An IKEA co-worker in a blue overall is arranging several black folding chairs hanging from the ceiling along a wall.

IWAY – the IKEA supplier code of conduct

IWAY is the IKEA way for responsibly procuring products, services, materials and components. It sets clear expectations and ways of working for environmental, social and working conditions, as well as animal welfare, and is mandatory for all suppliers and service providers that work with IKEA.

Our goal is to always have a positive impact on people, society and the planet by balancing economic growth with environmental protection and regeneration, as well as by providing decent and meaningful work. Our suppliers and value chain are a fundamental part in achieving this ambition.

Two IKEA co-workers are handling flat-packs in a product storage area with several pallets and carts.

Through IWAY we strive to create impact in 4 main areas:

  • Improving environmental impacts
  • Securing decent and meaningful work
  • Respecting children’s rights
  • Improving the welfare of animals that are present in the IKEA value chain

IWAY is a total sustainability management system. It includes the IWAY Standard – the IKEA supplier code of conduct – and common ways of working for all IKEA organisations and our suppliers and service providers.

The IWAY Standard is built on 10 IWAY Principles, which reflect our ambitions and outline our expectations to our business partners. Each of the 10 principles is, in turn, supported by IWAY requirements.

IWAY requirements are based on a 4-step staircase model: Must, Basic, Advanced and Excellent. IWAY Must and IWAY Basic are the minimum requirements that need to be in place for all suppliers and service providers who do business with IKEA. Together with our business partners, our ambition is to continually improve and develop beyond the minimum, to reach IWAY Advanced and IWAY Excellent levels.

The IWAY Standard consists of the:

IWAY General Section which applies to all IKEA business partners, as well as additional IWAY Sections, which apply to the relevant suppliers, depending on their setup and operations to IKEA.

IWAY Accommodation Section which includes requirements to suppliers providing housing arrangements for their workers.

IWAY Animal Welfare Section which applies to all IKEA suppliers that deliver animal-based products to the IKEA business.

IWAY Digital Platform Work Section which contains additional requirements specific to digital platforms. These requirements are secured for platform workers that perform services for, or on behalf of, IKEA.

IWAY Forest Materials Section which applies to suppliers using virgin and pre-/post-consumer recycled forest materials for IKEA.

IWAY Transport Section which applies to suppliers transporting IKEA products, services, components or materials in the IKEA value chain.

An IKEA factory co-worker closely inspects part of an IKEA product on the assembly line for quality.

How we work with IWAY

Developing together with the IKEA suppliers and service providers is at the heart of the IWAY approach. We are working towards the same goals: responsible sourcing and a more sustainable IKEA value chain.

Implementing IWAY

The IWAY System is robust and credible, with clear processes that make it an integral part of business operations at IKEA, our suppliers and service providers. IWAY requirements focus on results and outcomes that suppliers achieve when implementing them, rather than on how the requirements are implemented. Our suppliers are in the lead in implementing the IWAY requirements, translating them into their reality and integrating them into their daily operations. Of course, the ways of working may differ depending on the industry, region and business setups, but the outcome from working with IWAY is still the same: a positive impact on people, society and the planet across the entire IKEA value chain.

Support and collaboration with IKEA teams

We have competent and experienced teams in many regions and countries around the world that support, challenge, and actively work with all our suppliers and service providers close to the business. One of our main focuses is developing and maintaining the competence of the IKEA teams on the IWAY System and sustainability topics over time.

Verification and follow-up

The IWAY System is one important management system in the IKEA due diligence process for identifying, preventing, mitigating and accounting for the impacts of the IKEA operations in the value chain. A risk-based approach allows IKEA teams to prioritise activities and focus on outcomes and impacts in the value chain.

The IWAY System has processes for verifying and following up on compliance with the IWAY requirements at our suppliers and service providers. IWAY verification activities complement the implementation and development activities. They are performed by approved IKEA auditors and independent third-party auditors and can be announced or unannounced.

Peer-to-peer learning

We focus on empowering IKEA suppliers and service providers to take ownership in implementing IWAY at their operations and part of the IKEA value chain, based on their individual business and regional setups. IKEA teams are there to support our suppliers in implementing IWAY through, for example, capacity-building and learning activities.

Read more about IWAY and how we keep it up to date

IWAY has been the base for much of our sustainability work since 2000 and we are continuously revising it to ensure that it is agile, relevant and effective, always reflecting global changes and the IKEA business reality.