Eco friendly and Ikea are not usually two words you hear in the same sentence. But let me explain...
There are many sustainable products on sale at Ikea right now. Many of which either come from responsible sources (more on that below) or from reusing materials. Products like the KUNGSBACKA kitchen fronts which are made from recycled wood and recycled PET bottles. 25 half litre bottles are used to create each front and they have a guarantee of 25 years. Plus when the kitchen has come to the end of its life, the fronts can be recycled again to become something new.
“Our products are bought by a lot of people, and by offering more sustainable alternatives, we actually have the opportunity to contribute to a change.” -
Anna Granath, Product Developer, IKEA of Sweden
Living A Sustainable Life
Ikea has loads of products and solutions to help you save energy, reduce waste, save water and live a more sustainable life. Their entire lighting range uses low energy LED bulbs, creating better quality light with a lower environmental impact. The whole range of taps and showers reduces water usage by up to 50%, and the VALLAMOSSE, VOXNAN and BROGRUND shower ranges have flow regulators to help consume 30% less water. They have various kitchen storage solutions to make waste management and recycling super easy for everyday life.
'IKEA will be powered by 100% renewable energy, while increasing energy efficiency by 2030.' - Ikea website.
In 2017 Ikea reached their goal of having 100% of their wood sourced from sustainable sources and are promoting more sustainable forestry methods at those sources. Since 2015 all of Ikea's Cotton has come from sustainable sources, whilst giving the farmers a higher profit margin. Cotton is one of Ikea's key materials so it's great to see that they've taken on the responsibility of improving where the source theirs. They are also currently working towards their 2025 goal of using only responsibly sourced wool for their rugs. By working to secure full traceability of the wool they can support positive animal welfare conditions for the sheep.
“Wool is a fantastic material, it’s sustainable, it’s also renewable and it provides different properties to our products."
Rafael Elizondo, Category Manager for Textile Carpets at IKEA
Ikea is socially sustainable too. It has collaborations and partnerships with 12 countries which contributes to the livelihoods of 10,500 people. Since 2012 Ikea has employed artisans in vulnerable communities helping them earn for their families and gain respect within their communities.
Social sustainability is present in their cafe's too. Their coffee is grown in Uganda and is part of The White Nile Project which aims to help local farmers learn more sustainable farming practices and to support the economic independence of those famers.
Ikea are also partners with The Woodland Trust and have funded over 4,500 tree pacts to community groups across the UK giving more people access to nature. They have planted over one million trees since 2007 helping to create leisure spaces and encourages volunteering within the community.
The Ikea Foundation helps to make a change to some of the worlds poorest communities in the world. There mission is to create programmes that address childrens' fundamental need for a home, good health, education and a sustainable family income whilst also helping the communities fight and cope with climate change.
Ok so Ikea might not have the best reputation for being eco friendly or sustainable but after doing some research you can see that it's doing it fair share to help communities in the UK and abroad, as well as thinking about our lives and creating products that will help us make more conscious choices. How eco friendly are the other places you shop? Until next time...