7 March 2018

IKEA climbing new heights in its bid to become truly sustainable

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has released its annual sustainability report which details the strong advancements the company has made in the field.

The report makes for dizzying reading given the sheer breadth and variety of the environmental projects the company is involved in.

It reveals that the corporation now uses the equivalent of 73 percent renewable energy across its operations, helped by 750,000 solar panels on its buildings in 22 countries and owning 419 wind turbines.

Five new wind farms came online in 2017, which contributed to the company’s wind fleet producing the equivalent electricity to power 625,000 households.

As a major, international consumer of textiles and wood, IKEA has also been working to incorporate sustainable forestry and circular practices into its business.

For example, 100 percent of its cotton, and 77 percent of the wood it uses in its products, from duvets to picture frames, now come from sustainable sources. Jesper Brodin, IKEA’s new Chief Executive, commented that “in the coming years, we will take massive steps to become a circular business. We have already started on this journey and we are learning a lot. It will change the way IKEA products are designed and developed, the way we run our operations and how and where we meet our customers”.

On the back of this push, 2017 saw the launch of over 100 pilot projects to see how products and materials can be reused to end the pattern of waste. Early successes on this journey have been the recycling of 44,000 mattresses in the US; outlets in the country offered to take customers’ old mattresses when they bought new ones. In the UK, 1.1 tonnes of textiles were recycled from customers in the first three months of a ‘takeback initiative’ in Cardiff.

Pia Heidenmark-Cook Chief Sustainability Officer, at the group said that “We see that a movement is coming”

“Since we decided to go all-in for people and the planet, we’ve demonstrated how sustainability can be a driver of innovation and renewal – contributing to the success of our business”

“More and more, people are concerned and want to stand up for what they believe in. IKEA has always been about creating a better everyday life for the many people. Today, we continue to side with them on the issues that matter most”, she added.


Photo Credit: IKEA

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