Long heralded as one of the most forward-thinking companies in existence, Ikea has just announced an extremely bold and ambitious plan to go totally green by the year 2030. This is part of the Swedish company’s plan to couple sustainability efforts with a growth mentality. The company sells a tremendous number of wooden pieces made from medium density fiberboard, which can be fabricated as a recycled product, and has been experimenting with alternative forms of construction. For consumer this means that the Ikea classic, the “Billy” bookcase, the “Poäng” chair, and the “Ektorp” couch, might end up looking slightly different in the relatively near future.
To guide them into this new era, Ikea is using what they call the “Three Roads Forward” strategy. For them, this means focusing on the ease with which people can access their products, the effect those products have on the environment, and how affordable their products are. Ikea hopes that by focusing on those things, the company can not only become totally “circular,” which means avoiding waste by making all of their products out of materials that have been recycled, but “climate positive,” as well.
This will require the company to rework some of its current design conventions, many of which make use of screws and other metal casings and hinges. While that’s no small task, Ikea has already gotten on it. Just last year, the company unveiled a line of furniture that on top of being able to be assembled 80 percent faster, uses what they call “click’” technology so that the builder has no need for screws or wrenches involved. This makes their furniture a lot easier to move with, and thus able to be kept longer. Not to mention, recycling will be a breeze with no metal on wood parts. Beyond that, it’s a huge step forward for the company that consumes one percent of the world’s wood supply. These new design strategies are only part of the initiative, Ikea hopes to have implemented all nine of them by 2022.
On a broader scale, the company is planning to reduce its carbon footprint by 80 percent across the board. They’ll be using their 2016 carbon footprint as the benchmark, and interestingly, it was in 2016 that Ikea announced that they had cut their carbon footprint in half from where it was in 2010. So, if it’s not clear, Ikea has been working to this point for a long time. They also plan to increase the availability of affordable solar solutions by 2025 and get emissions for home deliveries down to zero by the same year.