We want to play our part in creating a better life for the people and communities touched by our business. This has always been part of our approach, and it is even more important today as our business continues to grow around the world.
Everyone deserves a better everyday life
Our vision “to create a better everyday life for the many people” includes our co-workers, customers, suppliers and the communities where they live. Respect for human rights, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, is part of everything we do and is included in our supplier code of conduct, called the IWAY Standard. Download the IWAY Standard PDF At IKEA, we believe in people
We do our best to stand for equal opportunities and support human rights. Every co-worker can expect fair treatment and equal opportunities whatever their ethnicity, religion, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation or age. Find out more in Working at IKEA
It’s not just what goes into our products that’s important – it’s the people behind the scenes, too.
We believe in protecting children
We do everything we can to act in the best interests of children, whether it’s how we design products or steps we have taken to eliminate child labour.
Our commitment to children runs deep
When it comes to our products and stores, we try to think from a child’s perspective. We want our products to aid their development and for our stores to become play areas, just as if they were at home. We work with experts on children’s development, to learn and understand their needs during different stages of development.
A clear ban on child labour
We believe that children have the right to be protected from exploitation, abuse and neglect. This is why child labour is unacceptable to IKEA and why we work actively to prevent and eliminate it. Our child labour code of conduct, introduced in 2000, was developed in close co-operation with Save the Children and with advice from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF.
Creating long-term solutions
Preventing and eliminating child labour is a big challenge, which can only be tackled by addressing the root causes with a holistic approach. That’s why the IKEA Foundation supports UNICEF and Save the Children child rights programs in 25,000 villages in a number of states in India and Pakistan; reaching a total of 15 million children by the end of 2017. Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more information
Building good relationships
We want everyone to feel good about the products we sell, which is why we put a lot of work into our supplier relationships – and those relationships that reach beyond ours. There are about 600,000 people working for companies that directly supply IKEA around the world, and we want to be sure they are all treated fairly.
That’s why in 2000 we launched IWAY, our supplier code of conduct. Our suppliers are responsible for communicating IWAY to their sub-suppliers and we are supporting them to do this. All home furnishing suppliers must comply with IWAY requirements, otherwise they are phased out.
What is the IWAY Standard?
Our supplier code of conduct, the IWAY Standard, plays an important role in positive developments. It specifies our minimum requirements relating to the environment, social impact and working conditions.
We visit our suppliers regularly to check that they are following the IWAY Standard. Around 80 IKEA auditors, as well as independent third party auditors make both announced and unannounced checks at suppliers and their sub-suppliers.
The IWAY Standard requirements include:
- No child labour
- No forced or bonded labour
- No discrimination
- Freedom of association
- At least minimum wages and overtime compensation
- A safe and healthy work environment, preventing pollution to air, ground and water and work to reduce energy consumption. Download the IWAY Standard PDF
Building partnerships with social entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs are in the business of making everyday life better in their communities. They use business as a way to tackle social and environmental challenges such as reforestation, reducing poverty and empowering women. That’s why we are proud to create long-term partnerships with social entrepreneurs around the world.
Working closely with our partners we learn from each other, share our business experiences and ideas about design. Our close cooperation allows us to do things like adapt production to the farming seasons so that rural artisans who make the collections can balance their craftwork with family and community responsibilities.
Collaborating with social entrepreneurs gives us inspiration and access to skilled artisans who work with traditional handicrafts. The products we co-create are all made by hand in limited numbers and sold in selected IKEA stores with all profits going back into the initiative.
Working with WWF to improve cotton farmers’ lives
IKEA and WWF have worked successfully together on cotton farming issues for over a decade. As a result, an estimated 125,000 farmers in India, Pakistan, China and Turkey have started growing cotton in a more sustainable way. By using less chemical fertilizers and more natural alternatives to chemical pesticides, small-hold farmers can cut their costs while crops remain as good as before. The money they save might be used to invest in water-saving drip irrigation or perhaps in education for their children. Visit the WWF website to learn more about our partnership
Building partnerships with social entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurs use business as a way to create social change. The social enterprises we partner with employ local artisans – mostly women who live in rural areas, with previously limited or no access to paid work and sustainable income.
Collaborating with social entrepreneurs gives us inspiration and access to skilled artisans who work with traditional handicrafts. The products we co-create are all made by hand in limited numbers and sold in selected IKEA stores, with all profits going back into the initiative.
These women inspire us. Hear the story of one social entrepreneur and one artisan in India.
Improving opportunities for children
No matter what the circumstances, every child deserves a place to call home, a healthy start in life, a quality education and a sustainable family income. The IKEA Foundation supports programmes run by well-regarded organisations – like UNICEF and the Clinton Health Access Initiative – to help children and youth living in the world’s poorest communities so they can create a better future for themselves and their families. The Foundation’s currently funded programmes will benefit 100 million children by the end of 2015. Visit the IKEA Foundation website for more info
The IKEA Foundation donates tens of millions of euros to charity each year through funds set aside from IKEA profits.
4 ways the IKEA foundation helps children
Empowering women and girls
By empowering women – through education, skills training, improved healthcare, or providing a loan to set up a small business – we can improve children’s health, education and future opportunities. IKEA Foundation funds programmes to empower and educate women, giving them a better chance to provide for themselves and their families. Visit the IKEA Foundation website to learn more about their empowerment programmes
All children should have the right to learn and play. But when natural disasters and conflicts turn their lives upside down, they lose the chance to simply be a child. That’s why the IKEA Foundation provides financial support and donates IKEA products for emergency relief efforts to humanitarian partners like Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), UNICEF, Save the Children and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Visit the IKEA Foundation website to learn more about the emergency response programmes
Play is a basic need
Many people are not aware that play is a basic need, and that every child has a right to it under the UN conventions on the Rights of the Child. The IKEA Foundation has partnered with some of the most prominent NGOs on this topic: Handicap International, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF, and War Child. The partner programs funded by the campaign will focus on creating safe spaces for vulnerable children to play and develop.
Let’s Play for Change
The new IKEA Good Cause campaign, Let’s Play for Change, will specifically focus on children’s right to play and develop, highlighting the benefits of play for all children. Though the topic is new the mechanics are familiar. For every children’s book and toy sold during the campaign period, the IKEA Foundation will make a donation of € 1 to projects in some of the poorest communities in the world, supporting children’s development and learning, equal participation, sports and of course – play.
IKEA puts children first
IKEA aims to be the leading company in securing and supporting children’s rights by integrating the best interest of the child in everything we do. We advocate for children’s rights and influence change where we can. By 2020, children’s Rights Business Principles will be fully integrated into our ways of working and support for children’s rights is evident in all our key policies and strategies.
The IWitness Global Citizens programme
This programme gives IKEA co-workers a chance to see first-hand how the money raised through IKEA good cause campaigns contributes to a better life for children in the world’s poorest communities. Co-workers visit various projects run by IKEA Foundation partners, and share their experiences on IKEA Foundations’ Global Citizens blog.