26 October 2012 — The IKEA Group has launched a new global sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive.

The strategy outlines a new set of goals and actions for delivery up to 2020 that include widescale use of LED lighting, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

IKEA Group president and chief executive officer Mikael Ohlsson said the organisation wanted to create “a better everyday life” that included “living more sustainably” for many people.

“We have been working towards that goal for many years and have already done a lot, and we are now ready to take the next big step,” Mr Ohlsson said.

The program, People & Planet Positive, would help to transform the business and have a “positive impact”, he said.

Key areas of focus include:

  • “Converting all lighting to LED that last for 20 years and use up to 85 per cent less electricity; offering energy efficient home appliances at the lowest price; creating solutions for sorting and minimising waste and using less water at home.
  • “Becoming energy and resource independent by producing as much renewable energy as is consumed in IKEA Group stores and buildings, building on the $1.9 billion allocated to wind and solar projects. Improving the energy efficiency in IKEA Group operations by at least 20 per cent and encouraging suppliers to do the same. .
  • “Supporting the development of good places to work throughout the IKEA Group supply chain – encouraging suppliers to not only focus on compliance but also shared values.”

As part of its strategy, the group will use only renewable energy and its supply chain will be based on safe chemicals, responsible stewardship of forests, water and farmlands, Mr Ohlsson said.

(IKEA: customers, energy, people, community – www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/40100)

Chief sustainability officer Steve Howard said sustainability should not be a luxury good but “affordable for everyone”.

“People & Planet Positive will also enable us to take our responsibilities in the supply chain further over the coming years by, for example, only using renewable energy to power our buildings and advocating for children’s rights.”

The company says program highlights will include:

  • New projects over the next three years will take total investments in renewable energy to up to $1.8 billion, focusing on solar and wind (2009-2015). More than 342,000 solar PV panels have already been installed on IKEA stores and buildings across the world.
  • An objective that 100 per cent of the wood used in IKEA products is sourced in compliance with forestry requirements, and if it is not, “we move quickly to address i”. The company says it is one of the biggest users of Forest Stewardship Council certified wood.
  • “The share of more sustainable cotton used in IKEA products is currently one quarter of our total cotton use. Working with partners such as WWF has helped around 100,000 cotton farmers to halve their water consumption and chemical pesticide use, and cut the use of chemical fertilisers by one third. . The IKEA Foundation also supports UNICEF and Save the Children programs..
  • “Since our code of conduct for suppliers, IWAY, was introduced in 2000 we have seen more than 165,000 audited improvements in environment and working conditions in supplier factories around the world.
  • “IKEA is now the market leader in Europe on LED lighting in the home, helping millions of people to save money on their energy bills by using 85 per cent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • “IKEA has also taken a stand on chemicals, including voluntarily banning PVC from its products (since 1991) except in cables, formaldehyde emitting paints and lacquers on all products (since 1993), lead from its mirrors (since 2009), and much more.
  • “Donations in recent years from the IKEA Foundation include $56 million to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR; $37 million to the United Nations Development Programme; and over $13.9 million to the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Since 2003, the Soft Toys for Education campaign, a collaboration between IKEA Group and IKEA Foundation, has raised $60 million and helped more than 8 million children receive a better education through Save the Children and UNICEF programs.”