IKEA is Simply Sustainable

May 15, 2018


Hang onto your meatballs, because IKEA is taking big steps toward going green! We got our hands on the Swedish furniture giant’s 2017 Sustainability Report, and today on the Ernest blog we’re taking a look at some of the particularly juicy bits around packaging waste.


Generating more waste is unavoidable as a company grows, and in 2017 IKEA produced more waste than ever before — but they also sustainably dealt with a whopping 83.4% of all waste they produced. Instead of ending up in a landfill, 590,254 metric tons of materials were recycled or had energy captured through incineration.

“Sustainability goes hand-in-hand with the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many people,” explains CEO Jesper Brodin. That’s why he set aside a generous $3.7 billion budget for the company’s sustainability efforts — which include some delicious mushroom-based packages.


IKEA admits that one area where waste is created is during transit. Damage during shipping was responsible for 7.7 million products needing to be repacked, essentially doubling the amount of packaging needed for each one.

The great news is that IKEA considers this “avoidable waste,” and claims to be working hard to reduce and eventually eliminate it. For now, the damaged products that can’t be repacked are either sold in the as-is section for a discount, or used as a showroom model.


It turns out IKEA has grand plans for plastic, as well. Last year they announced a plan to use 100% recycled plastics to make their products by August 2020. That announcement was followed up by a multi-million dollar investment in a plastic recycling plant in the Netherlands, buying out a 15% share in the company.

So how’s that plan working out for them? Pretty dang well, actually! IKEA’s stores in France are undertaking a project that’s turning plastic packaging into products. When they receive shrink-wrapped pallets, the stores collect the plastic film and send it off to be turned into products like spray bottles that you can buy at IKEA stores.

It may seem like a challenge to match the efforts of a corporation as huge as IKEA, but just like building their furniture, sustainability is a step-by-step process. It can take many shapes, and there are a lot of small moves your company can take to achieve it. Where do you start? By calling Ernest, of course! Our experts can introduce you to some great steps to take to start going greener today.