The latest sustainability report from IKEA has shown that the retailer is close to meeting its target of all its home furnishing products being either renewable, recyclable or recycled.
By 2015, the company aims to meet this target, but in 2013 it showed it was close revealing 98 per cent of its products met this criteria.
The company also revealed that by the end of 2017, it is aiming that all non-renewable materials, including plastic, used in its products will be from recycled sources.
This will include a significant increase in the use of recycled plastic that currently accounts for just 5 per cent of the plastic it currently uses in its products and packaging.
It also said that it has set up a two-year project called Resource Chain to develop a framework for how IKEA should work with recycled materials.
During its 2013 financial year, it ran projects to understand more about how closed loop resource chains should be set up and managed.
One of these focused on polyethylene plastic wrapping which was collected from stores, recycled and used as a raw material to make a desk pad.
It also discovered that the recycled wrapping is a viable raw material that costs less than buying virgin or recycled material from other sources.
The company also learned that it can keep material clean at stores and at its suppliers as well as improving the efficiency of collecting and transporting the wrapping.
Further pilot recycling projects are underway with other materials including polypropylene and corrugated cardboard packaging.
It is also investigating closed loop chains for wood, foam and textiles.
IKEA Group president and chief executive Peter Agnefjail wrote in the introduction to the sustainability report: “How does the world tackle the expected shortages of resources and the impacts of climate change while providing people with a good quality of like? These are among the biggest challenges of this century.
“Everyone, including IKEA, has a part to play in finding solutions. With our vision of creating ‘a better everyday life for the many people’ I know there is no other way of doing business than in a sustainable way.
“We have a long-term approach and strategy that guides us into the future as well as to action here and now. It’s about asking ourselves, what we can do with this product right now to make it more sustainable. It’s about many small steps that combine to make a big difference….
“…The task is big, but the challenges we face are energising, as they relate to our vision and strong commitment to develop products that fit with our idea of democratic design. By this we mean everything we sell must meet five conditions: good design, functionality, the right quality, built-in sustainability, and affordability. We, and society, will never succeed if sustainability becomes a luxury only affordable to the few.
“We’ve decided to become resource and energy independent and during last year we substantially increased our investments in wind and solar energy. We also moved a step closer to our 2015 goal for all main home furnishing materials to be made from renewable, recyclable or recycled materials.”
Read the full report here