Our suppliers – a key to building a better business
We know that our business has an impact on people and the planet. So how can we do good business while being a good business?
We want everyone to feel good about the products we sell. That's why choosing suppliers is not just a question about finding the right quality, at the right price. We also want to make sure that our environmental standards are met, and that everyone involved is treated fairly.
For us it's a natural extension of creating a better everyday life, and that's why it includes suppliers and service providers across different stages of the value chain including service providers to stores, distribution centres and facility management, as well as suppliers of food, transport, home furnishing products and components.
To achieve our goals we've developed a code of conduct for suppliers called IWAY (short for the IKEA way on purchasing products, materials and services). IWAY is based on widely recognised international documents and conventions for human rights, environmental protection, and worker safety, as well as on IKEA values and legal compliance.
Since the launch in 2000 IWAY embraces everything we do. Across the world suppliers in home furnishing, components, goods transport and global food are IWAY approved. In numbers, hundreds of thousands of people work for our direct home furnishing suppliers and across other value chain service providers. And our suppliers’ own suppliers – our sub-suppliers – in turn employ millions of people.
Protection for workers
Our vision of “creating a better everyday life for the many people” embraces co-workers, customers, suppliers and their local communities. And it's not limited to only include workers at suppliers working directly with IKEA.
The same goes for migrant workers, who leave home in the hope of finding work and to improve their quality of life. In many cases the available job opportunities come with recruitment fees being charged to workers, which in the worst cases can lead to bonded labour.
At IKEA we set clear standards for the recruitment and employment of workers. We require suppliers to cover all recruitment fees and other related costs, treat migrant workers equally and to offer transparent employment terms and good working and living conditions. Under no circumstances do we tolerate any forced labour or human trafficking.
A positive perspective
Working with suppliers is not just about making sure all production and operations are carried out in a responsible manner. By making sure our suppliers share our vision, we create strong ties for the future. When we can work together and share the same goal, we are not just buyer and supplier, but partners for growth.
We are committed to IWAY in every way. We provide training and support to enable our suppliers and service providers to meet new requirements and compliance, and to continuously embed IWAY into everyday business processes. And it seems to be working: For example, the average length of cooperation between IKEA and home furnishing suppliers is currently 11 years.