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IKEA Launches Sustainability Strategy: People & Planet Positive

IKEA sustainabilityThe darling of home owners and apartment dwellers alike, IKEA has brought Euro-style and flat-pack home furnishings to the masses, and now they’re set to redefine their business with a focus on sustainability.

“We want to have a positive impact on people and the planet. For many years we’ve focused on economizing with resources and helping to create a better everyday life for people – which includes living more sustainably. Being a responsible company has always been part of our roots, but now we’ve taken the next big step and we’re going to do even more.” – IKEA

The company’s sustainability strategy, called People & Planet Positive, aims to not just improve their internal operations by making IKEA more energy (and resource) independent, but to also inspire their customers to be more sustainable at their homes by “creating affordable products that enable customers to use less energy and water and reduce waste.”

According to their latest strategy document, IKEA Group Sustainability Strategy for 2020, they’ve improved the water and energy efficiency of the products they make, which can make it easier for their customers to transform their homes into more sustainable ones.

“Simply put, to be able to fulfill future customer needs, address the higher price of raw materials and energy, while driving down emissions and maintaining our low-prices, we need to transform our business.

We can no longer use 20th century approaches to meet 21st century demands. Simply working towards being less bad will not get us where we need to be – we need transformational change – which means challenging old ways and embracing the new, being bold, innovative and committed to taking action. It means taking many steps, both large and small, that, together, will have transformational impact.”

IKEA is also working on their own efforts to be more resource and energy independent by integrating renewable energy in their operations, redesigning some of their products to cut the amount of waste from manufacturing, using recycled materials, and sourcing some of their materials from renewable resources, such as bamboo.

“We don’t make special ‘eco’ products because we want our whole range to be more sustainable and enable our customers to lead better lives at home. By 2015 we plan for 90% of our sales to come from products that are more sustainable and we have devised our own sustainability score card to measure progress. We’ve scored three quarters of our range using the score card and one third of these products are classified as more sustainable. 91% of all the materials we used were either renewable, recyclable or recycled.” – IKEA

In an interview at Triple Pundit with Mike Ward, President of IKEA USA, Ward states that the company will produce 70% of the energy they consume by 2015, and 100% by the year 2020, using solar panels on their buildings as well as wind turbines.

Download and read the full sustainability report from IKEA at People & Planet Positive.

Written by Derek Markham

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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