Ikea boss says we don’t need more furniture

The world’s largest furniture retailer, has been encouraging its customers to adopt a more sustainable way of life

Zlata Rodionova
Monday 18 January 2016 14:17
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An Ikea employee gazes into the abyss of an Ikea warehouse
An Ikea employee gazes into the abyss of an Ikea warehouse

The world has reached “peak furniture”, according to the head of sustainability at Ikea.

“In the West we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff, peak home furnishings,” Steve Howard told the audience at a climate change conference in London.

“If you look on a global basis, most people are still poor and most people actually haven’t got to sufficiency yet. There is a global growth opportunity... but it’s a distribution issue,” Howard said.

Howard denied his comments contradict Ikea’s goal to double sales up to €50 billion by 2020.

Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, has been encouraging its customers to adopt a more sustainable way of life though its People and Planet Positive sustainability strategy, which includes strong commitments to tackle climate change.

“At IKEA we’re going all-in. All-in to combat climate change, conserve natural resources and tackle inequality. You need support from everyone across the business to make these kinds of commitments. And whilst we still have a way to go, we are beginning to have a real positive impact,” Howard said in a statement.

The company committed €600 million to investment in renewable energy, adding on the €1.5 billion invested in wind and solar since 2009.

The Ikea Foundation, the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group – has promised €400 million up to 2020 to support the communities most impacted by climate change.

The home retailer has also made the pledge that all the energy it uses should be 100 per cent renewable by 2020, up from 53 per cent last year. It has also introduced the veggieball, a healthy, low-carbon alternative to its much-loved meatball.

“Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people and we are determined to make a positive difference to people and the planet. That’s why we want to become completely sustainable by transforming our business and why we’re raising our voice on critical issues such as climate change,”Peter Agnefjäll, President and CEO, IKEA Group said in a statement.

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