IKEA strengthens commitments to reduce inequalities and advance human rights

IKEA recently published an updated version of the social chapter of the IKEA sustainability strategy. In the new “Fair & Equal” section, IKEA strengthens its commitment to tackle inequality and put respect for human rights as a foundation for business operations. The update includes strengthened commitments to contribute to more resilient societies with a continued focus on children as a particularly vulnerable group and new commitments in areas like ensuring a just transition to a net-zero and circular economy. IKEA is committed to providing and promoting living wages and incomes across the value chain. 

In the wake of the pandemic, climate change and geopolitical instabilities, inequality is on the rise and has become a systemic risk in many parts of the world. Businesses, like IKEA, have a huge opportunity and responsibility to work alongside governments to build resilient societies in which basic needs are met and equal opportunities are available to all. 

“IKEA impacts millions of people around the world, and we recognise our responsibility to understand the impact our business has on both people and the communities where we operate and to ensure we always respect human rights”, says Jon Abrahamsson Ring, CEO at Inter IKEA Group. “While growing our business to reach more of the many, we have to make sure that we take the well-being of people and the planet into consideration in all our decisions and actions.”

In the updated strategy IKEA commits to play its full part in contributing to a fair and equal society by respecting human rights, creating a positive impact for people across the value chain and contributing to resilient societies. This responsibility includes everyone in the IKEA value chain: from co-workers, co-workers at business partners and people working in other parts of the IKEA value chain, their families and the communities where IKEA operates, to our customers.

The revision process has included a broad range of internal stakeholders from across the IKEA organisations and functions, as well as external stakeholders representing a variety of civil society organisations, NGOs, youth activists, and UN agencies working to enhance human rights and social responsibility. 

“I am very happy for the deep level of commitment shown by everyone throughout the process”, says Lars-Erik Fridolfsson, Sustainability Transformation Manager – Fair & Equal, Inter IKEA Group, who has led the revision. “It is critical to our business that the wellbeing and rights of people are at the core of our strategies and operations. We will take our full responsibility as a business to ensure providing and supporting decent and meaningful work across the IKEA value chain, and further developing into an equal, diverse and inclusive business. This will be based on a solid understanding of our social footprint.” 

IKEA is also placing increased focus on how to contribute to a more equal society through further development of the range and services. 

“We will explore ways to develop a more inclusive and socially impactful offer that reflects the needs of society, using different enablers, such as supporting social entrepreneurs and working with social innovation”, says Jon Abrahamsson Ring, CEO. 

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