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6 April 2014

IKEA & WWF in Partnership for Responsible Business

greenBee shares some insights on how large corporate businesses and civil society organisations can work together to promote sustainable development and good corporate citizenship

Earlier this week, I participated in a talk with IKEA and WWF, who have been in partnership since 2002 and last year celebrated ten years in action, and are now well into their fourth partnership period with sustainability as their key focus.
IKEA and WWF run joint projects in 13 countries around the world to promote responsible and sustainable use of resources with a special focus on the forestry and cotton markets.

IKEA's Group’s Head of Sustainability Policy and Engagement and one of WWF’s Senior Advisors for Climate Innovation explained how their combined expertise and market power can demonstrate how a partnership between private sector and civil society organisations can lead to truly sustainable business practices.

Both gentlemen are based in Sweden - and with Sweden's reputation as an environmentally-minded nation it seems to be more natural than in the UK that sustainability is a priority: "Waste is a mortal sin in Sweden”.

Obviously being the best known and biggest home furnishing business in the world IKEA has a strong position and a certain power to influence the mass markets

WWF and IKEA have worked together particularly in the cotton and forestry sectors. IKEA have trained over 100,000 cotton farmers in India and Pakistan to be less wasteful and use less resources but still increase their yields. They also work together to increase the availability of FSC-certified wood.

It's good that IKEA uses its power to reach out to sustainability issues - but in relation to its €30 billion turnover each year there is certainly room for more.

On one last comment the speakers made I couldn't agree more though: "The green economy is actually quite exciting and sustainable products are very good. Gone are the days of green products being little more than awful scratchy toilet paper!"

At greenBee we think that our products are hugely exciting. And we do our best to ensure that they are sustainably produced. We have developed our own sustainability criteria by which we screen all our products and suppliers before we add them to our store. Our customers can also be sure that greenBee deliveries are made without unnecessary or plastic packaging. Good for our customers and good for the planet.