What is more core to human nature than wanting a better life? This deep-rooted motivation felt across generations has allowed average Americans to live much, much easier lives than pretty much all our ancestors. With exceptions, this is the case much the world over.
Much of that progress has been propelled by a growing understanding of how nature operates. Even our smartest know far from it all, but most of us understand progress has been pushing Nature's limits since the Industrial Revolution.
Earth Overshoot Day calculates the rate of human consumption against the capacity of ecosystems to regenerate. As a species, we consume almost double what this planet can provide.
360 Living offers a path to much more balanced consumption. Following the principles of a circular economy, we retain the benefits of generations of progress without causing life-threatening stress to the resources we depend on.
IKEA is taking a leading role in clearing this path. Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the company updated its People and Planet Positive Strategy and set similar goals for itself to reach by 2030:
Use only renewable and recycled materials.
Create circular capabilities in its all products.
Allow up to 3 billion people to refurbish, maintain, repair, and resell their products.
To reach these goals, IKEA is transforming itself into a circular business.
And it’s not just green-washing. IKEA released a 2021 Sustainability Report that demonstrates its commitment by showing progress in many areas that define a 360 Living company:
Cyclicity- IKEA's products are becoming easier to assemble and disassemble, with disassembly instructions available for a growing list of products.
Durability - Free spare parts for repairs and refurbishment.
Waste Diversion - A zero-waste-to-landfill policy.
Life Cycle Management - IKEA uses 60% renewable materials and 10% recycled materials. It is reducing its use of virgin materials every year, with the goal to use 100% renewable and recycled materials by 2030.
Less Packaging - IKEA used mostly cardboard in its packaging because it is already a globally recycled resource with the necessary infrastructure in place. It wants to do better, so the company reached out to startups to bring solutions to the table via the Packaging Innovation Acceleration Program.
Re-Use Platforms - IKEA is piloting a second-hand, brick-and-mortar store and transforming its “As-Is” store departments into circular hubs.
Here's how you can play a role in IKEA’s circular efforts…
By making it cheaper to repair and refurbish its products, IKEA hopes to keep them out of landfills. The company is offering free spare parts to customers in an effort to prolong the life span of its products. Customers can order small a part (washers, dowels, brackets, etc.) online with the part number. Part numbers can be found by navigating to the product on IKEA's website and reviewing the assembly documentation.
Buy-Back and Resell
Another way IKEA is prolonging the life of its products is through its Buy-Back and Resell program. IKEA is accepting products its customers no longer want in exchange for store credit. The company either resells the products in their As-Is departments or disposes of them based on their zero-waste-to-landfill policy.
Customers can participate in the Buy-Back and Resell program by first submitting an online form to get a quote for the product's buy-back value. If the quote is acceptable, customers then bring the product to a store where it is physically assessed and store credit is provided.
IKEA is leading the way in the global transition into a circular economy. They have seen its benefits from a business perspective and an environmental perspective. By following through on its circular transition strategy, the company’s CO2 footprint went down 5.8 % in 2021 and its sales went up 5.8%. Proof that 360 Living is a path to grow upon the progress we’ve inherited.