More pieces of IKEA’s sustainability puzzle come together

November 25, 2020 by  
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More pieces of IKEA’s sustainability puzzle come together Deonna Anderson Wed, 11/25/2020 – 08:00 Black Friday is upon us. For IKEA, that marks the expanded launch of a program to buy back furniture in an effort to curb consumption . “We don’t want to encourage people to overconsume. That’s one of the challenges we’ve identified that we feel like we can make a big impact on within our whole strategy,” said Jenn Keesson, sustainability manager at IKEA U.S.  As part of the program, the home furnishings company, widely known for its flat-pack packaging and ready-to-assemble furniture, will be taking back a range of IKEA products: bookcases and shelf units; small tables; chairs and stools without upholstery; and chests of drawers. When a customer returns an item, they’ll receive a voucher to use for future purchases. If IKEA can’t resell an item, the company plans to recycle it or donate it to community organizations.  The effort, which will be running in 27 countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia are on the list), is temporary for now, running from Nov. 24 through Dec. 3. But it is part of a larger circular approach being pioneered by the company.  While the U.S. is not on the list of countries for this year’s Black Friday buyback initiative, IKEA U.S. has done some experimenting with such a program in the past, in partnership with Goodwill. And Keesson said the company is working to get a buyback program launched in the country. There are 374 IKEA stores in 30 countries around the world. “We just have a few other complexities when it comes to legislation and around different municipalities that we’re in,” she said about developing the plan to launch in the U.S. Here are a few of IKEA’s other recent waste reduction and circular economy efforts: The retailer plans to remove all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries from its global home furnishing offerings by October 2021. For context, IKEA calculates that if all its customers switched to its rechargeable batteries and charged them 50 times, its global waste could be reduced by as much as 5,000 tons on an annual basis. Earlier this month, IKEA opened its first secondhand IKEA store in Sweden. The store initially will be open for six months, and it is a sort of experiment. According to the news release about the collaboration with ReTuna Shopping Center , a recycling mall, the initiative “will help IKEA understand why some IKEA products are turned into waste, what condition they are in when thrown away, why do people choose to donate or recycle products, and if there’s an interest in buying the products that have been repaired.” And in June, IKEA announced a strategic partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation , which will build on the company’s commitment to become fully circular by 2030. What would it mean for IKEA to be fully circular? “I think in a dream world, it is that every product that you would buy is coming from recycled materials that are closed-loop in our own supply chain. And that [with] everything we’re utilizing in a store, there is no waste going to landfill,” Keesson said. “We’re finding alternate ways to reuse it or we have partners that we’re working with who can reuse the materials or recycle materials in some way. But getting there is a long journey.” But getting there could make a big impact because of how large the company is. There are 374 IKEA stores in 30 countries around the world. Aerial view of IKEA Baltimore location and Maryland solar car park. Photo courtesy of Distributed Solar Development. Beyond circular Over the years, IKEA has made a number of bold commitments to address the impacts of its operations on the environment, outside of its recent circular economy efforts. In 2018 , for example, the retailer pledged to having electric vehicles complete the last-mile portion of delivery to its customers by 2025.  In IKEA’s 2019 fiscal year, its e-commerce sales grew by 46 percent, according to website for Ingka Group, its parent company. And based on current trends — e-commerce revenues are projected to grow to $6.54 trillion in 2022 from $3.53 trillion in 2019, according to Statista — IKEA’s growth is likely to increase.  Ingka announced in September that it was investing more than $715 million over the next 12 months for IKEA to become ” climate positive” by 2030 , in addition to past investments . “We believe it’s good business to be a good business. Despite the significant challenges we’re facing in the world, we still have it in our own hands to change the direction of the climate crisis. We want to be part of the solution, which is why we will continue to focus our future investments to ensure a cleaner, greener and more inclusive recovery,” said Juvencio Maeztu, deputy CEO and CFO of Ingka, at the time of the announcement. Despite the significant challenges we’re facing in the world, we still have it in our own hands to change the direction of the climate crisis. In recent years, Ingka has invested in companies such as Optoro , a software startup that provides reverse logistics for retailers; RetourMatras, a company that makes it possible to recycle more than 90 percent of the materials in a mattress; and Winnow, a company that has developed an artificial intelligence-enabled food waste tracking solution to help reduce food waste in commercial kitchens. Tangentially related to food, this week, the company announced several food-related commitments . One goal: By 2025, IKEA plans for 50 percent of the meals offered in its restaurants to be plant-based and 80 percent to be non-red meat. Because it touches everything from furnishings to food, IKEA’s reach is wide. And with all the commitments the company has set, it still has a lot of work to do to continue its work as a corporate sustainability leader. “We have a lot of goals by 2030. We have the ambition to be climate positive and fully circular,” Keesson said. “We’re super excited and energized to see how we can continue to make impacts and continue to be this leader.” Pull Quote There are 374 IKEA stores in 30 countries around the world. Despite the significant challenges we’re facing in the world, we still have it in our own hands to change the direction of the climate crisis. Topics Circular Economy Retail IKEA Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off IKEA Baltimore location. Photo courtesy of Distributed Solar Development.

