Responsibility for People and the Environment - The IKEA Way



    BURLINGTON, ON, June 16 /CNW/ - Innovative, inexpensive and fashionable
are words often used in regards to Canada's leading furniture retailer, IKEA,
but they could easily be replaced with pioneering, efficient and responsible.
Today IKEA has launched a website (www.theikeaway.ca) to clearly articulate
"The IKEA Way" which in essence, describes the company's ongoing commitment to
responsibility for people and the environment.
    "The IKEA Way is applied to every facet of our business to make us better
retailers, better merchants and better corporate citizens," says Kerri
Molinaro, President of IKEA Canada. "It is more than trying to be 'green', it
is about constantly striving to have a positive impact on people and the
environment - with measurable goals."
    The IKEA Way is not a new approach for the retailer; IKEA has been
committed to people and the environment for several decades. The IKEA Way
expression and website are simply a concise expression of the fundamental way
the company does business. Whether it is flat-packing products to reduce
packaging and reduce transportation emissions, working with Global Charitable
partners like UNICEF, Save the Children and WWF, using socially and
environmentally responsible materials in its products or having a store format
that draws on a larger trade area (instead of more stores), the company has
practiced responsible retailing for decades.
    In October 2007, IKEA Canada conducted a customer survey that received
more than 60,000 responses which concluded that plastic bags were an
environmental issue that needed action. Shortly thereafter, the retailer began
charging for its plastic bags, donating the full $0.05 to Tree Canada. IKEA
customers responded rapidly to the challenge - with a reduction in plastic bag
use of 90 per cent nationally in 6 months.
    To continue to collect this kind of valuable customer insight, IKEA has
decided to develop a series of ongoing surveys through www.theikeaway.ca to
measure attitude and opinions of consumers about barriers and drivers
regarding social and environmental (S&E) Products, how S&E impacts their
decision making process, local and ethical sourcing, impact of operational
efforts by corporations and their concerns about "green washing". The results
will be published on theIKEAway.ca and will be shared with customers and the
retail industry alike.
    "We know that our customers are engaged and passionate about the
environment and social responsibility. The consumer wants information about
businesses that allow them to make informed, conscious decisions when
purchasing," stated Molinaro. "theIKEAway.ca gives our customers the
information they want, positive actions they can take and a stronger and
direct voice to let us know how we're doing."
    In another step, IKEA will only sell and serve certified coffee at all
its stores and offices globally starting in May. To ensure that all coffee
sold and served at IKEA is produced under socially and environmentally
responsible conditions, IKEA has decided to strictly use UTZ Certified coffee.
UTZ Certified is an independent not-for-profit organization that sets a
standard for responsible coffee growing and sourcing. This recognized and
trustworthy certification traces all coffee back to the plantations and
ensures plantation workers' families have access to reasonable housing,
healthcare and education for their children. UTZ Certified also requires that
plantations have a low impact on the environment and that farmers minimize the
use of energy, water, and work to prevent soil erosion.
    These are just a few examples of IKEA's commitment and of The IKEA Way,
for more information and further detail about its products, operations,
suppliers and activities, please visit www.theikeaway.ca.

    ABOUT IKEA
    ----------
    IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 260 stores in 36
countries worldwide, which are visited by 522 million people every year. IKEA
Canada has 11 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year.
Last year the ikea.com websites attracted 450 million visitors. Founded in
1943, IKEA's business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good
design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them.
For more information on IKEA, please visit: www.ikea.ca.





For further information:

For further information: or interview requests: Nick Cowling, Optimum
Public Relations, Phone: (416) 573-5614, nick.cowling@cossette.com; Madeleine
Lowenborg-Frick, Corporate Communications Manager, IKEA Canada, (905) 637-9440
x6378


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