Gap Score

The furniture giant moves up six places this year on the strength of its improved performance. Boosting its score, disclosure improved around operations, product innovation, end-of-life programs, its green product portfolio and quantitative data on governance, particularly around impact reduction targets. IKEA is focused on a People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy for 2020. While transparent about its initiatives and establishing clear benchmarks for suppliers, the public perception and visibility of the strategy, which was launched in October, has room to grow. IKEA has been working to create a sustainability-focused supply chain, working with 80 auditors and phasing out all furnishing suppliers that did not agree to comply with IKEA’s IWAY standards for sustainability. By supporting UTZ-certified standards for coffee, tea, and cocoa production, and requiring that suppliers work with farmers to promote water conservation through practices like drip irrigation, IKEA has made a commitment to sustainable farming. However, the headline-making discovery of horsemeat in its meatballs—along with other brands—in addition to mislabeled elk meat lasagna and the discovery of fecal bacteria in almond cakes impacted the perception of its supplier relationships. According to its 2012 Sustainability Report, IKEA’s goal is to operate 100 percent of its stores on renewable energy by 2020. IKEA owned and operated 126 wind turbines in six countries, placed 250,000 solar panels on their buildings, and produced 34 percent of their energy consumption through renewable energy. IKEA is clearly committed to selling sustainable products. As of 2012, 91 percent of materials used in IKEA products were renewable, recyclable, or recycled. IKEA committed to selling only LED lighting by 2016, reduced the prices of energy-saving induction cooktops for consumers to make them more accessible, and made their entire range of freezers and refrigerators meet “A+ rated” energy standards in Europe.