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PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES

Putting people first

Woman and childen in India
We want to play our part in creating a better life for the people and communities touched by our business. From our co-workers, suppliers, to children and families living in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities – we always strive to promote equality, diversity and respect for human rights in everything we do. Download the 2015 IKEA Sustainability Report PDF
Human rights
Nobody’s equal til everybody’s equal
Human Rights are for everyone, everyday. So our vision of “creating a better everyday life for the many people” embraces co-workers, customers, suppliers and their local communities. And not just when we’re in the spotlight either, it’s a 365 day a year commitment. Our co-workers can expect fair treatment and equal opportunities, whatever their ethnicity, religion, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation or age. Because a level playing field brings out the best in all of us, men and women alike. And it has to be level everyday, not just when it’s convenient.
Respect for human rights, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, is part of everything we do and is included in our supplier code of conduct, called the IWAY Standard.
Download the IWAY Standard (PDF)
Three IKEA co-workers in a room setting consisting of two orange desks with chairs, a white chest of drawers and open wall shelves.
Supporting the ethical recruitment of migrant workers
There are over 200 million international migrants across the world, with over 100 million of them working. Some leave home and succeed in finding better work and improving their quality of life. But for others, the promise of a better future can result in large debts from recruitment fees and – in the worst cases – bonded labor. At IKEA we set clear standards for the recruitment and employment of workers through IWAY, our code of conduct. Under no circumstances do we tolerate forced labor or human trafficking. We also expect our suppliers to treat migrant workers fairly and to offer transparent employment terms and good working and living conditions.
Supporting the ethical recruitment of migrant workers
Working together to drive change
In some countries recruitment practices are complex and involve many different organisations, so it’s important also to work with others.IKEA has joined forces with four other companies – HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever – to drive positive change in the way that migrant workers are recruited. The Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment will advocate for the ‘Employer Pays Principle’, which calls for all recruitment fees to be paid by the employer, not the worker.
To support our suppliers in dealing with the challenges of responsible recruitment, we are also partnering directly with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In South East Asia we have already worked together to successfully map the recruitment process from suppliers back to the workers’ home countries. We will use the findings to further support the ethical recruitment of migrant workers and to work towards creating lasting change.
Learn more about the International Organization for Migration
An Indian girl in school
We believe in protecting children
We do everything we can to act in the best interests of children and protect children’s rights. We do this through advocacy, raising awareness and supporting children in vulnerable communities.
Our commitment to children runs deep
When it comes to our products and stores, we try to think from a child’s perspective. We want our products to aid their development and for our stores to become play areas, just as if they were at home. We work with experts on children’s development, to learn and understand their needs during different stages of development.
A clear ban on child labor
We believe that children have the right to be protected from exploitation, abuse and neglect. This is why child labor is unacceptable to IKEA and why we work actively to prevent and eliminate it. Our child labor code of conduct, introduced in 2000, was developed in close co-operation with Save the Children and with advice from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF.
Creating long-term solutions
Preventing and eliminating child labor is a big challenge, which can only be tackled by addressing the root causes with a holistic approach. That’s why the IKEA Foundation supports UNICEF and Save the Children child rights programs in 25,000 villages in a number of states in India and Pakistan; reaching a total of 15 million children by the end of 2017. Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more information
SUPPLIERS
Building good relationships
We want everyone to feel good about the products we sell, which is why we put a lot of work into our supplier relationships – and those relationships that reach beyond ours. There are about 600,000 people working for companies that directly supply IKEA around the world, and we want to be sure they are all treated fairly.
That’s why in 2000 we launched IWAY, our supplier code of conduct. Our suppliers are responsible for communicating IWAY to their sub-suppliers and we are supporting them to do this. All home furnishing suppliers must comply with IWAY requirements, otherwise they are phased out.
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We visit our suppliers regularly to check that they are following IWAY, and conduct around 1,000 audits each year
What is the IWAY Standard?
Our supplier code of conduct, the IWAY Standard, plays an important role in positive developments. It specifies our minimum requirements relating to the environment, social impact and working conditions.
We visit our suppliers regularly to check that they are following the IWAY Standard. Around 80 IKEA auditors, as well as independent third party auditors make both announced and unannounced checks at suppliers and their sub-suppliers.
IWAY Standards are clearly posted on a supplier factory wall
The IWAY Standard requirements include:
- No child labor
- No forced or bonded labor
- No discrimination
- Freedom of association
- At least minimum wages and overtime compensation
- A safe and healthy work environment, preventing pollution to air, ground and water and work to reduce energy consumption. Download the IWAY Standard PDF
Building partnerships with social entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs are people who tackle social problems with innovation. They think ambitiously, and use business as a means to create change rather than wealth. Whether it’s education of healthcare, human rights or self-sufficiency – for social entrepreneurs, financial profit exists to profit society. By working with social entrepreneurs IKEA has an opportunity to support families and our communities.
