IKEA sets new targets for emissions cuts as more factories switch to renewable power

By Helen Reid

January 26, 2024 at 1:00 PM

FILE PHOTO: A view of an Ikea sign on one of its branches in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 2, 2023. REUTERS/ Tom Little/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A view of an Ikea sign on one of its branches in Copenhagen, Denmark, November 2, 2023. REUTERS/ Tom Little/File Photo

By Helen Reid

LONDON (Reuters) - IKEA, the world's biggest furniture brand, on Thursday said it aims to cut emissions by 50% by its 2030 financial year, up from its previous target of 15% which it already exceeded in 2023.

Inter IKEA, which manufactures IKEA products and acts as franchisor to IKEA store owners, aims to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain -from raw material production to customers' use and disposal of products.

The 50% reduction target compares with the 2016 financial year, while its prior 15% goal was set in 2017. The company cut its emissions by 12% in the latest financial year as more of its manufacturing facilities switched to fully renewable energy.

"It's still going to be challenging and a lot of hard work, but there is at least a realism in the goal of 50%," Par Stenmark, chief sustainability officer at Inter IKEA, told Reuters in an interview.

Inter IKEA said emissions were estimated to total 24.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the 12 months through August 2023, against 27.2 million tonnes in the 2022 fiscal year. The 2023 emissions were down 22% compared with 2016.

Helping curb emissions over the year, an additional 142 more of IKEA's own factories, or supplier factories, switched to 100% renewable electricity, bringing the total to 408.

IKEA's use of raw materials such as wood accounts for the biggest share (45.9%) of the company's emissions, with IKEA product use in customers' homes accounting for 16.1%.

The emissions footprint from materials fell by 17% in 2023 compared to 2022, but IKEA said that was mostly due to a decline in the amount of products manufactured over the year.

IKEA last year started using glue made from industrial corn starch in one of its wood board factories in Lithuania to replace glue made from petroleum.

"We are stepwise introducing it in production because availability is not really high at the moment," said Stenmark. "We are very much looking forward to scaling this."

Glue in wood board materials alone accounts for 5% of IKEA's total emissions.

A decrease in IKEA's emissions from product use at home was helped by lower overall sales volumes in lighting and appliances, and a bigger share of energy-efficient LED light bulbs sold.

IKEA aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, without using carbon offsets.

The company submitted its new targets in November to the Science Based Targets Initiative, which sets standards for emissions reduction goals and assesses whether companies' plans are good enough.

(Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Sharon Singleton)


Reuters is a news agency owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation. It employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world.

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