Adding a little substance to the debate from Kyle's somewhat controversial post back in September, Inhabitat has taken a balanced, in-depth look at Ikea's sustainable practices and future goals to find out once and for all: Is Ikea green?
Focusing on four major elements of the company — products and materials, suppliers, climate change, and community involvement — things are looking pretty green for Ikea. Currently 71% of all Ikea products are recyclable, made from recycled materials, or both. Ikea's policy reflects the strictest emissions policies in countries across the world (similar to the idea that if California enforced stricter mileage standards on cars, automakers would just make all their cars meet that level instead of retrofitting some to meet the standard and leaving the rest at a lower level). In addition to their emissions policies, they have a long term goal of running all their buildings on renewable energy and are currently at 42%.
Ikea's global CEO Anders Dahlvig said:
"The environmental agenda has until now been developed as a separate strategy with a top down approach. I believe this was necessary to get us to this point. Now, however we have reached a level of maturity in the organization where the sustainability work can be truly integrated in our everyday business agenda and strategies. Sustainability is no longer an activity on its own but it is totally integrated in everything we do. I am convinced that this will make a big difference in the years to come."
While this doesn't address one of Kyle's major issues about the quality and longevity of the actual products, Ikea is one of the best models of a global corporation that others could (and should) be following. If you are going to spend your money at big corporations, Ikea is at least trying to take responsibility for their impact on the environment with a variety of approaches. Does this change how you view Ikea?
Survey: Does Eco Guilt Stop You From Shopping at Ikea?