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More pieces of IKEA’s sustainability puzzle come together

Top 5 sustainable products from IKEA to add to your home

July 6, 2020 by  
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IKEA has become a household name because you can buy just about everything you need for your home there. Not only does this company make every piece of furniture you could want, IKEA actually makes many amazing sustainable products. IKEA’s commitment IKEA has taken big steps to encourage sustainability. There are many products available at IKEA that are made with renewable and/or recycled materials as part of IKEA’s commitment to creating a sustainable future. All IKEA products are designed to be repurposed, recycled, reused, repaired and resold in order to generate as little waste as possible. It also gives DIYers lots of opportunities to get creative. IKEA has been working toward completely phasing out all single-use plastic products and using 100% renewable energy for all IKEA operations and direct suppliers.  Popular sustainable products at IKEA IKEA is already using wood that comes from recycled sources and cotton that comes from more sustainable sources. Meanwhile, the use of natural fiber materials like cork and rattan has increased at IKEA. The company has also implemented the IWAY standard, which specifies requirements that suppliers must meet in order to maintain certain environmental and animal welfare conditions. IKEA has a huge catalog of sustainable items, but these are the top five that customers love. GUNRID air-purifying curtain Made with a mineral-based coating, this air purifying curtain actually improves the air quality of your home. When exposed to sunlight streaming through the windows, the curtain breaks down indoor air pollutants. The fabric itself is made from recycled PET bottles. Unlike so many other air purifiers, this one isn’t powered by electricity and doesn’t need you to turn it on. Any time the sun is shining on your curtains, they are working to make your home healthier. Related: IKEA’s new air-purifying curtain will decrease indoor pollutants SOARÉ placemat The vivid SOARÉ placemat is handwoven with water hyacinth. This plant grows in abundance along the Mekong River, where it must be regularly harvested in order to keep the waters passable. This placemat helps continue the tradition of hand-weaving that has existed in this region for decades and provides work for those who harvest, dry and weave the plant fibers together. Water hyacinth is extremely fast-growing and it is mainly harvested and woven by women, who earn a living by working with this plant. Often, several women gather together to weave the plants while they laugh and socialize. Each purchase of these handwoven mats supports economic opportunities for women. TÅNUM rug Made entirely out of leftover fabric, the TÅNUM rug is another handwoven offering from IKEA. It is made completely from fabric scraps and leftovers from IKEA’s bed linen productions. Weavers in organized weaving centers in Bangladesh create these beautiful rugs to grace the floors of homes around the world. This methodology helps reduce waste and gives you the chance to brag to all your friends that your rug is made completely from recycled materials. Each of these rugs is handcrafted using different fabric scraps. That means every TÅNUM rug you place in your home is completely unique. ISTAD resealable bag ISTAD resealable bags are made almost completely from plastic that comes from the sugar cane industry. This material is both renewable and recyclable . The bioplastic is expected to save around 75,000 barrels of oil every single year. That’s a big step toward reducing the damage that has been done to the planet. SOLVINDEN light The SOLVINDEN lantern is a bright, solar-powered LED light that does not require cords or plugs. It has its own solar panel that converts sunlight into electricity. Solar energy is completely clean and renewable. The lightweight, eye-catching light comes in multiple styles to fit every decor. Because it also catches the sun’s rays and converts them into energy, this is a highly popular sustainable product from IKEA. This lantern lasts 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs and consumes up to 85% less energy .  Living sustainably There are many small ways to do big things to help the environment. Purchasing sustainable items from companies that take strides to maintain environmentally friendly standards is a great way to do more to help the environment. Buying beautiful, sustainable products made by a company that takes its responsibility to the world seriously is a great way to put your money toward a brighter future. + IKEA Images via IKEA

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Top 5 sustainable products from IKEA to add to your home

