donated to such projects. In many IKEA stores115, including the Barkarby store, these proceeds go to a local ”Ellen/Allan-project”. This is a “Save the Children” project aimed and designed for young teenagers who need counseling and support. At the Kungens Kurva store, the collected money goes to relief aid for the children that have been victim to the 2008 cyclone disaster in Burma. We can thus see that IKEA commits to projects, with both “in-kind assistance” (products IKEA sells) and with money – donated from customers and from the corporation itself. The local store projects tend to involve more “in-kind assistance” as there is no budget for CSR matters per se.116
K.4 Future projects
Hrdlickova reveals that the next step in IKEA’s CSR development will be to inform and help
customers to create a sustainable home. IKEA will thus transfer its collected know-how in this area to customers. A solar panel lamp has for example been developed which will be launched in spring 2009. This may only be a small step in the right direction but has symbolic value highlighting the issue and showing the potential developments of the next two to three years. In January 2009, the new IKEA “PS collection” will be launched, which is designed with the highest consideration to the environment.117
4.7 Brand and Communication
IKEA’s CSR activities have progressed a lot over the past few years. Presently, many of our interviewees at IKEA believe that the next substantial challenge for IKEA is the wider-scale communication of these CSR activities.118 The importance of clearly communicating and coordinating CSR efforts is threefold: increased knowledge by customers improves the IKEA brand and can bring competitive advantage, increased knowledge by employees creates a positive atmosphere in the workplace, and the increased employee knowledge also improves efficiency by removing duplicated efforts and coordinating the different activities and projects across stores. CSR is not a part of the franchised IKEA concept and the company is still in the process of trying to coordinate its joint efforts.119 There are no specific guidelines from the corporate headquarters on how local stores should manage CSR activities; it is therefore still up to each store to what extent it engages in local projects. Due to the increasing interest and attention to CSR, CSR contributes more to the IKEA brand than it did ten years ago120 and therefore warrants special attention.
4.7.1 Internal Marketing IKEA communicates its CSR efforts to its co-workers through various communication methods: its
in-store magazines (“Readme”), the intranet and at meetings121 where local projects are usually discussed and communicated. There is furthermore an e-learning project all co-workers have to go through about the environmental aspects of the business. Many co-workers have very little awareness of these issues; mainly due to the fact that it is hard to co-ordinate the CSR communication efforts on an internal level.122 However, according to IKEA’s own yearly survey, 81% of all co-workers of IKEA Sweden thought that IKEA was a responsible company. The goal is to reach a 90% approval
115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122
Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22, Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Interview, Hrdlickova, I., 2008-11-23. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05, Interview, Hrdlickova, I., 2008-11-23. Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22. Interview, Bergmark, T., 2008-05-26, Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22.