the development stage. Even more tests are conducted during production. Once a product is approved for production, any proposed changes to the product or to the production method are reviewed by IKEA to decide whether additional risk assessment testing is required.
We must also ensure that banned chemicals such as formaldehyde and phthalates don’t exceed IKEA requirements. IKEA has a third-party accredited test laboratory that is certified each year by external auditors and third-party accredited test laboratories perform random tests. IKEA requires suppliers to order certified products testing by third party auditors.

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