Insights from new 25-country study: Sustainable living perceived as too expensive

A majority of people across the world would like to live a more healthy and sustainable life. The biggest barrier is that it’s perceived to be too expensive. These are some of the key findings in a survey from GlobeScan in partnership with IKEA on Healthy & Sustainable Living released today. IKEA wants to make a positive difference and enable sustainable choices for more people.

“Our ambition is to make sustainable living affordable, attractive and accessible for the many people with thin wallets,” says Lena Pripp-Kovac, Head of Sustainability at Inter IKEA Group. “We want to use the insights from this and other studies to enable the better everyday living that people are looking for.” 

The 25-country study finds increased anxiety among citizens around the world and that environmental issues are a growing concern. It concludes that living healthy and sustainably is viewed by 54% of people across the world as a major or large personal priority, while almost none (2%) says that it’s not a priority. However, only 6% say they completely live this way now. According to the survey, the biggest barrier to living a healthy and sustainable life is that it’s perceived to be too expensive. Many also feel that governments and businesses are not supporting it enough.

“Sustainability is embedded in our vision of creating a better everyday life for the many people. Through our size and focus on affordability, we have a big possibility to make a positive difference. IKEA has committed to inspire and enable more than 1 billion people to live better lives within the limits of the planet by 2030. To better understand the barriers and enablers, we continuously lead and participates in consumer studies. We want to enable the many people to live more sustainable lives and at the same time contribute to societal change through innovations and new collaborations,” says Lena Pripp-Kovac.

GlobeScan’s public report can be found here, and additional insights from the 25-country study will be made public during the fall. 

“Just like our colleagues at IKEA, we at GlobeScan believe that there is a global need and a responsibility for businesses to help all people live more healthy and sustainable lives. Our research finds that this leads to happier lives and a better future for us all. We are grateful for IKEA’s partnership in creating this possibility,” says Eric Whan, Director at GlobeScan.

Examples of IKEA solutions to inspire and enable sustainable living:

  • Responsibly sourced products based on renewable and recycled materials* with lower climate impact, for example recycled polyester and FÖRÄNDRING a collection made of rice straw
  • Designing products from the very beginning to be repaired, repurposed, reused and recycled
  • MISTELN mist nozzle, reducing water use by more than 90%, launching 2020
  • IKEA Home Solar, generating energy at home, available in 30 IKEA markets by 2025**
  • Plant-based food, such as a veggie dog and a plant-based soft ice
  • Testing new circular services that support people to:
    • Acquire products (rent, share, buy second hand)
    • Care for products (repair, upgrade, adapt)
    • Pass on products (return, sell, donate and recycle), furniture leasing will be tested in some markets during 202

* By 2030, aiming for all IKEA products and packing materials to be based on renewable or recycled materials.

**Through the retail business of Ingka Group – the largest retailer in the IKEA franchise system

Related links

IKEA Sustainability Report FY18

IKEA sustainability strategy – People & Planet Positive

GlobeScan’s public report


  • Range and Supply
    For questions regarding the IKEA range: how we design and develop our products, including the IKEA food offer, and questions regarding how we source and distribute them, please contact us here: