What is IKEA doing about sustainability?
At IKEA, we want to have a positive impact on people and the planet. Wondering how we do it? We focus on the following three themes:
1. Circular and climate-positive
2. Fair and equal
3. A more sustainable life at home
Circular and climate-positive
By investing in energy saving, renewable energy and the reuse of our waste streams, we want to reduce our ecological footprint. IKEA's aim is to generate as much sustainable energy as we consume worldwide by 2020.
Some of our ambitions:
- From 2030, IKEA will use only recycled or renewable materials in its products.
- We're becoming climate positive. We reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% and inspire customers and suppliers to do the same.
- By 2025, home delivery to customers will be 100% electric.
- We are going to close the cycle by repairing, renting, taking back and recycling IKEA products.
In 2018, IKEA stores in the Netherlands consumed 35% less energy than in 2010. These savings correspond to the total consumption of more than 8,000 households, comparable to the entire municipality of Zandvoort. We have achieved these savings through a complete switch to energy-efficient LED lighting, better insulation of our buildings and optimisation of our installations. In addition, IKEA has installed 30,000 solar panels on the roofs of its stores in the Netherlands. We will increase this to 50,000 panels in the coming years.
Our main materials are wood and cotton, which are used in many of our products. By making sure they come from more sustainable sources, we can make a big difference to the planet.
- 85% of all our wood comes from sustainable sources. More about wood at IKEA.
- 100% of the cotton in our products comes from more sustainable sources. More about cotton at IKEA.
By 2030, we only want to use renewable or recycled materials. No more oil-based plastic!
We also choose a responsible & certified variant for the main ingredients of our restaurant. We have a vegetarian range, such as the veggie balls - which reduce CO2 emissions by 95%. Fish, coffee and cocoa are now 100% certified. In the coming years, we want to throw away 50% less food.
Waste & Recycling
Disposing of materials is a shame at IKEA. That's why we're committed to recycling our waste streams in the Netherlands. Did you know that IKEA Netherlands recycles more than 85% of its waste?
Many of our products are already made from recycled materials, such as recycled wood, recycled paper and recycled plastics. In 2017, the IKEA Group invested in Morssinkhof Rymoplast Group, a plastic recycling plant. We return the plastic film from our own operation to Morssinkhof. There it is processed into granulate, which we then use as a raw material in new IKEA products, such as our YDBY doormat or plant sprayer TOMAT. This completes the circle. Read more about plastic at IKEA.
Customers who buy a new mattress at IKEA and have it delivered to their home can use our return and recycling service. For a small fee, we take the old mattress back with us and ensure that it is recycled. By 2017, we will have taken back and recycled almost 4,000 mattresses in the Netherlands. These are processed into, for example, judo mats and insulation material.
Last year we participated in the 'Eet Geen Dierendag' initiative organised by Wakkerdier. This gave us the opportunity to introduce our customers to new plant-based and vegetarian dishes such as our Thai curry, Indian korma and pasta with bolognese sauce – all of which use Pulled Oats® instead of meat. We received a lot of positive reactions to the new plant based dishes and we have been alternately using them within our range lately.
The aim of IKEA is to encourage as many people as possible to live healthier, more sustainable lives. We are doing this by offering an ever-increasing range of tasty, healthy and sustainable food that has a positive impact on people and the environment.
At IKEA, we are turning our attention specifically to plant-based versions of dishes that are traditionally made using meat, and are increasingly introducing new vegetarian options that are both tasty and healthy. We have a responsibility to offer products that are less harmful to our planet. Because of the size of our business we can actually make a real difference.
Fair and equal
Our vision to "create a better daily life for as many people as possible" applies to our employees, our customers, our suppliers and the communities in which they live. Respect for human rights, based on the UN Principles of Human Rights and Business, is embodied in everything we do and also in our Supplier Code of Conduct, IWAY.
We want everyone to feel good about the products we sell. That's why we work hard on our relationships with our suppliers, and also on those relationships that go even further. In 2000, we introduced The IKEA Way on Purchasing Home Furnishing Products (IWAY), our supplier code of conduct. It sets out what suppliers can expect from IKEA and what IKEA expects from its suppliers. It covers working conditions, the prevention of child labour, care for the environment and much more. Our suppliers transfer IWAY to their suppliers and we help them to do so.
Children are the most important people on earth. Everyone has the right to a home, a healthy start in life, good education and a liveable family income. The IKEA Foundation supports programmes by renowned organisations such as UNICEF and UNHCR that help children and young people from the poorest communities around the world to create a better future for themselves and their families.
The IKEA Foundation will spend €700 million between 2018 and 2023 on programmes related to climate change. These projects are aimed at supporting local communities to adapt to a changing climate, gain access to renewable energy and reduce CO2 emissions.
Stichting IMC Weekendschool
IKEA, in collaboration with Stichting IMC Weekendschool, has developed a curriculum on sustainability. The curriculum gives more than 350 weekend school students tools to better understand sustainability and the earth. The students visit an IKEA store in the neighbourhood and are taught by our co-workers. Through scavenger hunts, sales role-playing games, design and recycling assignments and various challenges, they learn all about how to live sustainably at home. For example by saving energy and water, reusing, recycling and making healthy and sustainable food. It is important that students know how they themselves can influence the environment, the climate and their surroundings.