IKEA co-workers on site in the factories

Our practice is to work side-by-side with our suppliers on the factory floor so we have a better understanding of their production conditions. Designers, product developers and purchasers often work on site in factories. This gives us the opportunity to influence their practices and support them in developing the competence, skills and knowledge to lead their own social and environmental initiatives.

The IKEA Way on Purchasing Home Furnishing Products

IKEA's code of conduct, The IKEA Way on Purchasing Home Furnishing Products (IWAY), defines what suppliers can expect from IKEA and specifies what IKEA requires from its suppliers. It is based on international conventions and declarations and includes provisions based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Labour Organisation Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998), and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992).
It covers working conditions, the prevention of child labour, the environment, responsible forestry management and more. Suppliers are responsible for communicating the content of the IKEA code of conduct to co-workers and sub-contractors and ensuring that all required measures are implemented at their own operations.

Ensuring high standards

IKEA trading service offices are responsible for the implementation and follow-up of our code of conduct, and we have specially trained auditors who audit suppliers. The Compliance and Monitoring Group at IKEA is responsible for ensuring that the same audit criteria are followed throughout IKEA. Third-party auditors such as KPMG, Intertek Testing Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers participate to verify IKEA working methods and audit results. These third-party auditors also carry out their own audits at IKEA suppliers.

When violations are found

When IWAY violations are found the suppler is required to send an action plan to IKEA, within two weeks, detailing how the non-compliance will be corrected. The plan must include a description of the actions to take place, who is responsible and a time plan. The trading services offices follow up the plans to check actions are being implemented in a timely way.

Difficult, but not impossible

In certain parts of the world, there are major challenges regarding social and environmental conditions and the improvement is slower than we would like. However, there has been continuous positive development since we introduced the code of conduct (IWAY) in 2000. We can see that our active presence contributes to improving conditions, however, it is an ongoing process with many small steps forward.