Need sleek, modern furniture with an affordable price tag? IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings company, is often your first stop. And while you most likely know IKEA for its super stylish and inexpensive wares, what you might not realize is that IKEA has long been a leader in sustainability. Through its commitment to what it calls “democratic design,” the company is reducing its environmental impact as it creates products that are functional, affordable, and durable.
IKEA Sees Possibilities for Real Change
IKEA understands that people around the world are pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle. However, the cost of goods and services that are better for the environment is often higher than what they can afford. IKEA feels a sense of responsibility to offer consumers sustainable options at affordable prices to make real progress in the fight against climate change.
Lately, IKEA has been ramping up its efforts to go green. Its goal is to be climate positive by 2030, and it’s making some big changes to make that happen. IKEA’s focus on becoming climate-positive means that it is working to do more than just achieve net-zero carbon emission status. The company is looking to make a positive environmental impact by removing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and significantly reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
IKEA Is Shifting Toward Clean Energy
As part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement—a treaty that aims to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels—IKEA is working to significantly reduce GHGs by deploying clean energy and improving energy efficiency. The company has installed over 900,000 solar panels on many of its stores and distribution centers, and it also purchases renewable energy credits to offset its energy usage. In addition, IKEA has committed to using 100% renewable energy in its operations by 2030. Already, 90% of its stores use rooftop solar. The company is also interested in making solar energy available to its customers and has teamed up with the folks at SunPower to help the IKEA Family make the switch to green energy.
IKEA Products Are Made with the Environment in Mind
IKEA is also serious about reducing waste. The company has initiatives in place to cut down on waste throughout its entire operations, and IKEA products are designed with an eye to being reused, refurbished, remanufactured, and recycled. Creating durable products helps to prolong their life and generate as little waste as possible. It has even started using recycled materials in some of its products, like furniture made from recycled plastic bottles and textiles made from recycled cotton. By 2030, IKEA aims to have all its products made with renewable or recycled materials.
IKEA Is Reaching Big Goals to Use Sustainably Sourced Materials
IKEA’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop there. The company is also focused on responsible forestry practices and has pledged to use only sustainably sourced materials such as Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified wood in its products. According to the IKEA Sustainability Report for Fiscal Year 2020, IKEA successfully achieved this goal, with more than 98% of wood used for IKEA products being either FSC® certified or recycled.
The company works with suppliers to make sure they’re following responsible forestry practices too. IKEA knows that carbon can be removed and stored in land, plants, and products, ultimately reducing GHGs in the atmosphere. Encouraging the use of responsible sourcing standards and supporting sustainable management practices in forestry and agriculture can have a big impact.
IKEA Uses a Circular Business Model to Help Protect Planet Earth
IKEA also employs a circular business model. This means that IKEA works to modify and manage the flow of products and materials with the goal of recovering or recycling the resources used to create its products. Through the successful use of this model, companies increase efficiency, reduce their environmental footprint, and cut down on operational waste. As of FY2020, more than 9,500 IKEA products have been evaluated for their circular potential. That’s something to be proud of.
In line with this circular model is how IKEA cares about the entire lifecycle of its products. As LIVEKINDLY notes, IKEA is aiming to make long-lasting products that can be used again and again. And the company isn’t just designing its furniture with sustainability in mind; it is also encouraging customers to use and care for its products in an environmentally friendly way. IKEA offers repair and maintenance services to help customers extend the life of their products, and it has even introduced a buy-back program that lets customers sell its used IKEA products back to the company. It has also made it easier to access spare parts for its furniture. In FY2020, it offered more than 14 million spare parts to its customers.
IKEA Reaches Beyond Its Stores to Make an Even Bigger Impact
IKEA’s sustainability efforts don’t just stop at its own operations either. The company is also committed to promoting sustainability in the communities where it does business. It supports local farmers and promotes the use of public transportation, for example. The company partners with its direct home furnishings suppliers to help them reduce their carbon footprint as well. This is no small feat considering that there are nearly 1,000 of these factories, which have a carbon footprint four times larger than IKEA’s manufacturing alone.
The List of Sustainable Actions Goes on with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet
If these company-wide actions weren’t enough, the IKEA Foundation joined the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund to start the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. Together these groups provided the base capital of $1.5 billion with the goal of raising $100 billion in public and private funding over the next decade. It aims to expand access to clean energy, especially in developing countries, reduce global carbon emissions, and enable sustainable livelihoods.
All in all, IKEA is leading the way when it comes to sustainability and showing other businesses that it’s possible to be profitable and environmentally friendly at the same time. Its dedication to creating a better future for all of us is seriously impressive, and the company is setting a great example for other companies to follow.
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By evee Life Contributor
Published January 4, 2023 9:09PM
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