Green IKEA?

By - February 5, 2009 (Updated: November 27, 2014)

If you’ve ever been to one of our Belgian homes, you’ve probably noticed that just about everything we own is from IKEA. The main reason for this was that it was cheap and we needed furniture in a hurry. I’ve always felt a bit concerned about the disposability of IKEA furniture though. It’s not like it is designed to last generations and with the frequency of people coming and going from Brussels, I’m sure a lot of it ends up in the landfill.
Today I sumbled upon this article about the sustainability of the IKEA company. I was rather surprised by some of their green initiatives.

  • Today, 71% of all IKEA products are recyclable, made from recycled materials, or both.
  • The company recycles 84% of the waste generated in its stores.
  • When a country introduces stricter emissions rules,
    like when Japan decided to restrict formaldehyde emissions to levels
    close to zero, IKEA imposes the new restrictions on its global
    operations. As a result, Ikea’s policy reflects the strictest emissions
    policies in countries across the world, even though it sometimes drives
    costs higher.
  • The new Spreitenbach store is the first store in Switzerland heated only using wood pellets and sunshine.

Of course none of this addresses the disposablity issue, but it’s nice to know that a global corporation is doing more than the bare minimum. If you’re interested you can read the full article at Inhabitat.

What do you think of IKEA and their green initiatives?

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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  1. Comment by Andrew

    Andrew February 6, 2009 at 12:51

    That’s pretty cool. I’ve seen in Sweden that people are generally more environmentally aware, or at least they are more active in the outdoors. So it’s good to see such a large organization making efforts to be environmentally conscious.

  2. Comment by BeeBop

    BeeBop February 6, 2009 at 19:10

    Very interesting Alison! I miss IKEA!

  3. Comment by cheeseweb

    cheeseweb June 11, 2009 at 10:57

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