An essential part of reaching the IKEA sustainability goals is working together with others. It’s important to develop strong and meaningful relationships. When we work together, we can drive and support change, learn and inspire each other and find the best solutions.
Our key stakeholder groups
Coming from all over the world, the 225,000 IKEA-co-workers share a special set of values and a vision to enable people to live a better, more sustainable everyday life. They come together within diverse, inclusive and open IKEA environments, where each of them offers something unique. Every co-worker, including their families, plays a role in creating a better business.
Engaging in communities we operate in to learn and share ideas, and to collaboratively create positive impact on livelihoods, and contribute to an inclusive local economy.
We are working with nearly 2,100 suppliers to minimise the environmental footprint of the total IKEA supply chain and beyond, while improving working conditions. Next to the suppliers, there are millions of co-workers in the IKEA supply chain who source, make and transport our products and components, provide food for our restaurants, and deliver essential services to IKEA companies.
Without customers, IKEA would not exist. To enable more than 1 billion people to live a better everyday life, we need to understand the needs of our customers. The IKEA business engages with customers in many ways, such as in stores, online, or by visiting them at home and via IKEA Family. Each year, IKEA co-workers do hundreds of home visits around the world. So far, we have collected insights from over 5,300 home visits across the globe. The data and insights gathered work as input when new IKEA products and services are developed.
Partners and collaborators
IKEA partners and collaborators like businesses, governments and NGOs are important when solving complex challenges that impact the IKEA business – and for achieving necessary systemic change.
Key initiatives that IKEA has undertaken with partners and collaborators during FY21:
Expanding our collaboration with WBCSD
During FY21, the IKEA business expanded its engagement with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), engaging in several new workstreams to support greater momentum on topics ranging from planetary health, inequality and nature action. FY21 also saw the launch of WBCSD’s flagship Vision 2050 Time to Transform report, which IKEA has been part of shaping.
The EU Green Deal has enormous potential to positively transform our economy in a way that benefits people, the planet and the economy. For IKEA, we see the Green Deal as an important opportunity to lay the groundwork for future ways of working in Europe and, hopefully, eventually, globally. As a purpose-led company, IKEA aims to be a progressive industry leader in partnership with the EU throughout this process. As the European Green Deal sets out various legislative and non-legislative proposals, IKEA has actively shared our experience with policymakers for the past year about how we are transforming into a circular and climate positive business.
Credible and transparent sustainability standards
IKEA has been collaborating with the ISEAL Alliance for over 10 years. This has given us the insight necessary to make IWAY, our supplier code of conduct, more robust and credible over time. ISEAL Alliance sets the minimum requirements that sustainability frameworks need to fulfil, and ‘ISEAL code-compliant members’ are among the more credible sustainability standards currently available in the world. Examples of standards that the IKEA business uses today are certification schemes like Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), FairTrade, Rainforest Alliance, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
During FY21, Inter IKEA Group was a member of the Steering Group for revision of the ISEAL Credibility Principles, and was also a member of the Technical Committee and the ISEAL Stakeholder Council.
Calling for a strengthened global framework for chemicals and wasteThe IKEA business is a member of the High Ambition Alliance on Chemicals and Waste, a group of committed leading ministers from the whole UN region, intergovernmental organisations, industry and civil society. The ambition is to enhance awareness, ensure commitments and promote the sound management of chemicals and waste actions at all levels. In July 2021, the IKEA business, via the alliance, presented at the ministerial dialogue of the Berlin Forum on Chemicals and Sustainability. At the forum, we called for the creation of an updated and strengthened global framework for chemicals and waste.
Inspiring healthy and sustainable living
The 10 YFP/One Planet Network, Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme
This 10-Year framework is a global commitment to accelerating the shift towards sustainable consumption and production through six programmes. Inter IKEA Group is a member of a multi-stakeholder committee for one of these programmes exploring sustainable lifestyles and education.
The 2021 GlobeScan Healthy & Sustainable Living Report
The IKEA business has been a partner in initiating this report for several years, with the aim of providing global insights to help businesses better understand, engage with and mobilise consumers around healthy and sustainable living. For the 2021 version, insights were derived from 30,000 people in 31 markets.
