This is how we will work to regenerate resources while growing our business:
- We aim to only use responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials in our offer.
- We will ensure that we have a positive impact by regenerating resources, protecting ecosystems and improving biodiversity.
- We will continue to secure and develop responsible sourcing standards that include environmental, social and animal welfare criteria.
A holistic view is key when assessing materials
We assess materials as holistically as possible by considering all relevant aspects. Otherwise, there is a risk of limiting efforts to solving specific challenges rather than looking at the totality of the problem. For example, when addressing deforestation, it is not enough to make efforts to stop land-use change since this is often a symptom of unsustainable farming on existing land. Therefore, a more holistic approach is needed, where aspects such as supporting sustainable farming and improving the livelihoods of smallholders are considered.
Wood is the most used material within the IKEA home furnishing business and a key focus area on our material agenda. Last year, we reached the more sustainable sources goal that was set out to be achieved by 2020, and today more than 99% of the wood used by IKEA is FSC®-certified or recycled. Responsibly managed forests have the capacity to mitigate climate change, safeguard biodiversity and provide a sustainable wood supply.
But as the world transitions away from virgin fossil fuels, demand for forest products is increasing, adding more pressure on forest resources. In addition, approximately 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihoods worldwide.
Our Forest Positive Agenda
Building on previous steps to improve global forestry practices, we are ramping up the work to enhance biodiversity, mitigate climate change and drive innovation to use wood in even smarter ways as pressure on the world’s forests continues to grow. One of our goals for FY30 is to secure that at least one third of the IKEA wood range will be made from recycled wood.
Globally, resource-intensive agricultural systems have contributed to deforestation, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, soil depletion and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. A significant part of the environmental and social impact in our value chain is upstream of our own and our suppliers’ operations. This is why we want to understand the full CO₂ footprint of IKEA agriculture sources, paying special attention to soil health and its ability to protect biodiversity and to become a carbon sink using regenerative practices.
Agricultural raw materials are found throughout the IKEA offer in food ingredients and as fibres or other renewable materials in products. Looking ahead, and by grouping the agricultural commodities together, we aim to further accelerate the movement towards regenerative agriculture through a holistic landscape approach.
Since 2015, the IKEA business has phased out all conventional cotton in the IKEA supply chain and has only used cotton from more sustainable sources and recycled cotton. Cotton teams working across the globe are responsible for ensuring that all cotton used in IKEA products meets the demands of compliance in our supply chain.
Our work toward creating more sustainable food systems is aligned with our work with responsible sourcing and our goals for helping people live a healthy and more sustainable life at home. We’re focusing on better nutrition, better proteins, less food waste, and better packaging, as well as more responsible agriculture, production and supply.
We are working to improve animal welfare through the environments they are reared in, the way they are handled, and standards for on-farm practices that prioritise good physical health, good mental health, and the expression of natural behaviour.
Inorganic raw materials are minerals used in the production of metals, glass, ceramic, chemicals and electronic components. These materials are used directly in a wide range of products like pots, pans, appliances, lighting, taps, and indirectly as components. Inorganic raw materials involve extractive industries, and their use will be significantly reduced, replaced and eliminated where possible.
We know some raw materials don’t currently have a renewable substitute, and the technology to recycle some raw materials doesn’t exist yet. Until we have solutions for these materials, we’ll continue to use responsibly sourced virgin inorganics, replace them with new technologies when possible and decrease the proportions in IKEA products.
Transparency in the inorganics supply chain
We are exploring how to create transparency in the complex inorganics supply chains. Together with suppliers and sub-suppliers, and other actors in the sector, the IKEA business is looking into how traceability of these raw materials, up to the source of origin, could be possible to achieve in a realistic and trustworthy way. These collaborations have also looked at how to identify and mitigate risks along the supply chain.
Virgin inorganic raw materials will be phased out from the IKEA business to reach the ambition of using only renewable and recycled materials by 2030. Recycled materials are a prerequisite for a circular society. In a world of limited resources, we want to move towards a circular system where nothing is wasted and where old products become new resources. By increasing our demand for recycled materials and by sourcing waste material responsibly, we aim to further prevent materials from polluting the environment.
Read more about our journey towards using only renewable and recycled materials
In 2020, we reached the milestone of 90% recycled content in textile products made of polyester. In FY21 we widened our measurement scope to include all polyester and fibre applications, excluding rigid plastic, but including all fibre-based applications such as filling in cushions, duvets, sofas, mattresses and other similar products. In FY22, 88% of the polyester in our supply chain was recycled.
Biodiversity – a big global challenge
Today, biodiversity loss is considered a threat of equal size to the climate crisis. Dramatic loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is human-induced and represents, together with climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our time. Biodiversity is vital for a healthy and resilient world and human health and wellbeing.
We recognise that biodiversity loss is a complex challenge. But, as with climate change, IKEA has a unique opportunity and responsibility to reduce our impact and contribute to positive outcomes. We don’t have all the answers and will work together with others to support the large global movements needed to reverse nature loss in this decade.
In FY22, we continued to map our impact on biodiversity across the IKEA value chain using the Science Based Targets Network Initiative Guidance for Business. At the same time, we worked with partners to explore how we can use our size and scope to protect and improve the biodiversity where we operate.
Sow a seed
Over a period of 20 years, IKEA has, together with partners, restored around 18,500 hectares of rainforest in Borneo, Malaysia. The area has now been given the highest protection status in Malaysia, and with increasing awareness of the need to end global biodiversity loss, IKEA and partners invite research organisations from all over the world to take part in the learnings from the Sow a Seed project.
IKEA to share unique learnings from the restoration of rainforests and its ecosystems in Borneo
Being good water stewards
Our ambition is to be good water stewards and contribute to increasing the availability of clean water in our own operations and value chain. We’re continuously working to use water as efficiently as possible and eliminate the environmental damage from industrial effluents. Through incorporating principles of water stewardship and focusing on water within parts of the value chain that have the highest impact, we are able to stimulate action to address local water challenges.
IKEA joins 50L Home Coalition to accelerate action on water saving solutions
IKEA and Flow Loop to develop a water recycling shower solution
Safe products for the many people
Chemicals are useful in many ways – they add colours and texture to materials, glue parts together, and can provide a protective layer to make products last longer. All chemicals used in or for making IKEA products should be safe for people and the planet.