Together we’ll lay the groundwork for a positive recovery. A message from Torbjörn Lööf, CEO Inter IKEA Group.
The global spread of COVID-19 affects everyone. People all over the world are naturally concerned about their health and livelihood, and we share that concern. We are in the midst of the outbreak in many parts of the world, and a second and third wave cannot be ruled out.
The pandemic also impacts IKEA. This is the biggest challenge we’ve faced in modern times and our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our co-workers, suppliers, partners and customers. We also support communities in the areas where we operate – to the best of our ability.
Even if the outbreak calls for urgent and sometimes painful decisions, it is important to not lose sight of our long-term commitments. We know from our past that challenges can and will be turned into opportunities and drive change to the better. Now is the time to also look ahead and lay the groundwork for a positive recovery for people, society and the planet.
Business and people go hand-in-hand, and we now have the opportunity to step-by-step find new, creative ways to go back to business in an even better way. The outbreak has not made the global warming go away and risks to put millions of people back into poverty.
Now more than ever, we’re determined to be a positive force in society. With our size and global reach, IKEA can play an important role and we will continue to contribute to help those worst affected by the outbreak. We will also continue our efforts to become circular and climate positive by 2030 and make healthy and sustainable living affordable to the many people. A more modern, inclusive and circular economy built on renewable energy will increase our resilience and be the way forward.
We will engage and collaborate with other industries, policy makers, businesses, experts and NGO’s in communities and across borders to turn the challenges into opportunities and strive for a positive recovery. Our vision, culture and values will guide us, and we will always continue to do what’s in the best interest of the many people.
Everyone at IKEA is working together to make sure that the IKEA business continues to operate in these extraordinary circumstances. We will work closely together and make sure that IKEA continues to be a positive force in society creating a better everyday life for the many people.
Emergency community support
Our size and global presence give us a unique opportunity to help people and communities in need. Around the world we have mobilised to respond to requests for donations and support, and to collaborate with governments, civil society organisations and other companies.
For example, Ingka Group, the largest IKEA franchisee, has taken an initial step of supporting emergency relief with €26m of in-kind donations, allowing all 30 of its markets to take immediate action in their local communities. Prioritising the needs of high-risk groups and those leading relief efforts, this will focus on providing necessities such as beds, bedding, food and toys to hospitals, medical centres and shelters.
The IKEA Foundation is also committed to providing up to €10 million, primarily to help existing partners with coronavirus specific programmes supporting communities around the world. The IKEA Foundation is supporting Médicins Sans Frontières (Docters without Borders) as well as the Start Network with the launch of a new COVID-19 fund with a donation of €1.5M.
Some of the local initiatives that have been taken so far
- IKEA Industry in Hungary started a project to support the local hospital with ventilators - an initiative that inspired more local companies to join in.
- Stores in Sweden, The Netherlands and Hong Kong have provided safety masks to local communities.
- Franchisee Al Sulaiman has supported with the furnishing of up to 200 rooms in quarantine facilities in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and has so far donated more than 800 products, including beds.
- Franchisee Sarton has donated food from their closed stores in the Spanish Islands and the Caribbean to local community support organisations.
- Delft Westcord IKEA Hotel provided rooms for elderly hospital patients not suffering from COVID-19 to allow more space at local hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
- IKEA Wembley in the UK opened a coronavirus test centre for NHS (National Health Service) workers.
- In mainland China, the IKEA Purchasing & Logistics Area East Asia Sustainability Compliance team has set up an epidemic response group to support all business partners to secure workers’ health when resuming production.
IKEA joins alliance committed to a green recovery from coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has had, and will continue to have, far-reaching social and economic consequences. Inter IKEA Group and Ingka Group have joined an alliance of 180 political decision-makers, business leaders, trade unions, NGOs, and think tanks calling for a commitment by all stakeholders to address these issues while continuing to support long-term climate change initiatives.
Even if the COVID-19 outbreak calls for urgent action, we are determined not to lose sight of our long-term goals. Despite the current shift in focus, we remain committed to becoming circular and climate positive by 2030.