Healthy People, Healthy Business
WBCSD’s Healthy People, Healthy Business project builds a cross-sectoral coalition to identify private sector priorities and opportunities to drive progress on health promotion and disease prevention. Specifically, the focus will be placed on four key areas, including employee health and well-being, resilient and accessible healthcare, healthy lifestyles and planetary health – building a narrative around the health-related implications of the planetary emergency.
Building momentum on climate change
IKEA has a responsibility to show the tangible actions we are taking here and now to tackle climate change and reduce the IKEA climate footprint. We were pleased to support COP26 in November 2021 in many ways across the IKEA business, being present with key spokespeople, key announcements and collaborations. The largest IKEA retailer, Ingka Group, also engaged in various activities.
Influencing climate standards
New corporate guidance on air quality
Together with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and Stockholm Environment Institute, IKEA initiated and supported the development of a new air pollutant emissions standard to allow companies to measure their full value chain impact on air quality and take action to reduce it. The first version of the guidance was launched at COP26, after which IKEA and other companies will test and help refine it.
During FY21, the IKEA business supported several initiatives aimed at communicating private sector support for strong policy action on climate. This included a call to action to encourage a 55% emissions reduction target from the US and a ‘call on carbon’ to support effective carbon pricing in the lead up to COP26. This was followed by a call to action to the G20 in autumn FY21 to limit climate change to 1.5°C.
Taking action on the loss of nature and biodiversity
Renewed IKEA and WWF partnership to accelerate action to enhance biodiversity
For nearly 20 years, WWF and the IKEA business have partnered to drive positive environmental impact within different industries, and in May 2021, a renewed term of partnership until 2025 was announced. The partnership reaffirms the commitment to protect, manage and restore key landscapes, and enable a nature and climate positive value chain while upholding the rights and needs of people. The new phase includes a stronger focus on biodiversity, and joint global engagement and advocacy.
World Water Week and the 50L Home Coalition
IKEA acted as an official co-convenor of World Water Week, the foremost global convening on water. On the opening day of World Water Week in August, IKEA announced that it is joining the 50L Home Coalition, aiming to make 50 litres of daily water use per person an aspiration for all. In Europe it is currently 150 litres, and elsewhere much more. The coalition brings together companies, policymakers, innovators, researchers, and communities to develop and scale innovations in water and energy use in the home.
Science Based Targets for Nature Corporate Engagement Programme
In FY21, IKEA joined the corporate engagement program for Science Based Targets for Nature (SBTN), with the ability to stay informed on and contribute to shaping the framework ahead of the full launch in 2022. The framework will allow companies to set science-based targets for freshwater, the ocean, biodiversity, land use and more – building on the success of the widely adopted science-based targets for the climate.
Supporting sustainable food systems
UN Food Systems Summit
2021 saw the first ever UN Food Systems Summit take place, to raise awareness of the role of the food system in meeting many of the sustainable development goals. IKEA took part in a series of CEO Consultations in the run-up to the event, culminating in the signing of a shared Business Declaration for Food Systems Transformation. IKEA also joined several coalitions on the topics of healthy diets, living income in global food value chains, and soil health.
End the Cage Age initiative
In March, together with 170 other (food) companies across the EU and citizens, the IKEA business signed a joint letter to the EU commission and members of the European Parliament calling for a phase out in the use of cages in animal farming, starting with cages for laying hens. This initiative aligns closely with our own ambitions regarding animal welfare in the IKEA supply chain. In June, the European Commission revised the EU legislation.
IKEA Nutrition Profiling System
To accelerate the transition to a more healthy and sustainable food offer, IKEA launched a science-backed Food Nutrition Profiling System in FY21 that will enable a big movement in product development. The system is built upon criteria developed by the Choices International Foundation (Choices) that are scientifically grounded and globally applicable.
Transforming into a circular business
Promoting circular economies in the furniture sector
Throughout 2021, we actively contributed to the work of EFIC – European Furniture Industries Confederation by participating in a working group that aims to promote a circular economy in the furniture sector. We are actively contributing to measuring the role of circular design, positive policy developments, supply chain cooperation and exchange of best practices to enable a systemic transformation. As the only company represented in the EFIC, we work collaboratively with regulators and governments to create the right conditions for circular furniture businesses to thrive.
