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Ikea Unveils Air Pollution Plan

As representatives from nations around the globe gather in Egypt at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, Ikea joined the event’s Science Day with an announcement of its new air pollution guide.

Developed in partnership with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the guide sets a baseline for Ikea and its suppliers, and encourages other businesses to join the World Economic Forum’s Alliance for Clean Air in contributing to clean air and health.

Ikea signed up with the Alliance for Clean Air when it was introduced last year, joining such companies as Google, Maersk, Moderna and Siemens in an effort to establish air pollution footprints and set ambitious targets to reduce emissions.

Ikea’s guide utilizes data companies already use to report its greenhouse gas emissions, enabling businesses to better understand its impact on air pollution and unlock new paths to accelerate climate efforts.

“Air pollution impacts the health of the many people across the world,” said Andreas Rangel Ahrens, head of climate, Inter Ikea Group. “Through the air pollution guidance, we as businesses are able to measure our impact and take action to minimize or eliminate it. We hope many other companies will join us and jointly contribute to clean air and health.”

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To reduce its air pollution impact, Ikea has committed to several initiatives and goals. The company aims to only have electric and other zero-emission home deliveries by fiscal year 2025, reducing air pollution generated in populated areas. Ikea also has committed to using zero-emission on heavy-duty vehicles and phasing out coal- and fossil-oil-based fuels used in the production of its products by fiscal year 2025 at the latest.

Ikea also plans on investing in new, cleaner technology to generate electricity and heat on-site from wood waste while also increasing the number of plant-based options in its food range and management practices used, reducing air pollution generated by agriculture.

Additionally, Ikea said it aims to consume 100 percent renewable electricity in IKEA retail markets and the top 10 supplier countries by fiscal year 2025, and it also set a goal to only purchase zero-emission fuels for ocean shipping by fiscal year 2040. The company also launched Better Air Now initiative in 2018, aimed at turning rice straw – a traditionally burned rice harvesting residue that contributes heavily to air pollution – into new renewable material for Ikea.

These initiatives, along with others such as Ikea’s Buy Back & Resell circularity program, are part of the company’s push to shed its fast-furniture reputation for a more environmentally conscious product and business model.

“We want to be part of building a future that’s better for people and the planet,” country sustainability manager, U.S., Jennifer Keesson said in April. “From furniture to food, home delivery to assembly, and product design to investments, Ikea is transforming its business model to be circular and climate-positive by 2030. We want to help create a sustainable movement in society, and inspire our customers to acquire, care for and pass on Ikea products in more sustainable ways.”