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Better homes

Inspiring and enabling a better life at home

At IKEA, we are passionate about making life at home better. For generations, we have been on a mission to understand the needs, challenges and aspirations of the many, bringing inspiring and affordable home furnishings to people with big dreams and thin wallets.  

The pandemic has disrupted and affected every aspect of people’s lives at home. With almost a third of the world’s population asked to stay at home at some point over the last two years, homes have had to fulfil more functions and be more flexible.  

The way we live at home also has a big impact on the planet and our health. Many people want to make healthier and more sustainable choices – but not at the expense of price, quality or convenience. With 657 million IKEA store visits and 4.6 billion online visits in FY21, we have an opportunity to make healthier and more sustainable living accessible to people around the world.  

The demand for affordable, well-designed and functional home furnishing solutions that enable sustainable living makes IKEA more relevant than ever. We have an opportunity to better serve our customers and live up to our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people. We believe a better home can enable a better life.  

Our approach

The IKEA ambition is to inspire and enable 1 billion people to live a better everyday life within the boundaries of the planet by 2030. At Ingka, we contribute to this goal by:

  • Sharing our unique insights and home furnishings expertise with customers in new and engaging ways to inspire and enable them to create a better life at home.   
  • Making sustainable living desirable, accessible and affordable for the many, through our stores, meeting points and online – from prolonging the life of our products, to creating a clean energy community and offering more plant-based food options in our food outlets. 
  • Using our research and insights to develop an even deeper understanding of people’s lives at home: their needs, hopes and dreams, in every city and market. 
Cutstomers with co-worker inside of IKEA store

Progress and challenges in FY21

During FY21 we made good progress in key areas. Highlights from the year include:

  • Launched new initiatives, services and communication campaigns in store and online to inspire and enable customers to create a better and more sustainable life at home. 
  • Tested and implemented a range of ideas to help more of our customers live more sustainably at home and extended our clean energy services to 12 countries 
  • Offered more healthy and sustainable food options to customers across our food outlets.  
Customer shops at IKEA

Insights and ideas for a better life at home

We are passionate experts in life at home. We want to show people how better homes create a better life and use our know-how in personal, engaging and entertaining ways to reach more people in all our markets.

What did we do in FY21?

Insights into life at home

It’s been a year marked by unimaginable change. To better understand how life at home has adapted, we connected with over half a million people from around the world during FY21. We found that many of us have reconsidered the role our life at home plays in our overall health and happiness.  

For our latest Life at Home Report we connected with more than 34,000 people across 34 countries. The results show the strong connection between our mental wellbeing and our home. One in four people (27%) surveyed said that their mental health has suffered during the last 12 months, but as many as 40% who said they felt more positive about their home also saw a positive impact on their mental health.

Together with Globescan, we also conducted climate action research amongst a further 34,000 people in 32 countries. We saw that 87% of people are willing to take action to tackle climate change, but only 39% take “a fair amount” or “a lot” of action in their everyday lives.

Kid playing floorball indoors

While 8 out of 10 (81%) believe that individuals can help address climate change, there are five persistent barriers to action: not enough support from government, not enough support from business, too expensive, don’t know what to do, and other people not doing enough.

As our needs continue to be shaped by the world around us, our habits and homes will change too. What is certain is that many of us will use this moment to create a home that is more liveable, workable, sustainable and enjoyable. Find more of our key Life at Home insights in our Global Life at Home Snapshot.

Engaging and involving our co-workers

Our co-workers get involved in our approach to life at home. In FY21, this included upskilling training for 8,000 of our home furnishing experts and integrating more home furnishing knowledge into training programmes for all roles across the organisation.  Our 30 minute introduction to sustainability, reached 64% of our co-workers, helping them to integrate sustainability into their everyday work. 

We piloted a user-generated creative platform called 1 Million Home Visits, to encourage over 8,000 co-workers in our Home Furnishing & Retail Design community to share a virtual tour of their own home. The platform received more than 34,000 page views, and 50 of the final videos submitted were shown as part of the first IKEA Festival to audiences around the world. Since the early days in IKEA, home visits have been a tool to collect data, knowledge and inspiration for range development and store and online solutions. By inviting people to share their home visits with the world we believe we can encourage more people to improve their home. 

