The world's largest furniture retailer has announced it has made significant process towards its goal of achieving 100% of its products being recycled or renewable by 2030.

In its recently released Financial Year 2018 Sustainability Report, IKEA said that 60% of its range was now based on renewable materials. Another 10% contained recycled material.

The Swedish retail giant also reported it had achieved 100% sustainable sourcing for its cotton products and 85% for its wood.
sustainable sources.

IKEA has embraced circular design and sustainability

The company has also largely switched to renewable energy across its supply chain, with 86.7% of its heating needs and 81.1% of its electricity coming from renewable sources.

These efficiency gains came partly on the back of improved production infrastructure such as a 18,240 panel rooftop solar grid on its Portugal facility which is capable of powering some 2,700 homes. It also installed a system at its Singapore store which converts thermal heat into chilled water for in-store air-conditioning; this upgrade has reduced the store’s energy consumption by 24%.

IKEA had previously committed to phasing out single-use plastics in its stores by 2020. It is replacing all plastic straws, cutlery, bin bags and freezer bags and introducing more sustainable alternatives. It has also invested in a plastic recycling plant to move towards this goal. Plastic waste has been a major contributor to rising levels of ocean pollution internationally.

IKEA: collaboration, entrepreneurship are key to achieving change

Greenpeace Plastics Campaigner Graham Forbes described the commitment as a “great step in the right direction”.

“Now is the time for other big retailers and corporations to follow suit and reduce the amount of throwaway plastic on their shelves,” he said.

Torbjörn Lööf, CEO of IKEA’s parent company, Inter IKEA Group, said: “Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than 1 billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet.

“Change will only be possible if we collaborate with others and nurture entrepreneurship. We are committed to taking the lead working together with everyone – from raw material suppliers all the way to our customers and partners.”

Sustainably produced foods on the menu

IKEA also unveiled its new environmentally friendly and vegan strawberry soft serve ice-cream. It says the new flavour produces only half the carbon footprint of traditional dairy-based ice-cream.

Sandra Lindh, Commercial Manager IKEA Food Services, said the retailer had sought to make “a plant-based treat that is as soft, airy and delicious as our popular dairy-based soft ice”.

“It’s an easy, affordable and delicious treat for customers that either need or want to skip dairy products and prefer plant-based food options,” she said.

The retailer had previously introduced a vegetable version of its famous hot dog. The meat-free buns produce seven times less carbon footprint than the normal hot dogs.

Header image credit: IKEA