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The IKEA Way to Sustainability

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IKEA needs no introduction, does it? The Swedish giant is recognized globally for both its furniture and its unique shopping experience. But in addition to its business success, the company founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad has become a benchmark for corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Although the history of IKEA and its founder is very interesting, in this article we will limit ourselves to talk about the business practices that have made the Swedish brand a role model for all those companies and organizations that, in addition to prospering economically, want to do so while respecting the planet.

More and more companies are aware that it is essential to carry out sustainable practices not only for the good of their business, but also for the well-being of our planet and therefore of all the creatures that inhabit it.

IKEA, as you probably already know, is partly dedicated to the sale of furniture. Wood is a natural resource that although it seems abundant, its procurement process carries behind a large number of drawbacks at the environmental level and that is why IKEA, aware of the environmental impact that all this entails, has decided to put the appropriate means to reduce as much as possible its ecological footprint.

What are the measures that IKEA has implemented to improve in this aspect? Let’s discover the main guidelines it has followed:

Use of Sustainable Materials

One of the main aspects in terms of sustainability for companies committed to the environment is the use of materials that can be reused or recycled. Many of the wood products manufactured by IKEA are Forest Steward Council (FSC) certified, a guarantee that the raw materials used in these products come from sustainable forestry operations.

But the Swedish brand goes beyond wood, it has also implemented the use of materials such as recycled plastic or organic fabric in order to reduce the environmental impact of its business activity as much as possible.

The importance of Circularity

Recycling, reducing and reusing are the foundations of corporate ecology (and of anyone who wants to protect the planet on an individual level). To encourage reuse, IKEA has implemented a program to buy back and recycle furniture. Customers can return their old furniture so that it can be refurbished or recycled, thus promoting a circular economy and reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Energy Efficiency

Independence from fossil fuels is another major goal for companies and the world at large. While few companies today can claim to get the energy they need to run their business from 100% renewable sources, IKEA has taken the plunge and has begun installing solar panels in some of its stores and production facilities to reduce its carbon footprint.

Reducing Waste and Carbon Emissions

Prácticas sostenibles de IKEA.

As we have mentioned before, one of the fundamental pillars of ecology is the reduction in the consumption of materials, not only when it comes to production or manufacturing, but also in other areas such as product packaging, which can sometimes go unnoticed but is one of the aspects that companies tend to neglect and in which there is often a waste of all kinds of materials, whether plastic or cardboard.

IKEA has taken measures in this regard, reviewing all parts of the process involved in its activity and analyzing how to reduce the amount of waste derived from each of them, in addition, it has also established certain goals to reduce the impact as far as transportation is concerned.

Awareness and Sensitization Programs

Protecting the planet is everyone’s job and IKEA knows it. To promote this important message of the need to be aware of the impact of our actions on the planet, the company carries out various programs aimed at its own employees, its customers and anyone interested in acquiring more sustainable habits.

These programs are basically focused on the 3 R’s already mentioned: reduce, recycle and reuse, as well as making more ecologically responsible decisions in our daily lives.

What is your opinion about the practices that IKEA has implemented towards a more sustainable world? Do you know other big companies that carry out similar activities? Leave us your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

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