IKEA, the worlds largest home furnishing retailer, has released its 2009 Sustainability Report (September 1, 2008 August 31, 2009), which recaps and highlights its progress in many areas including integrating sustainability into all IKEA strategies as well as the entire product life cycle. This integrated way of thinking is rudimentary in order to tackle some of the environmental challenges that our world faces today. Aptly named The Never Ending Job, the report explains IKEAs continued focus on identifying good resources and using more efficient materials. The report can be found at http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/about_ikea/our_responsibility/index.html
IKEA is obsessed with making more from less, and we dont like to waste resources of any kind. This will continue to be our compass in years to come, and we will stimulate new thinking and innovation in our sustainability work, stated Mikael Ohlsson, President and CEO, IKEA Group.
The IKEA Sustainability Report 2009 details the retailers local, national and global sustainability progress relative to the large and complex supply chain, working condition situations, carbon dioxide emissions and access to raw materials that are produced in a more sustainable manner.
While the report is rich with many details, key highlights worth noting are climate change activities, supplier activities, social initiative programs, US activities, and the soon to be launched IKEA in-store Never Ending Job list. This is a customer communications campaign to share IKEAs sustainable activities within the framework that being sustainable is a never ending job.
IKEA Climate Change Activities
IKEA is concerned about climate change and is deeply committed to reducing carbon dioxide CO2 emissions from all aspects of IKEA operations. In FY09, IKEA reduced their total CO2 emissions by 5% from the previous year, while continuing to steadily bring down IKEA emissions per product volume. Data shows net positive results from efforts to reduce emissions in distribution centers, office buildings, products transport and from business travel. In 2010, IKEA will participate in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, by road testing a new global framework for measuring greenhouse gas emissions.
IKEA is committed to reducing emissions in their supply chain. A pilot program is in place to reduce the energy use by 30% or more by 2011 from set suppliers. In FY09, CO2 emissions from goods transport was 10% lower than FY08.
IKEA is expanding its effort with four new climate change projects with WWF. These projects will focus on measuring supply chain emissions, helping our customers tackle climate change through transport initiatives, reducing emissions from IKEA food product transport, and improving the reuse and recycling of used products.
In FY09, IKEA updated IWAY, a long standing supplier code of conduct. Improvements in IWAY included more stringent requirements for suppliers. This action resulted in reducing the negative environmental impact on supplier production and operations. Since IWAY was introduced in 2000, IKEA has made more than 100,000 improvements.
IKEA South Asia suppliers show significant improvements in better working and living conditions, as well as better chemical and waste management. Additionally, this region has many textile industries in which IKEA specialists support these suppliers with improved water treatment management.
IKEA Never Ending Job List Launch
Making improvements for a better and a more sustainable retail company is a never ending job. There is always more work to be done. The launch of the Never Ending Job list is a customer engagement and education initiative that speaks directly to customers with the goal of increasing awareness with transparency and authenticity about the many sustainable programs and processes at IKEA worldwide. The Never Ending Job will be communicated in the 300 plus IKEA stores worldwide, the catalogue, the web and IKEA publications.
The job list begins with Improvement #1 stating IKEA designs products that can be flat packed to optimize loads and lessen the number of transport vehicles while reducing emissions. Also using recyclable packaging, such as brown cardboard, saves costs and is good for the environment.
To date, the Never Ending Job list consists of 77 improvements and IKEA is committed to adding to this list on an ongoing basis. See more at IKEA-USA.com/theneverendinglist
IKEA Social Initiative Projects to Benefit More Than 100 Million Children in Developing Countries
IKEA Social Initiative was formed in 2005 to address the IKEA commitment to investments in social programs on a global level. The mission is to improve the rights and life opportunities of the many children to create lasting change. The focus is to support childrens rights and provide a healthy and secure childhood with access to quality education.
Current and ongoing Social Initiative projects include the following:
- Childs Rights programs in cotton producing states in India and Pakistan. By 2012, around 10 million children in more than 15,000 villages will benefit through improved access to quality education.
- Quality Education in Indias Carpet Belt: IKEA has a long standing partnership with UNICEF with joint childs right projects that include education, nutrition and eliminating child labor. From 2000-2007, joint childs right projects focusing on tackling problems such as debt, poverty and lack of access to education has impacted 500 villages with a result of 80,500 children attending school. In 2009, IKEA Social Initiative committed its support by ensuring access to quality education in 5,000 Indian villages in Northern India. This program also includes empowering Women with UNDP; in 2009, IKEA Social Initiative started a cooperative program with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to empower 50,000 women of Uttar Pradesh, India to become leaders, role models and entrepreneurs. The UNDP cooperation spans from 2009 to 2013 and will enhance the social, economic and political empowerment of women in 500 villages.
SUNNAN Lamp Sales: For every SUNNAN solar powered lamp an IKEA customer purchases, another SUNNAN will be donated through UNICEF and Save the Children to a child in Pakistan and India. This lamp enables children without electricity the ability to see after sunset and be able to study, read and write.
IKEA Soft Toy Program; The IKEA soft toy campaign held annually during the holiday season has raised over $33 million US dollars since its inception in 2003. One euro from each soft toy sold goes to UNICEF and Save the Children educational programs in developing countries.
IKEA will continue to work together with external stakeholders and partners such as WWF, UNICEF and Save the Children. We stimulate and learn from each other, and this will always mean that we can achieve so much more together than working on our own, commented Mikael Ohlsson, President and CEO, IKEA Group.
IKEA US Activities
In the US, IKEA only accepts transportation service providers that are members of the EPA SmartWay program. This program works to improve the environmental performance of freight operations. In US IKEA stores, about 67% of the waste is sorted and recycled. In addition, the remaining landfill in some markets is used for energy production. All IKEA stores provide collection points for customers to return waste, discard packaging and low energy bulbs (CFLs) for recycling.
IKEA and American Forests: In partnership with American Forests, IKEA has planted over 1.3 million trees in dedicated spots in US parks and forests. These tree plantings came from IKEA customer $1 dollar donations at IKEA store cash lanes. Additionally, a portion of this funding came from the IKEA plastic bag phase out program.
IKEA US stores (37 as of 4/2009) have dedicated community and environmental programs to support their local markets. The strategy is to support local programs that include children, education and the environment. This could include shelter family makeovers, product donations, community educational program support, as well as a number of different initiatives. For example, IKEA South Philadelphia cooperates with Safe Home Philadelphia to help children of homeless families by donating beds and accessories.