How can a company like IKEA live up to stakeholders’ expectations and have a positive impact on people and the planet? What should the role of companies be in meeting the many challenges we face in society today?
On a November 20th webinar, Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA Group and Chris Coulter, CEO of GlobeScan discussed shifting expectations of stakeholders toward companies to be a force for good and explored IKEA’s People and Planet Positive sustainability strategy – one of the strongest drivers of stakeholder trust in IKEA.
This webinar was organised in response to IKEA and GlobeScan’s consultation of more than 1,000 IKEA stakeholders across 12 countries. This quantitative study showed knowledge gaps in some of the key drivers of trust in IKEA, and a desire for more information and engagement with IKEA.
Chris Coulter from GlobeScan introduced the webinar, setting the context in terms of the importance of business engaging a wide range of stakeholders in order to build trust and help make real progress on sustainability.
Steve Howard, IKEA Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer then shared IKEA’s approach to sustainability. This presentation was tailored to respond to questions posed ahead of the webinar – the majority of attendees wanted to know how IKEA can influence consumers to live more sustainably (what role can IKEA play in inspiring people to live more sustainable lives?). Steve outlined IKEA’s vision (to create a better everyday life for the many people’) and sustainability strategy, People and Planet Positive. Several features of IKEA’s approach were highlighted:
- The company’s commitment to “Democratic design”, which combines form, function, low price, quality and sustainability components.
- Their emphasis on making sustainability “easy, affordable and attractive”.
- “Going all in” – the company’s belief that clear, 100% targets are better than 50% or even 90% targets.
- The aspiration for a “Circular IKEA” – involving three areas of focus: design; resources; and product life.