A factory worker, Zhong Bo, is operating the printing machine at Dongguan MYS. He is wearing a light blue mask and shirt.

IWAY: the IKEA code of conduct

IWAY is our supplier code of conduct for responsibly procuring products, services, materials and components. It is a mandatory standard and sets clear expectations for environmental, social and working conditions, as well as animal welfare, 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 decent and meaningful work. Our suppliers and value chain are a fundamental part in achieving this ambition.

The current version of the IWAY Standard, IWAY Standard 6, was introduced in September 2020 after an extensive revision, involving many IKEA co-workers, as well as several suppliers, other multinational companies and non-governmental organisations. This generation of IWAY introduces improved features and approaches that make it possible to take the next steps towards a people and planet positive value chain.

A close-up of an IKEA co-worker sorting through screws for IKEA products and placing them in a small plastic bag.

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

  • Promote positive impacts on the environment.
  • Secure decent and meaningful employment for workers.
  • Respect children’s rights.
  • Improve the welfare of animals that are present in the IKEA value chain.

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 which 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 work towards continually improving requirements to reach IWAY Advanced and IWAY Excellent.

The IWAY Standard consists of the IWAY General Section, which applies to all IKEA business partners, as well as additional IWAY Sections (Accommodation, Animal Welfare, Forestry, Transport) which apply to the relevant suppliers, depending on their setup and operations to IKEA.

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

Working with IWAY

In order to reach our ambitions for sustainability, we need to work closely together with our business partners. By promoting more sustainable practices at all stages of the IKEA value chain, we create the right conditions for sustainable business growth.

IWAY can be implemented in different types of businesses. Whether it is a manufacturing unit, a transport service provider, a management consultant or a construction site, IWAY is applicable. Prior to the start of a new business relationship, each new business partner will be introduced to IWAY and its processes.

While our suppliers take ownership for the implementation of IWAY, based on their individual business setup, IKEA teams are available to support this implementation, provide training, facilitate peer learning and enable our suppliers to develop towards becoming more people and planet positive.

We verify our suppliers’ compliance to IWAY requirements through audits that are conducted both by IKEA and third party auditors. Audits vary by focus and may be announced or unannounced.

In our work with IWAY, we place a greater focus on the outcome and impact, rather than on how the results are achieved, as we understand that different businesses require different processes and ways of working to reach the expected outcome.

Keeping IWAY 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.

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