IKEA, the world’s top home furniture and decor retailer encourages customers to live more sustainably.
The beloved retailer is constantly looking for ways to make its products greener, cheaper, and simpler. By doing so, they hope to promote a circular economy in which waste is reduced and recycling flourishes.
Energy-wise, for instance, IKEA retains more wind turbines than brick-and-mortar stores on an international level. They hope to reach their target of becoming energy-efficient by 2030.
Consumers are increasingly looking for companies that practice sustainability. Proof of that is IKEA’s “sustainable life at home” product category, which has now more than tripled in sales.
The home furniture and decor giant uses its resources and global footprint to position itself as a corporate sustainability leader. IKEA’s sustainability efforts empower the firm’s financial performance, customer acquisition, and impact in the world.
IKEA’s Circularity Puzzle to Reduce Overconsumption
IKEA has the goal of promoting circularity within its business model. Their idea of circularity means that every product being sold is being produced from the waste material of the previously sold products.
Today, the company is allowing customers to return previously purchased items. In exchange for their returns, customers receive a voucher that they can use to buy other IKEA products. IKEA would then either resell, recycle, or donate the returned item to give it a second life.
That’s how the firm is planning to give products a longer lifetime. That way, materials are reused and overconsumption is prevented. IKEA has recently announced plans to go fully circular by the year 2030 to curb its waste management further.
Even though the company’s idea of promoting circularity may take time, it’s a powerful idea. The strategy will significantly reduce the amount of waste generated globally, as IKEA currently has a massive global footprint.
Sustainability Initiatives Taken by IKEA
IKEA is paving the road towards a sustainable future through multiple sustainability strategies. Yet, they are not sacrificing any of their products’ quality that never stops enchanting customers.
The following are just some of the ways the home furniture giant is striving to create circularity within its products and services.
1. Eliminating Non-Rechargeable Batteries
The major furniture retailer has plans to eliminate all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. Such a strategy is a significant step toward sustainable development, as non-rechargeable alkaline batteries have contributed immensely to global waste.
Alkaline batteries are hard to recycle. If not recycled, they take thousands of years to decompose. Even the smallest of alkaline batteries can take vast amounts of time to decompose.
IKEA calculates that eliminating the use of non-rechargeable batteries will reduce the global waste of batteries by 5,000 tons a year.
2. Second-Hand Products
In 2020, IKEA came up with its first-ever second-hand IKEA store in Sweden. The store was opened with the purpose of it being an experience.
The initiative was done in partnership with ReTuna Shopping Centre, a reprocessing shopping mall. ReTuna Shopping Centre only sells products that were previously used or recycled.
Both organizations wanted to comprehend why people disposed of IKEA’s products. They wanted to learn all of the following to ensure IKEA’s circularity strategy would pay off:
- Why were their products turned into waste?
- The condition of the products when users disposed of them.
- Why did people either donate or recycle their products.
- Whether people would be interested in buying repaired products.
Second-hand products are a great way to promote recycling and curb waste. What some people might not need, others may find a great use for. Second-hand products are beneficial for both people and the environment.
3. Circular Economy Partnership with Ellen MacArthur Foundation
In June of 2020, IKEA announced its partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur Foundation has the mission of supporting purpose-driven organizations and leaders helping create a more peaceful world.
By aligning forces, IKEA hopes to propel its commitment to become fully circular by 2030. As part of the partnership, IKEA will recruit young furniture designers to attract young and conscious consumers.
Despite IKEA’s growth in operations, the home furnishing giant has:
- Decreased its carbon footprint.
- Ensured that 80% of its products sold are designed for circularity.
- 60% of its products were assembled with renewable materials.
4. Shifting to LED Bulbs
IKEA has recently announced that they’ll be switching their lightning range from regular lightbulbs to LED. LEDs are energy-efficient bulbs that typically use 85% less energy.
Implementing LED bulbs throughout their retail stores not only tackles energy efficiency. It’s also one of those green strategies that help businesses reduce costs.
5. Making More From Less
IKEA doesn’t only want to help consumers overconsume resources. They are also working to reduce their consumption of natural resources.
The two most significant sources of raw materials IKEA uses are cotton and wood. The home furnishing giant is ensuring that its supply chains and manufacturing plants are sourcing and using them efficiently.
IKEA has been using 100% sustainable cotton since 2015 with all its products when comes to cotton. Their cotton used is grown with fewer fertilizers, water, pesticides, or recycled.
Almost every IKEA product utilizes wood. Wood is not only renewable, but it’s also beautifully aesthetically and very durable. IKEA has been sourcing 100% of its wood from sustainable sources.
6. Empowering People
IKEA is taking significant steps towards ensuring its operations are environmentally sustainable. Yet, the home furnishing giant is also embracing social initiatives to boost its social impact.
The company has the mission of helping create a better future for its stakeholders.
For its consumers, IKEA seeks to make simple and affordable products. For its employees, IKEA promotes safe work environments, diversity and inclusion, and equality through its company culture. For Mother Earth, IKEA is taking on all the circular initiatives mentioned above.
Leading By Example: Sustainability In Its Purest Form
IKEA, apart from being a home furniture giant, is leading the path towards a sustainable future. The company is leveraging its resource and influence on a global scale to promote sustainable business practices.
Their stores are becoming greener, their products are becoming circular, their customers are recycling, their waste is being reused, their employees are empowered, and… guess what? It’s all paying off financially. IKEA’s financial performance keeps on getting stronger and stronger year after year.
IKEA is living proof that implementing sustainable business practices in business pay off. It benefits organizations socially, environmentally, and financially. By going green, businesses are not creating better communities and bettering the ecosystems around them. They are also practicing enlightening self-interest.