IKEA’s use of Sustainable Practices

Corporations and companies around the world are working to make more sustainable choices, which is an extremely smart decision from a promotional standpoint and as a way for these corporations to gain public support. One such corporation is IKEA Group, a multinational group of companies, which in 2008 became the world’s largest furniture retailer.

IKEA image from WIkipedia

IKEA image from WIkipedia

IKEA Group is one of the largest users of wood in the retail industry. This fact could cause extreme negative media attention for the corporation from environmental organizations and supporters of the environmental movement due to the movement’s backlash to deforestation and other environmentally harmful practices associated with the use of wood. IKEA however, has developed very smart strategies, which allows them to prevent negative publicity and instead gain support for their practices.

The corporation strives to run the most sustainable business possible. This includes implementing many different sustainable strategies and practices. In 2012 it came out with a “People & Planet Positive,” strategy, which is designed to be part of the group’s long-term growth direction. The strategy has three key elements, including offering products and solutions to help customers save money and use less energy and resources; producing as much renewable energy as the corporation consumes, and supporting the development of good places to work.

Later the company stated that part of its new goal is that “all [its] main home furnishing materials be made from renewable, recyclable or recycled materials,” as a way to limit their use of natural resources. The company has also decided to “become resource and energy independent,” and in this past year has increased its funding for wind and solar energy significantly. These strategies along with others allow the corporation to promote itself as an eco-friendly corporation working to limit its use of natural resources and its impacts on climate change.

IKEA Group also partners with governments, environmental organizations, and other NGOs to work towards its sustainable goals. One of their partnerships is with WWF, a global conservation organization. This is very smart because by partnering with these organizations the company is gaining support from them and can use these partnerships in their promotional efforts, which are managed by the corporation’s Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard. The fact that the company has a chief sustainability officer is also good for promotional purposes because it makes them seem committed to their efforts.

While the company still receives some negative media attention regarding its large use of wood, its efforts are defiantly paying off. Forbes business magazine, also promoted the company saying, “The company continues to follow through on its commitment to develop and own renewable electricity supplies, with a 2020 goal of producing more energy than it uses.”

Planet Save, an environmental website which discusses topics such as scientific news, global warming news, and ways to live a greener life, placed IKEA as the “top company with eco-conscious production practices.” The article states that while “IKEA uses a lot of lumber to make its furniture, the company uses sustainable forestry techniques,” and goes on to promote buying its furniture which, “doesn’t cost the planet a piece of a rainforest.” With publicity like these its no wonder IKEA is so successful.


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