SWEDISH furniture and homewares giant Ikea has announced new sustainability targets as it prepares to open its first store in India.
The world’s largest furniture retailer announced last week that it will endeavour to use only renewable and recycled materials in its products by 2030 and will stop selling single-use plastic products like straws, cups and cutlery at its shops and restaurants by 2020.
The targets are part of Ikea’s new sustainability strategy under which it aims to become “people and planet positive by 2030”. The company has already spent US$2 billion on renewable energy products towards its aim of using 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.
“Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than one billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet,” Inter IKEA CEO Torbjorn said in a statement as quoted by Reuters.
The retailer also announced its long awaited expansion into India last week, with a store in the southern city of Hyderabad to be opened next month.
“We do not have an official date yet, but we are going to open at some point in July — we are planning for the next five or six weeks,” the company’s deputy country manager told the Financial Times. Stores will later open in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi.
Ikea’s commitment to no single-use plastic by 2020 mirrors an announcement by the Indian government on World Environment Day last week. The country of 1.6 billion, which currently produces 5.6 million tonnes of plastic each year, aims to eliminate single-use plastic by 2020.
India also signed onto the UN’s Clean Seas campaign, which will see the establishment of a campaign to clean up the country’s 7,500km of coastline and a program to measure plastic waste making its way into the ocean.
An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain.