Retail In Asia recently interviewed Peter Betzel, CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA India. In this interview, Betzel shares more on IKEA’s take on expanding into India’s market and their sustainability efforts.
With a mission to create a better life for everyone, IKEA continues to invest in India to make beautiful, affordable, and sustainable furniture accessible. Betzel shared that IKEA India hopes to reach 100 million people by 2022 via omni-channel presence in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi/NCR.
Other than its commercial success, IKEA India will also be focusing on pushing for sustainability as part of the company’s culture and vision. Betzel shared that the sustainability strategy of IKEA India is built on 3 pillars:
- Healthy and sustainable living
Inspire and enable 1 billion people to live a better life within the limits of the planet by saving water, energy, and waste management.
- Circular and climate positive
IKEA aims for a circular economy by 2030 – zero waste. By 2030, all IKEA products will be produced by renewable and recyclable materials. Working with both consumers and suppliers to maximise the impact on a circular economy with sustainable raw materials in the ecosystem.
- Fair and inclusive
Build an inclusive and people oriented environment and community in the workplace – 50% gender equality across the company.
IKEA’s sustainability strategy extends beyond the 3 pillars, the company pledges to create a trustworthy community between co-workers, customers, and stakeholders. This includes practicing compassion, empathy, humility, and integrity. IKEA led its sustainability initiatives with 100% LED-only lights and all cotton in their products are from sustainable resources in 2015.
“Working with sustainability is an integral part of the IKEA business and a core value. We believe that each coworker, our suppliers and partners should be inspired to do more for people and the planet based on our purpose to create a better everyday life at home for the many people,” says Betzel.
IKEA plans to fully switch to renewable energy for operation by 2025 with all of their buildings certified as green buildings.
Betzel goes on to share some of IKEA’s plans to drive sustainability, “We have delivered 30000 parcels to our customers in 100% sustainable packaging and fillers and we have done 13% deliveries to customers done through electric vehicles. The goal is to reach 100% by 2025. We will work with communities around our stores to create sustainable and affordable solutions for waste and water problems. We will continue to develop sustainable and affordable products and solutions in our range to enable the many people to live more sustainably.”
The company also developed a Better living mobile application for customers to live more healthy and sustainable each day by completing different challenges. Indian consumers are one of the most active on this app after the first season, saving 457 thousands kg of carbon footprint, 8 million liters of water, and helped waste segregation of 7 thousands kg.
According to initial observation, customers and co-workers of IKEA in India are enthusiastic about the sustainable living concept and eager to contribute to global sustainability.
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