IKEA is committed to respecting human rights in all areas of our business, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the UN Children’s Rights and Business Principles. We recognise our responsibility to know our direct and indirect impact on people and communities across our value chain. No matter where we operate, we do not accept any form of forced or bonded labour, anywhere in the IKEA value chain, be it at our own operations or operations in the IKEA value chain.
To make sure that everyone in the IKEA value chain works towards the same goal, we integrate our commitment to respect human rights into our long-term business priorities (the IKEA direction), the IKEA Sustainability strategy and IKEA People strategy and set clear standards and expectations for the IKEA business relationships and ourselves. The minimum expectations we place on our business relationships are found in the IKEA supplier code of conduct IWAY and in the IKEA franchisee code of conduct IConduct.
Both IWAY and IConduct are based on the eight core International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and reference the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, which support our commitment to respect human rights.
Supplier requirements and due diligence
We believe one of the key factors to reducing the risk of negative human rights impacts, including forced labour, is having long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with suppliers and service providers based on shared values. For example, the average length of the relationship between IKEA and our home furnishing suppliers is 11 years. This gives us the opportunity to continuously work with our business partners and together tackle social issues in the IKEA value chain.
IWAY, the IKEA way of responsibly procuring products, services, materials and components and our supplier code of conduct. IWAY is based on the ambitions and commitments in the IKEA Sustainability strategy and the IKEA Supply strategy and has been the base of our work towards a more sustainable value chain since 2000. It is mandatory for all suppliers and service providers, and addresses issues such as child labour, forced or bonded labour, responsible recruitment, wages and working hours, among other topics.
We focus on developing and supporting our suppliers and service providers through everyday business activities. We have competent and experienced teams in social and environmental topics in many regions and countries around the world. They actively work with the IKEA suppliers close to the business operations.
Wherever we operate, we must be able to secure that our mandatory requirements concerning working conditions, and social and environmental standards are being met. To verify compliance with IWAY, we conduct announced and unannounced audits. Any warning signs of forced labour are immediately investigated, always taking into account what is in the best interest of impacted workers. When a case of forced labour is confirmed, we collaborate closely with the supplier to ensure the situation is fully remediated and that workers are supported throughout the process.
If a supplier fails to comply with the IWAY requirements within a given timeframe and despite the support provided by IKEA, the supplier is phased out and the business agreement terminated. When there is a confirmed forced labour case, the business relationship is only terminated after ensuring that any impacted workers are not negatively impacted by the business termination or put at risk of falling back into forced labour. IKEA continues to monitor the case until it is fully remediated.
Business requirements placed on IKEA franchisees
The IKEA brand unites hundreds of organisations all over the world, all of us committed to ensuring our brand is trusted and meaningful.
Requirements expected from IKEA franchisees are described in IConduct – the IKEA franchisee code of conduct. IConduct provides us with a strong base for ensuring that we act on our responsibility, helping us to fulfil the IKEA vision of creating a better everyday life for the many people.
The IKEA franchisees have the responsibility to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including, health, safety, anti-corruption, data privacy, environmental, and employment laws and regulations and others. In IConduct we outline all specific requirements to live up to in the area of forced or bonded labour.
Where IConduct requirements exceed those of applicable laws and/or regulations, franchisees must follow the requirements of IConduct. However, the applicable laws and regulations are followed if they impose standards that are contrary to and/or stricter than those set out under IConduct.
We know that eliminating forced labour from global supply chains and creating a positive impact on society will not be achieved by us alone. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with other stakeholders toward these goals. That’s why we play an active role, along with others, in leading the change we want to see.
One example is protecting vulnerable groups of migrant workers by ensuring responsible recruitment practices. The Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment (LGRR) supports the Employer Pays Principle to eliminate recruitment fees being charged to workers anywhere in the world by 2026. In South-East Asia, we partnered with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to support our suppliers in responsible recruitment of migrant workers.
We believe these types of initiatives, alongside dialogue and cooperation with our suppliers, governments and civil society, are crucial in the prevention of forced labour, enabling respect for human rights and achieving our ambition to have a positive impact on people and society. We will continue to focus our efforts and collaborate to create a movement towards better working conditions and decent and meaningful work across industries. We acknowledge that in some areas and at some moments, this is a challenging journey. But by setting clear expectations, prioritising continuous development and working with others, we believe that we can contribute to a better everyday life where all people’s human rights are respected.
The Inter IKEA Group approach to human rights due diligence