Ikea, the global furniture megastore, has committed to a sustainability initiative that is a model for other companies. In this TED talk, Steve Howard, Ikea’s chief sustainability officer, states: “Sustainability has gone from a nice-to-do to a must-do.”

The company’s People Planet Positive sustainability strategy takes into account three startling developments:

  1. Three billion people will join the middle class by 2030, straining the world’s resources.
  2. Global warming is a real issue and it is imperative to lower CO2 emissions by the end of this decade.
  3. At the beginning of the last century there were 12 cities with 1 million residents more. Today there are 500 cities with 1 million or more with all the attendant environmental problems.

In this video, he talks about the company’s use of solar panels and wind tunnels, and how they are building sustainability into the supply chain starting with the farmers who grow the cotton for the materials they use in their products. By 2020, Ikea will be using 100% renewable energy in its stores and distribution centers. In a recent story, Forbes highlighted Ikea’s “aggressive approach to sustainability .”

You can learn more about Ikea’s sustainability strategy in this video and in The Ikea Group Approach to Sustainability.


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