Working towards a sustainable future

Our commitment to becoming people and planet positive is at the heart of our business transformation as we develop to meet customer needs and grow our business sustainably. The ambitious sustainability strategy we’ve set for 2030 will challenge us, but I’m confident that we are laying the right foundations now to make it happen.

Climate change is impacting the lives of people everywhere. Extreme weather events, such as heatwaves in Japan and Europe, and the catastrophic wildfires in the US, Greece, and even the Arctic Circle, have made more people realise that there is no time to waste. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report leaves us in no doubt that the next 12 years will determine the world we will pass on for future generations. 

While the urgency is clear, there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic. I am inspired by the grassroots movements we see growing around the world on issues like climate change, plastic pollution, human rights and inequality (#metoo). This sends a clear signal to governments and businesses that people expect transparency and leadership on these issues. Learning that more than 90% of the people we surveyed are willing to change their behaviour to reduce their impact on the climate confirms that we have a huge opportunity to support them to do so.

We updated the Ingka Group Sustainability Strategy in FY18 in response to the challenges of climate change, unsustainable consumption and inequality. We focus on three areas where we can make the biggest difference – promoting healthy and sustainable living, becoming a circular and climate positive business, and becoming a more fair and inclusive company and employer.

We want to inspire and enable 1 billion people to live better lives within the limits of the planet by 2030. It’s a huge, ambitious target. But it’s possible because we are part of the everyday lives of so many people around the world through the home furnishings and services we offer, and through the communities where our coworkers live and work.

The benefits to our business are clear. In expanding our home solar offer and rolling out zero emissions home deliveries to all markets by 2025, and developing new circular services, we’re showing our commitment to sustainable innovation and growth. We’re also able to develop and grow our business by working with social entrepreneurs and expanding our refugee employment programmes. We are contributing to the economic empowerment of people and communites, while making our business more diverse and inclusive, which makes us better decision makers.

Consumers are more demanding than ever in expecting brands to do the right thing for people and planet. Our co-workers are deeply committed to achieving our goals. They are proud of what we have done so far and challenge us to go further and faster.

I am excited to see what we can and will achieve. We don’t underestimate the work to be done, but with nearly 160,000 coworkers across 30 countries, together with our customers and communities, we have the energy and momentum to make a positive impact.

Pia Heidenmark Cook
Group Sustainability Manager, Ingka Group