Contributing to universal circular economy policy goals
In FY21, we collaborated with the Ellen McArthur Foundation to support the creation of universally applicable circular economy policy goals. They provide a framework for national governments, cities and businesses to align their efforts as they transition into circular economies. Collaborative actions like these are essential to laying the foundation for circular economies and maximising opportunities for sustainable development. This set of five goals was published early in 2021.
Circular glossary of terms
Through the strategic partnership with the Ellen McArthur Foundation, the IKEA business was closely involved in the development of a glossary of terms to promote a shared understanding of terms like reuse, repair and recycle. This glossary was shared during the World Circular Economy Forum in FY21.
GEO for Business
In 2021, several GEO for Business guides were launched by the UN Environment Programme, aiming to translate the influential Global Environment Outlook report to a business audience. IKEA contributed to the report titled ‘Moving from linear to a circular economy and what this means for business’.
Contributing to a fair and equal world
EU legislation on mandatory human rights due diligence
In January 2021, the Inter IKEA Group and 11 companies from the Nordic Business Network for Human Rights signed a joint statement supporting EU legislation on mandatory human rights due diligence legislation. In the statement, all signatories share considerations for the design of such legislation based on their collective experience conducting human rights due diligence across the many sectors and geographies in which they operate.
International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour
The UN designated 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. As a further commitment to a long history of working to tackle child labour, IKEA submitted an action pledge to accelerate efforts to strengthen child rights in the IKEA supply chain. As a part of the 2021 action pledge to eliminate child labour, IKEA will join the ILO Child Labour Platform this year, aiming to tackle issues further down the supply chain.
Business Commission to tackle inequality
In FY21, Inter IKEA Group joined a new initiative from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, aiming to elevate business action on inequality. The Commission will convene leading businesses and other key stakeholders to create a platform for collaboration and a compelling narrative and agenda for business action.
The COVID Response Alliance for social entrepreneurs
This World Economic Forum initiative was formed in April 2020, comprised out of a small group of global leaders in social entrepreneurship. Now the group has grown to 86 and is comprised of NGOs, businesses, civil society organisations and other leaders in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem that represents more than 100,000 social entrepreneurs worldwide. The Alliance jointly call on their peers to take action in support of social entrepreneurs everywhere in a shared Action Agenda. In FY21, a roadmap was released as part of the Action Agenda and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship BV are co-leading the corporate access cluster.
Tent Award Refugee 2021
In FY21, the IKEA business collaboration with the Jordan River Foundation was given the Tent Award Refugee 2021. The collaboration has resulted in 250 sustainable jobs for refugee women in Jordan, with handicraft products resulting from the project selling in five IKEA stores, scaling up to 30 countries by 2022. TENT aims to mobilise the business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of over 30 million refugees forcibly displaced from their home countries.
Real Play Coalition
The IKEA business, the LEGO Foundation, National Geographic and Unilever are founding members of Real Play Coalition, whose key ambition is to create a movement that prioritises the importance of play as something that sparks the fire for a child’s development and learning. In FY21, together with PlacemakingX, Real Play Coalition created the Real Play City Challenge, to reclaim places in societies for children to play in.
WEF Racial Justice Coalition
The IKEA business, through Ingka Group, has partnered with the World Economic Forum and 47 global businesses in order to advance racial and ethnic justice in the world of work. The partnering for racial justice in business initiative aims to build equitable and just workplaces for professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities, starting with Black inclusion. Participating companies are committed to ensure racial and ethnic justice is on their board’s agenda, take at least one firm action and to set a long-term strategy to become an anti-racist organisation.
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organisation in the field of migration, and works closely with governmental, inter-governmental, and non-governmental partners. The IOM has long been a partner to and supported the IKEA business in developing its approach to ethical recruitment of migrant workers.
During FY21, IOM continued to develop the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), a voluntary certification process for international recruitment, where Inter IKEA Group is a member of the Advisory Committee and supports the overall development and implementation of IRIS.