7 December 2016 by Robin Nierynck

IKEA reports 88% recycling and recovery rate

The IKEA Group published its Sustainability Report for 2016 today (7 December), showing continued investment and progress towards its sustainability targets.


IKEA aims to recycle or energy recover 90% of the waste from its own operations by 2020

In the 12 months to the end of August 2016, IKEA Group – the furniture and homewares retailer – generated 560,650 tonnes of waste, of which 88.7% was recycled or incinerated for energy recovery from the company’s operations worldwide, including 340 stores.

For material recycling rates, the company achieved 80.3% in retail, 81.7% in distribution centres and 80.5% in IKEA Industry – its furniture production arm.

By August 2020, the company aims to recycle or energy recover 90% of the waste from its own operations. Of this, 80% of the waste from stores and distribution centres and 90% from IKEA Industry would be material recycled, it claims.

The Group uses baling machines, compressing waste packaging into bales, to make recycling of packaging waste more efficient and reduce transport costs. The company aims to introduce more than 150 balers across 16 countries by FY19.

IKEA Group is also developing a new reporting and management system to track waste, which will be launched in 2018, along with new training for co-workers and an updated Waste Management Handbook.

The report notes that while the focus has been on increasing recycling, in the future more emphasis will be put on decreasing the amount of waste produced. Waste from IKEA stores makes up more than 77.2% of its total waste, which the Group aims to cut by 10% by 2020.

In terms of food waste from its restaurants, IKEA aims to halve the amount of food waste produced and send 90% to be recycled or turned into a resource such as compost or biogas by 2020.


IKEA Group has now allocated over €3 billion for sustainability investments. This includes a financial frame of €1 billion, announced today (7 December), to secure a long-term supply of sustainable materials by investing in forestry as well as in companies active in recycling, renewable energy development and biomaterial developments.

It also includes a €1.5 billion investment in wind and solar energy projects since 2009 and €600 million allocated for further investments in renewable energy.

Peter Agnefjäll, president and chief executive at IKEA Group, said: “There are many opportunities ahead for forward-thinking businesses to contribute to, and benefit from, the development of the low-carbon economy.

“Guided by the IKEA vision, to create a better everyday life for the many people, we are determined to have a positive impact on people and the planet.”

Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer at IKEA Group, added: “We have made significant progress towards our People & Planet targets, but there is still more to do. We want to lead with passion and purpose towards a more sustainable and equal world.”


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