Ikea - People and Planet
Did you know that 1 in 10 Europeans are conceived on an Ikea bed?!
That's a crazy stat, but I doubt you could go into anyone's house and not see SOMETHING from Ikea, I see you blue/yellow/red scissor combo... Ikea has been around for ages, and of course its impact on our homes has had a massive influence on the way we buy furniture and style our houses.
We saw a talk by the head of sustainability: Hege SaebJornsen give a talk at the Planet Future event in London. It was really interesting and totally changed my point of view on Ikea.
Although I personally shop at Ikea, my sofa, bed, wardrobe (I could go on..) are all from the big blue box but i've always been a bit reserved about the amount of single use, throwaway cheap furniture they produce. Encouraging people to buy things when their cheap and cheerful products break, rather than fixing them.
So inevitability when the news through that they were "banning single use plastic" I raised my eyebrows somewhat and thought it was just lip service to cover the huge wastage created by their production empire.
However - hearing what Hege had to say really inspired us, and certainly changed my mind.
For one - their moto is People and Planet Positive, so improving daily life and looking after the planet runs through every business decision thats made.
Taken from their website:
"The world is changing rapidly. To meet the challenges we are all facing requires bold ambitions and urgent action. That’s why we’re taking the next big steps in our journey towards becoming people & planet positive."
Yes they're cutting out single use plastic in their cafe's, but they're also not selling straws and plastic cutlery/plates in their stores. They're also aiming to use 100% renewable resources by 2020. This is across all their wood, cotton and water production.
Did you know they collectively have an Ikea "forest" the size of Germany, so for a company as big as Ikea to be taking the initiative to make this sustainable is setting a really good example for other companies to do the same.
Most recently Ikea has completed the replanting o three million rainforest trees at Lausong in East Coast Sabah, Borneo, a part of its efforts to rehabilitate the degraded forest since 1998. And, for those of you being cynical thinking it's just for the press and good PR - it's been going on for 20 years, has created over 150 jobs (including lots of university research), so even if it is for the PR - it's still an amazing feat!
Read up on it here