SOURCE: IKEA USA

IKEA USA

October 30, 2015 07:00 ET

IKEA Announces Major Cotton Milestone

Now IKEA Only Purchases Cotton -- Which Is Used in IKEA Products -- From Farmers Who Use Less Water, Less Chemical Fertilisers and Pesticides, and Are Also Able to Increase Their Profits

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA--(Marketwired - October 30, 2015) - IKEA announces that since September 2015, all the cotton used for IKEA products comes from more sustainable sources; specifically farmers who use less water, less chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and are also able to increase their profits. This positions IKEA as the first major retailer to reach this milestone.

Cotton is an important raw material for IKEA, used in many products, from sofas to towels. However, when grown conventionally, cotton farming uses large amounts of chemicals and water, raising costs and making it harder for farmers to earn a living. Now IKEA is a leader in sustainable cotton sourcing as it purchases cotton -- which is used in IKEA products -- in a more sustainable way.

Cotton from more sustainable sources includes cotton grown to the Better Cotton Standard by farmers working towards Better Cotton, as well as sustainable cotton from the USA. Since September 2015, all the cotton used in IKEA products comes from these Better Cotton Standard sources.* Each year, IKEA uses around 0.7 percent of all the cotton grown around the world with its main sources from India, Pakistan, Turkey, China, Brazil and the USA. Of this total cotton procurement, approximately 5 percent or 7,400 metric tons comes from the US. This includes cotton sources from Texas, where IKEA partners with E3, and also North Carolina.

"This year is the beginning of a new era for cotton at IKEA. Reaching our goal of sourcing 100% of cotton from more sustainable sources is a great achievement, but it also marks the start of our next challenge -- to maintain the 100% and to find even more ways to support cotton producers around the world to be more sustainable," says Pramod Singh, Cotton Leader, IKEA.

This sustainable cotton milestone is part of a long journey to help transform the cotton industry. In 2010, IKEA together with the conservation organization WWF, and other leading public and private organisations, helped set up the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).

"We are extremely proud of our partnership with IKEA. We applaud them for setting such an ambitious target and for acting as an example to other retailers and brands. IKEA's commitment to BCI helps us fulfill our mission of establishing Better Cotton as a mainstream commodity," says Paola Geremicca, BCI Director of Communications and Fundraising.

"Cotton from more sustainable sources across all IKEA products is a potential game-changer for the global cotton market because it demonstrates the clear business case for sustainability," says Richard Holland, Director, WWF Market Transformation Initiative. "We need more companies to follow IKEA's lead but this milestone shows what's good for people and nature is also good for business."

Together with its partners, IKEA wants to make more sustainable cotton affordable and accessible, and also to be better for the environment and the people who grow it.

*A very small volume of products produced use conventional cotton prior to this time will still be available in stores until sold out.

About IKEA Group

The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 328 IKEA Group stores in 28 countries. Additionally, there are 40 IKEA stores run by franchises. There are 41 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 15, IKEA Group had 771 million visitors to the stores and 1.9 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com, facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA, http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/, www.youtube.com/IKEAUSA, www.theshare-space.com, www.theshare-space.com/en/Blog.

About the Better Cotton Initiative

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) operates as a not-for-profit organisation, existing to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector's future. BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. To achieve this mission, BCI works with a diverse range of stakeholders across the cotton supply chain to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton producing areas. To find out more, visit www.bettercotton.org.

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF works in partnership with IKEA on cotton and forests as part of its key market transformation conservation strategy focused on driving better production across priority commodities such as timber and pulp, soy, palm oil, beef, white fish, tuna and cotton, all of which have a significant impact on some of the world's most ecologically important regions.

Find out more at www.panda.org/ikea.

Contact Information

  • For further information, please contact:
    Mona Astra Liss
    US Corporate PR Director
    Mona.Liss@IKEA.com
    610.834.0180, ext. 5852