Assembly required—IKEA sustainability manager says it will take a team effort to make a positive difference.

IKEA, the global home furnishing brand, has committed to becoming “climate positive” by 2030, and it plans to do so by using 100% renewable electricity across the company’s value chain. 

To expedite this goal, IKEA states on its website that its supply partners can participate in two renewable electricity offers: 

  • Renewable electricity generated on site, in which the IKEA business increases its investment in renewable energy; and/or
  • Renewable electricity generated off site, i.e., local solutions that include bundled frame agreements and power purchase agreements.

According to a recent IKEA Earth Day news release, ways in which the company is helping to reduce its climate footprint include 225 electric vehicle charging stations across 53 of its IKEA locations, six stores have biogas-fuel cells, four units are LEED certified and two stores have geothermal systems. The company also has two wind farms, two solar farms and 150,000 acres of responsibly managed forestland. Also, 90% of IKEA locations have rooftop solar arrays and it has one store with a solar car park (with seven more underway). 

Inspiration to focus on environmental stewardship

“Climate change will impact the IKEA business and the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many people and their basic human rights, including the right to food, water, health, housing and life,” U.S. Sustainability Manager Jenn Keesson told Planet Home. “This is especially true for vulnerable groups, including children, who are hit the hardest and who are already affected today. In a world where global warming continues to increase, climate change causes more frequent, unpredictable and intense weather-related disasters.”

The company plans to accomplish its 2030 climate positive goal by reducing more greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions than the IKEA value chain emits, while growing the IKEA business. The company is committed to the Paris Agreement and to contributing to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels, Keesson said. 

“This includes a commitment to become net-zero latest 2050 and halving the GHG emissions in absolute terms from the total IKEA value chain by 2030,” she said. “We will achieve this by drastically reducing GHG emissions and by removing and storing carbon from the atmosphere through better forest and agricultural management practices within the IKEA value chain.”

So which demographic groups care about IKEA’s sustainability advancements?

“We know that more than half of consumers are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce a negative environmental impact, and one out of four consumers say they are planning to focus more on environmental issues and will pay more attention to social aspects in their shopping behavior,” Keesson said. “While we see an upward trend across younger generations integrating sustainability habits into everyday life (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X), overall 75% of shoppers engage in sustainable practices.” 

Helping other businesses reduce carbon emissions

“Partnerships and collaborations have always been a cornerstone of the IKEA way of doing business, and in order to tackle climate change this is more important than ever,” she said. “We will contribute to additional reductions of GHG emissions in society by going beyond the IKEA value chain. For example, we support and partner with our almost 1,000 direct home furnishing suppliers to reduce the total footprint of their factories, not only the share they produce for IKEA. This will enable us to address a footprint around four times larger than that associated with the manufacture of our own products.”

Additionally, IKEA is improving forestry and agriculture in its sourcing areas.  

“IKEA can take a larger responsibility by improving forests or agricultural practices for the total surroundings/landscape where we source resources, thus being a good neighbor,” she concluded.