Natascha Moy

IKEA are they Superbad?

IKEA are they Superbad?

Yes they are Superbad at being very sustainable. As my 10 year old son keeps telling me everything is opposite on certain days and I am still trying to get into the groove. I was lucky enough to interview Richard Wilson, Sustainability Manager for IKEA at the Sydney Tempe store. It is always fantastic when you realise that the person in charge of sustainable strategy and implementation is also someone who embraces a sustainable way of life at home and in their personal lives. I loved this interview and Richard was totally charming as well as knowledgable. Richard has been tackling sustainable outcomes over the past eight years  in Local Government managing the 3-Council Ecological Footprint Program, between Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils. He is interested in developing strategies and implementing large scale programs that help organisations and communities adopt sustainable living practices so basically every large company needs at least one of him.

GADDIS baskets and BLAND MATT are Made of bamboo, which is an easy-care and hardwearing natural material. Bamboo is  grown sustainably.

So Yes it is true IKEA has a sustainable strategy in place that would blow your mind. It is global and looks as everything from their recycled products to their sustainable menu, retail spaces to design processes. So why isn't every company following them? Recent research conducted by Nielsen found that...

“Consumers around the world are saying loud and clear that a brand’s social purpose is among the factors that influence purchase decisions,” said Amy Fenton, global leader of public development and sustainability, Nielsen. “This behavior is on the rise and it provides opportunities for meaningful impact in our communities, in addition to helping to grow share for brands.”

The Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility polled 30,000 consumers in 60 countries* to understand: how passionate consumers are about sustainable practices when it comes to purchase considerations; which consumer segments are most supportive of ecological or other socially responsible efforts; and which social issues/causes are attracting the most concern.

More than half of global respondents (52%) say they have purchased at least one product or service in the past six months from a socially responsible company, with respondents in Latin America (65%), Asia-Pacific (59%) and Middle East/Africa (59%) exceeding the global average. Four in 10 respondents in North America and Europe say they have made a sustainable purchase in the past six months.

Colour Check: Fysiskt Prov (Nils Pedersen) Solar Powered Floor Lamp with design and form as well as function in mind

IKEA have products that support communities in developing countries and products that use 100% recycled materials. They run their retail stores with energy and waste efficiency as a priority and still manage to bring us products we love, great design, style, trend and functionality. They have an entire PDF document that outlines how they as a company manage sustainability and it is not just through their manufacturing policies. It is also in how they operate their stores.

Cotton products: IKEA is the first major retailer to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources. Under the IKEA Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), more than 110,000 farmers around the globe have been trained in more sustainable farming techniques, enabling them to cut costs and boost profits to afford a better quality of life for their families, and schooling for their children. The initiative also ensures the use of less water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides

While they lead the way in many aspects of global sustainable manufacturing they are also creating strategies for social investment in emerging communities as well as continually refining their raw materials. No they are not perfect but they do tick an incredible number of sustainable values and unlike the greenwashing you get from so many large corporations IKEA is in fact blazing a trail worth following.

Camera and Editing by Jaime Graham.

For more information on IKEA click HERE

*I have many friends who are architects and they swear by the IKEA products especially kitchen and cupboard products. IKEA work to European standards which are higher than Australian and so their paint and raw materials are often safer and of a better quality than their Australian counterparts.

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