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Many companies offer Software-as-a-Service or Mobility-as-a-Service. To contribute to a circular economy, IKEA does now offer Furniture-as-a-Service. 


What does IKEA do?

We all know IKEA as the Swedish furniture store with the delicious meatballs. In addition to its blue-yellow image however, IKEA is working hard to be a fully circular and climate positive company by 2030.  

Most people don’t know yet that IKEA is already selling more than 10,000 articles containing sixty percent renewable and twenty percent recycled materials. “Or that the roofs of our stores worldwide are fully equipped with 935,000 solar panels”, says Anna Anderson of IKEA. Amounting to almost 40,000 solar panels in the Netherlands. “Our core business is to sell furniture to enhance the day-to-day lives of as many people as possible. By rendering our furniture as affordable as possible and by contributing to a circular economy.” 

“What I really like to mention, is that IKEA offers its customer also the opportunity to rent furniture. IKEA Eindhoven has, jointly with Move & Rent, started a pilot project based on the new concept ‘Furniture as a service’. This concept allows you to rent all your furniture for a fixed amount per month. After the rental period, all furniture will be given a second life in our Circular Hub – previously known as the discount corner – in our IKEA store in Eindhoven or in a local thrift store selected by us. This new approach to furniture, will make us more aware of our footprint. Do we want to own our furniture or re-use it? By renting furniture or by sharing it with others and passing it on, we will jointly ensure that the throwaway society will slowly disappear.” 


Another great example is IKEA’s partnership with MUD, a Dutch jeans brand. They use old recycled jeans to manufacture the covers for the KLIPPAN, IKEA’s classic sofa design. We have to stop throwing things away. The covers consist for forty percent of recycled jeans and for sixty percent of sustainable cotton. By engaging in partnerships like these, IKEA wants to render sustainable consumption easier and more affordable. These are only two examples of projects that contribute to a sustainable future. Or a Smart future as IKEA likes to call it.  

Who are you and what is your role within IKEA?  

“My name is Anna Andersson and I have been working for IKEA for 17 years. My current role is IKEA for Business manager at IKEA Eindhoven. Before I started in this role, I held various sales functions and executed projects for IKEA Italy, Finland and Norway. Sustainability is my passion; we have to act now to ensure we leave a world that still offers a great place to live for future generations. I think we should all contribute to this goal. Of course, I also promote this vision at work and I talk with my team and with entrepreneurs, among others, about the major job at hand; what will we do to create a better world, how can we strengthen and increase our contribution? IKEA wants to be at the forefront and is committed on a daily basis to creating a ‘healthy and sustainable life’, but we do not sufficiently carry this message yet. It is a message to be proud of. Two years ago, IKEA participated in the Dutch Design Week to tell our sustainability story to the world. Remi van Haaren is studying International Business at Avans and is doing his internship as part of my team. He has made a value contribution to the development and implementation of ‘Furniture as a service’.” 

In what way are you helping to solve the global challenges? 

 “In 2011, we installed an earth warming system in our IKEA store in Eindhoven. Enabling us to cool or heat the entire store in a sustainable way. In addition, the roof of our store is fully equipped with solar panels, which provide forty five percent of our total electricity consumption.  

Furthermore, we are working together with local entrepreneurs to further develop innovative ideas that contribute to our mission to enhance people’s everyday life. Such as the social enterprise I-did in Utrecht. We have, jointly with I-did and with people who are distanced from the labor market, produced various storage solutions and bags fully made of remnants from fabrics used for IKEA stores in the Netherlands. By 2030, IKEA wants to be fully circular. Meaning that all our products must be designed in a circular way and solely contain renewable or recycled materials.”  

What impact will you have achieved by 2030?  

“By 2030, IKEA wants all of its stores worldwide to be fully circular and climate positive. Each store will have the opportunity to implement this mission at its own discretion. To truly inspire all of our employees to help achieve this mission.” 

What parties do you want to jointly realize this ambition with?  

“We know we cannot do this alone and that we should join forces. Jointly with customers, employees, suppliers, public authorities, companies and other partners, IKEA wants to offer sustainable and affordable solutions and persuade consumers to select those solutions. IKEA Eindhoven is working together with various partners, such as Move & Rent, whose mission it is to enhance people’s lives and to create a more sustainable world. IKEA is a large organization that employs many specialists. At IKEA Eindhoven, we gladly share this specialist knowledge and we like to inspire others.” 

What do you hope the Brainport region will have accomplished by 2030 regarding innovation and sustainability?   

“Brainport is on the right track and is playing a key role in respect of innovation and sustainability. As far as I am concerned, the region should fully focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, which have been laid down by the world leaders in 2015 with the aim to having realized those goals by 2030. Many companies and organizations have even set sustainable goals for 2070. We cannot afford to do that. In my opinion, that we should set stringent goals, which can be achieved by 2030. It is easy to keep on dreaming, but the time to dream is over. It is time for action! And partnerships are key. We have no choice; we have to change in a positive way.” 

Source: Timeframe Project Eindhoven