4.K.1 Three main partnerships
IKEA collaborates with three main partners: UNICEF, “Save the Children” and WWF. The company is satisfied limiting itself to this number of partnerships, which allows it to choose the “right” projects and fully engage in them.96 IKEA initiated its partnership with “Save the Children” Sweden in 1993, with UNICEF in 1998 and with WWF in 2002. The partnership with “Save the Children” in Sweden gradually came to encompass the International “Save the Children” Alliance. IKEA has continuously broadened its co-operation with its partners: in 2005 IKEA founded an independent organization within the IKEA Group called IKEA Social Initiative, which handles its global partnerships with “Save the Children” and UNICEF. The partnership with WWF has unfolded in two phases: the first three-year phase involved co-operation on responsible forestry projects. The year 2005 initiated a broadening of the partnership to include cotton production, prevention of illegal logging and climate change projects. IKEA sees the broadening of this partnership as a way for the company to “challenge”97 itself.
K.2 Environmental issues
K.2.1 Global and national level
IKEA strives to reduce its impact on the environment and has as such created several internal projects to promote this issue such as “IKEA Goes Renewable” (all IKEA stores are to be run on renewable energy by 2009), transporting products with reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, and working to develop products with less negative environmental impact throughout the entire product life cycle, from the design stage to the disposal stage: Environmental Design.98 These efforts include designing goods that can be stapled upon each other in order to minimize transports needed and disposing of customer’s old IKEA sofas when they buy a new one.99
IKEA co-operates externally with WWF in both independent and joint projects on a national and global scale. Projects related to responsible forestry (preventing the use of illegally logged wood in their products) such as “Sow a seed” to save Borneo’s rainforest, climate change with “IKEA Goes Renewable” to reduce energy use and sustainable cotton production with “Better Cotton Initiative” (BCI). IKEA has worked diligently at developing a sustainable and environmentally friendly cotton production program. It does not use ecological cotton in its products, as only small quantities are available and hence cannot fulfill IKEA’s needs. However, by engaging in BCI, IKEA is able to reduce the harmful environmental impact of increased cotton production by reducing the amount of water and toxins needed to produce them. This is more efficient than using ecological cotton for a small selection of products.100 BCI is good both for IKEA and for the cotton farmers as the sharing of IKEA’s knowledge101 offers cotton farmers education to increase and improve their harvest and can in turn pass this on to other farmers.102
4.K.2.2 Local store level At store level, the CSR responsibility lies with the customer service department and the CSR
coordinator is most often in charge of the environmental committee103 (as is the case at the Barkarby
96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 Interview, Hrdlickova, I., 2008-11-23. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13, Interview, Gylhenius, A., 2008-11-10. Brochure: “People and the Environment”. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22, Interview, Hrdlickova, I., 2008-11-23. Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13. http://www.ikea.com/ms/sv_SE/about_ikea_new/our_responsibility/cotton/index.html. Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10, Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22.