Magdalena Betin, IKEA for PMR: Sustainability embedded in our DNA

magdalena betin ikea pmr webianar

Wpis dostępny jest także w języku: polski

IKEA wants all products sold there to come from renewable or recycled materials by 2030, stressed Magdalena Betin, IKEA sustainability leader, during PMR Webinar Home & Garden Retail on 5 November.

Social engagement in the COVID-19 era

In 2018, IKEA published a new “People and planet positive” strategy, with which it has been working since 2012. – In fact, since IKEA exists, environmental care is written into our DNA. We have been implementing the sustainability strategy for years and it applies to all our activities –  stressed Magdalena Betin during the PMR webinar.

The new strategy is geared towards the new challenges facing the modern world. These are defined as unsustainable consumption, climate change and social inequality. The response to these challenges is based on three areas implemented under the strategy – sustainable living, the closed-loop economy and the positive impact on the climate and fair and equitable treatment.

The aim of the latter is to have a positive impact throughout the value chain, on our employees and suppliers. This area has taken on particular importance in the area of the pandemic because it also means social engagement – stresses the sustainability project leader at IKEA. The company provided PLN 4.5m in donations during the COVID-19 pandemic and funded, among other things, 40,000 meals for employees of hospitals, emergency facilities and laboratories and equipped 37 in-patient psychiatric wards for children and young people in 34 hospitals across the country with furniture and accessories.

IKEA’s ambitious targets to 2030

IKEA also wants to enable and inspire its clients to live a sustainable life, both at home and outside, and to do so. The network itself takes various initiatives in this area.

For example, at IKEA facilities, all lighting was replaced by energy-efficient led lighting as early as 2015. Cotton in IKEA products comes exclusively from sustainable crops. Since the beginning of 2020, the network has also phased out all disposable plastic products such as straws, rubbish bags and trays. – Since 2015, we have also been developing the plant range within IKEA FOOD. In August, we introduced vegetable meatballs, which, in their taste and texture, are like traditional meatballs, but in comparison with them they only account for 4% of the carbon footprint – stresses Magdalena Betin.

In October this year, IKEA also announced that it would withdraw all alkaline batteries from sale within one year, keeping only rechargeable batteries in the range. – Last year we sold 300 million disposable batteries worldwide. If each such battery were replaced by a rechargeable battery, 5,000 tonnes less would go to landfill – said IKEA sustainability leader at the PMR webinar.

Poles take care of the environment

In 2019, IKEA conducted the second edition of the study ‘Consumer action on climate change’. It shows that there have been many changes in the behaviour of Poles in just two years.

As many as 88% of Poles are now convinced that human action is the cause of climate change. This corresponds to the average of other countries surveyed. Interestingly, as knowledge increases, we are seeing an increase in concern. As many as 82% of Poles are currently worried about climate change, compared to 65% in 2017 – explains Magdalena Betin.

Poles are motivated to take care of the planet primarily by health and financial issues. They are also more likely to get involved when they know exactly what to do. In comparison with other countries, Poles stand out by saving energy – switching off the light, using products with a high energy efficiency class or using traditional dryers instead of drums.

Poland also performed better than other countries in terms of self-sufficiency. This is about growing its own herbs and vegetables, collecting rainwater and generating its own energy. During the pandemic, we suspect that this area has been further strengthened – concludes the leader of sustainable development at IKEA.

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