Ikea products will become more sustainable in the company meets its goal of becoming 100 percent circular by 2030.
Ikea products are known for their low cost and portability, which makes them useful to dorm students and city dwellers alike. A typical life cycle includes using the product for a short time after purchase then throwing it in the trash. Given the large volume of consumer products Ikea sells each year, this is the very definition of unsustainable, even from a water use standpoint. Consumer products like those that fill the shelves of Ikea stores have a traditionally high water footprint.
That’s all changing, now that Ikea has shifted it’s corporate philosophy toward sustainability, and that includes lowering its water footprint, in addition to reducing its massive climate footprint. The company has committed to reducing the average climate footprint per product by 70 percent by 2030. The company plans to meet its climate goals through numerous methods including creating an electric fleet, using sustainable farming and forestry practices and increasing reuse and recycling of its products among other measures.
The sustainable farming and forestry practices have implications for product water footprints too. For example, by joining the Tree to Textile initiative which promotes the use of textiles that can be produced more sustainably than cotton – which is often grown in arid regions and is heavily irrigated – the company can significantly reduce the water footprint of its many textile items. In addition, the company will increase its plant-based food offerings in it’s food-service and retail operations, which is significant since it is one of the largest food-service companies in the world.
While the changes could take years to implement, the company would have the ability to push suppliers towards sustainability because of its massive sales volume.