Ikea will start selling spare parts to consumers worldwide. The world's largest furniture retailer wants to extend the lifespan of its products. The initiative is part of a greater sustainability campaign.
Online ordering system
Last financial year, Ikea supplied around 14 million spare parts, writes the Financial Times. But now, the Swedish furniture giant has developed an online ordering system that will roll out globally this year, allowing customers to order new parts for their Ikea products. The idea is that customers can not only repair broken furniture but also "refresh" old furniture by buying new covers or table legs, for example. Thus, significantly extending the lifespan of the products.
Ikea aims to become a climate-positive and circular company by the end of the decade. However, it is constantly faced with critics complaining that its low-cost, ready-to-assemble kits encourage excessive consumption and a throwaway culture. In recent years, Ikea already experimented with various circular initiatives, such as selling second-hand furniture, buying back old goods and leasing office and household equipment.
According to Lena Pripp-Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer at Inter Ikea, a lot of testing is going on, but it is not yet immediately clear what kind of services customers want. "We notice a big interest from consumers, it is one big learning curve," she said.
Ikea wants to detach growth from carbon emissions and hopes its new circular tests will not hurt sales. But it still faces major challenges, especially concerning the materials they use, such as wood, metals, textiles and ceramics.
New targets for 2030
Today, the company reported that it had reached its 2020 targets for sustainable wood, with more than 98 per cent of the timber used now coming from certified or recycled sources. By 2030, the home furnishing chain now aims to source at least a third of its wood from recycled sources.
Furthermore, Ikea wants to ensure that the sourcing of other raw materials that pose a risk of deforestation (mainly certain agricultural products), which account for about 3 per cent of the supply chain's raw material footprint, does not contribute to deforestation or the disturbance of natural ecosystems. Finally, the company aims to use wood more intelligently, designing all products from the outset to be reused, refurbished, reconditioned and ultimately recycled.