Global Swedish retailer IKEA is moving toward sustainability by sourcing products made of recycled and renewable materials. Known for affordable furniture and trendy decor, the company operates 433 stores in 53 countries, pulling in sales of more than $45 billion in 2019 alone. Its worldwide reach promises to have a significant global impact.
However, since IKEA functions on a low-cost, high-volume model, there are unique challenges to reducing its environmental footprint – especially because the business model promotes mass consumption. Nonetheless, IKEA claims it can go green. Executives announced they are rising to the occasion, stating, “We only have one planet with limited resources. Our goal is to be climate positive by 2030.”
IKEA will streamline the sourcing of materials, buying only recycled or renewable products. In its 2019 IKEA Sustainability Report, the company promises to offer “plant-based and healthy meals that are delicious and affordable.”
IKEA restaurants’ menus will include plant-based alternatives. The company is famous for its Swedish meatballs. Vegetarian alternatives, the report says, require less water and land than meat to feed the same number of people.
The company also plans additional water-saving initiatives by promoting products that reduce household water consumption by more than 90 per cent, such as the MISTELN nozzle.
An estimated one billion people visited IKEA stores worldwide in 2019. With a global recession on the horizon, there may be an increased demand for affordable household items. If IKEA continues its sustainability efforts without forgoing its pricing strategy, it has the potential to create long-lasting change for both customers and the planet. •