IKEA is pressing ahead with plans to become a ‘circular retailer’ that minimises its waste and encourages customers to reuse and repair its products, according to the company’s latest Annual Summary for the UK.
The company will confirm this morning that for the second year running it has sent no waste to landfill in the UK, with rubbish instead being diverted for reuse, energy generation, and recycling into new products.
Speaking at the BusinessGreen Leaders Summit last week, IKEA’s sustainability manager for UK and Ireland Hege Sæbjørnsen revealed IKEA is now ‘cost positive’ for cardboard and plastic, with old cardboard used for making new products such as its ‘Billy’ bookcases.
The firm also revealed it has expanded its furniture take-back scheme, with almost 13,000 beds, sofas and appliances recovered to date, while a pilot scheme for textile collection in Cardiff has seen more than a tonne of textile waste collected in less than a year. The scheme will now roll out nationwide, IKEA confirmed.
“We are determined to have an overall positive impact on the UK – both for the people we meet, and the planet where we live and work,” Sæbjørnsen said in the report. “We call this becoming people and planet positive. When we achieve it, we’ll be more than a sustainable business. We’ll be a regenerative business, without reliance on finite resources – creating a better everyday life for millions of people.”
IKEA also said its ‘Food is Precious’ programme, which launched in June, has already cut food waste at its UK stores by 32 per cent, a major step towards its goal of halving food waste by the end of 2020.
It also said it now generates 41 per cent of the energy it uses across the UK, as part of its goal to be producing enough renewable energy to power its entire global operations by 2020.
IKEA’s progress against its environmental targets is set against the backdrop of soaring sales – total UK revenues were up almost six per cent to the year ending August 31, compared to the previous year. Over the last six years sales have jumped 56 per cent for the furniture giant.