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. Recently, 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.
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Pictures below are of the limited edition HÅLLNING textiles collection available only at the IKEA Round Rock and IKEA Houston stores. Learn more:
IKEA Houston
IKEA Round Rock
social entrepreneurs, IKEA, US, refugee, textiles, collection, texas, Austin, Round rock, Houston
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Not just your ordinary rug
The TÅNUM rag rug is a great example of how we can bring together two of our core passions – reducing waste and creating a better everyday life. TÅNUM is made from leftover materials from the production of our fabric and quilt covers, and thereby no two rugs are alike. It’s also the kind of staple piece that has been around in Swedish homes for about 150 years.
The idea for the design came from young Finnish design student, Erik Bertell, who wanted to reinvent the rug in a more modern way. But, some great ideas don’t just stop there; they go a step further. Not only is the production of TÅNUM responsibly turning waste into a resource; skilled craftswomen in Bangladesh weave them. This provides the women with jobs, and a stable income. Watch the video for the full story about TÅNUM rug.
Community-led education about growing Better Cotton
Working with WWF to improve cotton farmers’ lives
IKEA and WWF have worked successfully together on cotton farming issues for over a decade. As a result, an estimated 125,000 farmers in India, Pakistan, China and Turkey have started growing cotton in a more sustainable way. By using less chemical fertilizers and more natural alternatives to chemical pesticides, small-hold farmers can cut their costs while crops remain as good as before. The money they save might be used to invest in water-saving drip irrigation or perhaps in education for their children. Visit the WWF website to learn more about our partnership
FAIR & EQUAL: HUMAN RIGHTS | SUPPLIERS | SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS
Building partnerships with social entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs use business as a way to create social change. The social enterprises we partner with employ local artisans – mostly women who live in rural areas, with previously limited or no access to paid work and sustainable income.
Collaborating with social entrepreneurs gives us inspiration and access to skilled artisans who work with traditional handicrafts. The products we co-create are all made by hand in limited numbers and sold in selected IKEA stores, with all profits going back into the initiative.
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These women inspire us. Hear the story of one social entrepreneur and one artisan in India.
PEOPLE & COMMUNITIES: HUMAN RIGHTS | SUPPLIERS | SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS | IKEA FOUNDATION | GOOD CAUSES
IKEA FOUNDATION
Improving opportunities for children
No matter what the circumstances, every child deserves a place to call home, a healthy start in life, a quality education and a sustainable family income. The IKEA Foundation supports programs run by well-regarded organizations – like UNICEF and the Clinton Health Access Initiative – to help children and youth living in the world’s poorest communities so they can create a better future for themselves and their families. The Foundation’s currently funded programs will benefit 100 million children by the end of 2015.
Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more info
Two children at a refugee camp
The IKEA Foundation contributes more than $108.9 million every year to children’s charities, through funds set aside from IKEA Group’s profits.
4 ways the IKEA foundation helps children
A young girl in school
Empowering women and girls
By empowering women – through education, skills training, improved healthcare, or providing a loan to set up a small business – we can improve children’s health, education and future opportunities. IKEA Foundation funds programs to empower and educate women, giving them a better chance to provide for themselves and their families. Visit the IKEA Foundation website to learn more about their empowerment programs
A young boy at a refugee camp
A better life for refugee children
Every year millions of children are forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters and conflicts. The IKEA Foundation is supporting the UN’s Refugee Agency with €76 million to provide shelter, care and education to refugee families in Ethiopia, Sudan and Bangladesh. Visit the IKEA Foundation website to find out how they are building safe places for refugee families to call home
Young children that are not in school are the most vulnerable
Preventing child labor
Since 2000, we have donated €80 million to UNICEF and Save the Children to fight the root causes of child labor in India and Pakistan. Our programs have already helped 12 million children have access to better schools and better protection from having to work, and we're extending them to reach many millions more. Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more information on how they are working towards preventing child labor
Young child sitting on his mother's lap while a female doctor listens to his heart
Emergency response
All children should have the right to learn and play. But when natural disasters and conflicts turn their lives upside down, they lose the chance to simply be a child. That’s why the IKEA Foundation provides financial support and donates IKEA products for emergency relief efforts to humanitarian partners like Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Visit the IKEA Foundation website to learn more about the emergency response programs
IKEA FOUNDATION | GOOD CAUSE CAMPAIGNS | refugees
GOOD CAUSE CAMPAIGNS
Our Let’s Play for Change campaign
With our IKEA Let’s Play for Change campaign, we want to show people that play is a basic need rather than a luxury. Play is vital, not just for kids, but for all of us. Why? Because when we spark play, we connect, create, recharge, escape and explore.
