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IKEA's Strategy Builds Brand Sustainability Benefits

Date: 11 June 2012

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8 pages, 3 figures

Executive Summary

This case study is one in a series of Verdantix reports that analyses corporate sustainability strategies. This research helps individuals in roles such as VP Environment or Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) to benchmark their strategic thinking on sustainability. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the IKEA Group is a global furniture manufacturer and retailer with revenues of €24.7 billion ($32.6 billion) in FY11. To find out more about IKEA’s strategy, Verdantix spoke with Pia Heidenmark Cook, IKEA’s Head of Sustainability Integration. IKEA takes a different approach to sustainability strategy compared to its competitors: it couples a commitment to sustainable supply chain with a rejection of sustainable product communications. Verdantix analysis identifies that some key aspects of IKEA’s strategy are difficult for rival firms to replicate, namely its dismissal of ecolabelling, sustainable sourcing at scale and extensive data and reporting. 


IKEA’S Sustainability Strategy Looks Beyond Direct Impacts
Sustainable Sourcing Provides Foundation For IKEA’s Programme
IKEA Sets Challenging Precedent For Competitors  


Figure 1. IKEA’s Sustainability Targets Mix Metrics And Scopes
Figure 2. IKEA Implements Operational Change Initiatives For Brand Enhancement
Figure 3. IKEA CO2 Emissions From Buildings Rose Significantly In 2010


BASF, Better Cotton Initiative, Carbon Disclosure Project, Climate Group, European Furniture Group, Forestry Stewardship Council, GHG Protocol, Global Reporting Initiative, H&M, Home Depot, IBM, IKEA Group, Inditex, InterfaceFLOR, M&S, Nike, P&G, PepsiCo, Philips Lighting Control Systems, Resource Data Management, Siemens, SITA, Steelcase, Tesco, WWF