IKEA offers open-source design for Bee Homes

June 5, 2020 by  
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While nearly everyone has heard of IKEA, you may not be familiar with its design lab, called SPACE10, which is focused on creating sustainable and functional solutions for the evolving challenges of daily life. One of the most recent challenges is colony collapse , an epidemic that threatens up to one-third of the world’s food supply. With this in mind, SPACE10 partnered with design studio Bakken and Bæck and product designer Tanita Klein to develop Bee Home, an open-source beehive anyone can design for free. “I want people to design a dream home for bees that provides the perfect environment for their offspring, while at the same time being incredibly easy to design, assemble and place,” Klein said. “It was important for me that Bee Home is aesthetically pleasing and almost feels like you’ve added a sculpture to your garden or your balcony. This project really exemplifies how design can do good for both people and their environment.” Related: This recycled plastic beehive is designed for happy bees The process is easy and fun. Simply visit the Bee Home website to review the options. Select the size, height and style that appeals to you and fits best for your yard, garden or patio. With the parameters chosen, download the design files. Then use the files to build your Bee Home or source someone locally who can do the work for you. The website also provides a list of makerspaces to help you find one in your area. Once your Bee Home is constructed, place it in your desired location and plant flowers nearby to attract bees. Bee Home is intended for solitary bees . Solitary bees are super workers; a single bee can pollinate as much as what 120 honeybees typically pollinate. Each female is a queen, who produces around 20-30 offspring, and several queens can share a Bee Home, potentially resulting in hundreds of solitary bees. “To reconnect with the many bees in our environment, we need to give back what we have taken from them: their homes,” said Myles Palmer, project lead for Bakken and Bæck. “By designing new interactive experiences, we can create a more sustainable manufacturing process for doing so: one that is truly open-sourced, informed by local living and customizable for many contexts and uses.” The homes are simple to design, build , place and maintain. Once in place, leave your Bee Home alone to provide a safe environment for its inhabitants. Once every three years, clean your Bee Home. Otherwise, enjoy the visual appeal of your free design. The planet will thank you. “For almost 80 years, IKEA has enabled people to create a better everyday life at home. But our home is more than just four walls — our home is also the planet we live on,” said Kaave Pour, director of SPACE10. “That is why we launch Bee Home: we want to enable people everywhere to help rebalance our relationship with the planet and ensure a sustainable home for all of us.” + Bee Home + SPACE10 Images via SPACE10

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Worlds first car-free IKEA store to open in Austria

February 11, 2020 by  
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IKEA Austria has announced plans to open the world’s “most innovative and green” IKEA store — a car-free, BREEAM Excellent-targeted, mixed-use complex located in the heart of Vienna. Dubbed IKEA Westbahnhof, the ambitious store will be modeled after a public square to not only attract IKEA shoppers but also local residents and tourists with its many amenities and abundance of green space that will include approximately 160 trees planted atop the building. The ambitious project was designed in collaboration with Vienna-based architectural firm querkraft architekten .  Located at the end of the major shopping street Mariahilferstrasse, about 3 kilometers from the historic city center, IKEA Westbahnhof will be easily accessible by public transit. The shift to a car-free IKEA location was partly born from research on consumer behavior, which points to the increase of e-commerce and convenience of home delivery. Approximately two-thirds of residents in Vienna’s inner city districts do not own a car and instead prefer to take public transit, walk, bike or use a scooter to reach their destinations. Related: IKEA renewable electricity plan could save customers £300 per year In addition to its car-free concept, IKEA Westbahnhof will target BREEAM Excellent certification with sustainable materials, energy-saving systems and an abundance of greenery, such as the publicly accessible roof garden , which will help mitigate the urban heat island effect. The architects plan to plant 160 trees atop the building to help lower the temperature of the structure by at least two degrees. “The new store aims to be an iconic meeting place in Vienna,” IKEA’s press release stated. “IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof is going to be the most unique and green IKEA store. It will be inviting, human scale and standing out as a landmark.” Likened to a bookshelf, the multistory building uses a flexible, grid-like system that emphasizes transparency and openness. IKEA will occupy the first four floors of the building, while a hostel will be located on the upper two floors. Four additional retail shops will be placed along Mariahilferstrasse. + querkraft architekten Images via IKEA

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Worlds first car-free IKEA store to open in Austria

Episode 176: Investors dive into water risks, IKEA’s low-carbon shipping manifest

June 14, 2019 by  
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In this episode, Ceres director of investor engagement Monika Frayman chats about why the investment community is scrutinizing corporate water strategy. Plus, IKEA’s Angela Hultberg ponders the company’s early experiences with electric vehicles and last-mile delivery.

