A portrait of Lena Julle, Sustainability Manager Range at IKEA of Sweden.

Making healthy and sustainable living a reality for the many

One of our biggest sustainability ambitions is to inspire and enable 1 billion people to live healthier and more sustainable lives within the limits of the planet. Meet Lena Julle, Sustainability Manager Range, and find out how IKEA is working to make this ambition a reality.

We believe that sustainability should be inspiring and affordable for the many, not boring or expensive.

Reaching 1 billion people is a huge ambition – is it even possible to achieve?

“We believe that sustainability should be inspiring and affordable for the many, not boring or expensive. Every year billions of people come in contact with the IKEA brand. If we can inspire and enable even a portion of our visitors and show them that a sustainable and healthy life is beautiful, desirable, and affordable, we’ll be on our way to achieving our ambition. It is a big number, but with our size and impact, we have the opportunity to actually make it happen.”

A bathroom sink and black tap with an ÅBÄCKEN mist nozzle for mixer tap spraying a thin ray of water mist on two soapy hands.
The ÅBÄCKEN mist nozzle for mixer tap fits any IKEA tap and most standard taps on the market, and it has the potential to save up to 95% water in mist mode compared to standard wash-basin mixer taps.

Living more sustainably must be seen as the better choice, not as a burden.

What is stopping people from living more sustainably today?

“Living in a way that is good for yourself, others, and the environment is an important priority for most people. People say that the biggest barrier to living a healthy and sustainable life is that it’s too expensive. That’s why we want to offer people affordable ways to create better homes built on more sustainable materials, better ways to use and generate renewable energy at home, reduce their climate impact, be energy and water efficient, purify the air in their homes, reduce waste, eat more plant-based foods and improve their health and wellbeing. Living more sustainably must be seen as the better choice, not as a burden.”

How is the IKEA business addressing the challenge of unsustainable consumption?

“Unsustainable consumption is one of the biggest challenges for humanity today. Tackling it requires changes in behaviour and new definitions of what makes a better everyday life. It’s about doing more and better with less, offering solutions, inspiration, knowledge and services that help customers make a change. We want to lead the way and create circular business models and solutions. But we can’t do it alone. We need to work together with governments, NGOs, and other businesses to make the biggest impact possible.”

An IKEA IVAR cabinet in pine placed on brown paper next to a paint bucket and a brush is partly covered with blue paint.
Repurposing furniture you already have is good for your wallet as well as for the environment – and adds a unique touch to your home, like this personalised IVAR cabinet.
An INGO table and IVAR chair renewed with grey-green paint and twine detailing along the back of the chair.
An IVAR chair was given a new lease on life with a coat of paint and some twine, adding a fresh and personal take on the Mediterranean style.

IKEA is becoming a circular business. What does it mean, and how will customers notice this?

“Becoming a circular business is a total transformation, a new business model, and it is one important way we will achieve becoming people and planet positive. We will do this by prolonging the life of products and materials in society and using resources in a smarter way, transitioning to using only recycled or renewable materials, which is a massive task. It also means designing all IKEA products to be repurposed, repaired, reused, resold, and recycled, right from the beginning. To make it work, we must encourage our customers to participate by offering new services and helping them care for and pass on products.”