During the campaign (Weeks 44 - 51), our stores are extra playful places to be. Because we want you to play more, to see how light and simple activities makes everyday life more playful.
We hope you’ll join us in getting lost in the joy of play, and that you’ll find out how simple it is to carry on the fun at home.
Let’s play! Look out for these fun graphics from the IKEA Let’s Play for Change campaign.
We know play
We’re real play geeks, having studied, examined and analyzed what makes play happen, what gets in its way and how different cultures do it. We published our latest findings as the IKEA Play Report ’17 which, combined with our two previous Play Reports, represents the world’s largest body of research on play.
We’ve also created a mini guide including fun activities to do with your kids, to inspire you to play more at home. Because play is vital for all of us, we want to show people that, no matter who you are, it’s easy for everyone to spark it everywhere, every day.
The IKEA Let’s Play campaign wants to inspire families to play more at home.Need ideas on fun activities to do with your kids? Join the IKEA Let’s Play campaign!
Kids play – a fundamental right, a basic need
Play helps us develop important skills such as teamwork, risk taking and resilience to stress. It is so vital that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child declares that every child has a right to play. Yet millions of children across the world are denied their fundamental right to play and develop in a safe, secure environment.
Through our Let’s Play for Change campaign, the IKEA Foundation has partnered with six leading organizations – Handicap International, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF and War Child – to provide even the most vulnerable children with safe places where they can play, develop and simply enjoy being kids. Thanks to their work, 150,000 children are now enjoying their right to play.
Play helps kids develop their teamwork skills – join the IKEA Let’s Play campaign and play more!
Your kid’s drawing can turn into a soft toy to be sold in every IKEA store!
Our Soft toy drawing competition and SAGOSKATT – it all goes to charity
Designed by kids to help other kids, the cute, cuddly SAGOSKATT soft toy collection is back. This family of funny friends is the definition of play with a purpose: the full purchase price of each SAGOSKATT soft toy is donated to local charities in order to support every child’s right to play and to develop.
This year’s collection consists of a pink unicorn living in the clouds; a rainbow-colored shark travelling the seas; a mischievous blue monster; a hedgehog/dinosaur/monster hybrid who loves tropical fruit; and a spotty seal who plays with a little fish.
The IKEA Soft toy drawing competition for next year’s toy designs is currently open, so we’re calling on all IKEA FAMILY members’ creative kids aged 0-12 to take part between 10/16 and 11/8. The most unique creations will be turned into real toys, to be sold in every IKEA store and to inspire kids play across the world.
The IWitness Global Citizens program
This program gives IKEA co-workers a chance to see first-hand how the money raised through IKEA Good Cause campaigns contributes to a better life for children in the world’s poorest communities. Co-workers visit various projects run by IKEA Foundation partners, and share their experiences on IKEA Foundations’ Global Citizens blog.
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Send a message of hope this holiday season
October 1, 2018 - January 31, 2019

When you send a UNICEF Holiday Greeting Card, you can help bring hope, health, and happiness to children around the world. Select from a variety of cards and feel good knowing that 100% of the proceeds from sales of UNICEFF cards goes to the US fund for UNICEF.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.
Find an IKEA store near you
Youngsters play and dance during the "Caravana del Deporte' (Sports Caravan) organized by Unicef, Fudela and the Sports Ministry of Ecuador in Manabi, Ecaudor, where about 285 youngsters receive education.
refugees
Supporting refugees
Since January 2015, more than one million refugees have entered Europe trying to create a better everyday life for them-selves and their children in Europe. The Good Cause campaign “Brighter Lives for Refugees” is one of many things IKEA and IKEA Foundation has done to help improve life of refugees. For every LED product sold in all IKEA stores and online, during the campaign periods, the IKEA Foundation donated Є1 to help UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. The campaign generated approximately $30.8 million in donations from IKEA Foundation to UNHCR, to provide light, renewable energy and education for refugee families living in camps in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, enough for UNHCR to continue run the renewable energy and education programs for years to come.
As the refugee crisis continues to unfold, we have been active in supporting local organizations with essential items needed to provide better conditions for newly arrived refugees. Many IKEA co-workers are volunteering their time and assisting refugees to re-establish their lives in new communities. And in some countries, we have started longer term programs that help refugees integrate into the workforce.
Find out more at IKEA Foundation
Image of two boys walking thru a refugee camp in the sunset. ©UNHCR/Warrick Page
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ENERGY & RESOURCES
Creating positive change
Learn how we’re sourcing materials in a responsible way and becoming energy independent. Go to Energy & Resources