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Episode 176: Investors dive into water risks, IKEA’s low-carbon shipping manifest

‘Banking’ water surges in communities facing water stress

June 14, 2019 by  
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Groundwater recharge is the latest wave in water security.

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‘Banking’ water surges in communities facing water stress

IKEA’s new air purifying curtain will decrease indoor pollutants

February 21, 2019 by  
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IKEA has discovered a unique way to decrease indoor pollutants with a new air purifying curtain. The Sweden-based company has developed a material that absorbs and breaks down hazardous substances in a process similar to photosynthesis in order to improve indoor air quality. Atmospheric pollution is a major issue across the planet, especially in dense, urban environments. Scientists estimate that close to 90 percent of the world’s population lives in areas that suffer from poor air quality . IKEA hopes that its new curtain, called the GUNRID, will help reduce those numbers and cut down on air pollutants in homes. Related: IKEA and Little Sun team up to design sustainable, off-grid tools “Besides enabling people to breathe better air at home, we hope that GUNRID will increase people’s awareness of indoor air pollution , inspiring behavioral changes that contribute to a world of clean air,” Lena Pripp-Kovac, IKEA’s head of sustainability, shared. According to IKEA , the curtain was developed using state-of-the-art technology that is akin to how plants naturally filter air. The chemicals that filter pollutants are activated via light, both artificial and natural sunlight. IKEA worked with scientists in Asia and Europe to develop the curtain and hopes to use the same technology in other products down the road. IKEA has a long history of developing eco-friendly practices. For the past several years, the company has been reducing the use of hazardous materials in its factories, which has greatly decreased its carbon footprint. The company plans to further cut its impact on the environment by 70 percent over the next decade. The furniture outlet has also put in place several initiatives to combat air pollution . This includes the Better Air Now! Program, which recycles rice straw and turns it into materials that are used in IKEA products. Farmers usually burn rice straw, producing fumes that decrease air quality in regions across the globe. Customers will be able to purchase the GUNRID curtain at some point in 2020. It is unclear how many future products will feature the same technology, but it will be interesting to see what IKEA comes up with. Hopefully, other companies will follow IKEA’s lead and develop air purifying products of their own. + IKEA Images via IKEA

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Scientists believe lab-grown meat may be more harmful to the environment than farms

February 21, 2019 by  
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Scientists and environmentalists are always looking for ways to make meat consumption more environmentally friendly, but lab-grown meat may not be the solution. Scientists now say that synthetic meat might be more damaging to the environment than traditional cattle farms. Research has shown that cattle farms have played a role in global warming. In fact, scientists estimate that 25 percent of all greenhouse gases can be attributed to agriculture, with beef production leading the way in methane and nitrous oxide production. These alarming statistics have prompted scientists to look for viable alternatives in the meat market. Lab-grown meat has been a promising solution to the problem, though scientists warn that growing meat in a laboratory setting may be more harmful to the environment under certain circumstances. Related: Aleph Farms has created the first lab-grown steak The biggest difference between cattle beef and lab-grown beef is the type of emission that is produced. Cattle farms tend to produce a lot of methane, which contributes greatly to global warming. Manufacturing meat in a lab, meanwhile, releases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is also bad for the environment. The catch is that methane breaks up in around 12 years while carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years. “Per tonne emitted, methane has a much larger warming impact than carbon dioxide. However, it only remains in the atmosphere for about 12 years, whereas carbon dioxide persists and accumulates for millennia,” Raymond Pierrehumbert, a professor at Oxford Martin School, explained. That said, growing meat in a lab can be better for the environment if the manufacturing process uses sustainable energy. This would help curb the overall carbon use without releasing the amount of methane of traditional cattle farms. While this would lessen greenhouse gas emissions, there are other factors to consider with lab-grown meat, including water pollution. Until more research is done on the long-term effects of lab-grown meat, scientists are ultimately unable to determine which method is better for the environment. Via BBC Image via Shutterstock

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Scientists believe lab-grown meat may be more harmful to the environment than farms

Podcast, June 18, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear

June 18, 2018 by  
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This week, the Earth911 team talks about IKEA’s new commitment to … The post Podcast, June 18, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Podcast, June 18, 2018: Sustainability in Your Ear

IKEA Takes Reusable Pledge: Phasing Out Single-Use Products by 2020

June 8, 2018 by  
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IKEA this week announced it will discontinue selling single-use products, … The post IKEA Takes Reusable Pledge: Phasing Out Single-Use Products by 2020 appeared first on Earth911.com.

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IKEA Takes Reusable Pledge: Phasing Out Single-Use Products by 2020

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