We also asked our co-workers to tell us their favorite smart and affordable home furnishing solutions. 21 of our countries participated and we received 1,700 ideas. Some of the best ideas were turned into features in our stores and on our website, showing customers how they can personalize or adapt IKEA products to create a unique, stylish and more sustainable home. 

Images of co-workers

Engaging and inspiring customers

Our new online interior design service is helping customers transform their homes, offering convenient access to expert advice at affordable prices. Customers can choose any room in their home and work with one of our interior designers to generate new design ideas. In FY21, 40,000 people used the service to create a better home in 29 countries. We are also exploring the potential for an automated service to enable us to reach more people.

Polaroid pictures of IKEA products

Inspiring customers in Shanghai on a better life at home

We’re also using our stores to inspire and engage our customers. For example, our IKEA Xuhui store in Shanghai reopened in FY21, re-designed to enable and inspire more customers to live a better, more sustainable and healthier life at home.

The new store layout is a mix of open squares, places to relax, and vibrant spaces for events and co-creation. There is a Makers’ Hub, where experts help customers to do woodwork, painting, sewing and 3D printing to repair, customise and prolong the life of their IKEA products. At the Design Hub, there are home furnishing workshops, events and exhibitions, interior design classes, sleep seminars and even yoga sessions. While the Food Hub promotes healthy, sustainable cooking and eating, urban farming and organic growing, through cooking seminars, dining experiences and co-creation around food. The store offers an omnichannel shopping experience, giving customers greater flexibility to order whatever and whenever they want, and have their products delivered to their homes via zero-emission vehicles.

Tree sculpture

IKEA Lab Seoul

During FY21, our ‘IKEA Lab’ pop-up in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, inspired visitors to start living a better, more sustainable life at home and contribute to a healthier planet. Visitors to the IKEA Lab were able to find out about and purchase IKEA home furnishing products made from more sustainable materials such as bamboo and recycled plastic. They could also visit the IKEA Food Lab to try healthy and tasty food including veggie balls with a reduced climate footprint and calories, and an ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certified salmon wrap. Upstairs, visitors could make an appointment at the Interior Design Office to help them refurbish or restyle their home, and even book a builder to carry out more extensive remodelling plans.

IKEA building

IKEA Festival – a home tour around the world

On September 16-17, 2021, we celebrated the best of life at home with our first 24-hour IKEA Festival; a livestream event including virtual home tours of over 100 homes in more than 50 countries. Artists, designers, DJ’s, chefs, and many other talents turned their living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and backyards into virtual stages for unique performances, discussions, and experiences. To celebrate our heritage and share the story of IKEA, we also launched the IKEA Museum Digital.

Image of IKEA museum

Scrap book for scraps

To help our customers reduce food waste in their own kitchens, IKEA Canada launched a recipe book dedicated to cooking with the little things we usually throw away. The IKEA Scraps Book (which includes a free digital version) features 50 recipes created in collaboration with chefs across North America.

An image of IKEA scraps book

Sustainability and the IKEA range

The IKEA range is supplied by Inter IKEA Group. It is designed according to the five dimensions of Democratic Design: form, function, quality, sustainability and a low price. This means sustainability is considered from the start and continual improvements are made to embed sustainability considerations into design, manufacture and use.

Let there be LED
Our new SOLHETTA LED bulbs, last about 25,000 hours
and are – on average – more affordable and 35% more
energy efficient than previous IKEA LED bulbs.
Customers can save money on the up-front cost and
their electricity bill. When used for three hours a day,
a SOLHETTA LED bulb will only need to be replaced
every 20 years, which means less waste too.

Turning old jeans into new sofa covers
Our recycled denim KLIPPAN sofa covers contain the equivalent of two pairs of jeans, saving 27,000 litres of water and reducing each sofa’s climate footprint by 67%.

Breathe of fresh air
In FY21, we introduced several products that enable people to improve the air quality in their homes.

Saving water every time
All IKEA taps have an aerator that reduces water flow while maintaining pressure. This reduces water consumption by up to 40% for kitchen taps, and up to 50% for bathroom taps.

Yummy mince with a much smaller footprint
Say bon apetit to VÄRLDSKLOK, our new shapeable,
plant-based mince. It looks end tastes like ground beef,
but is made from pea protein and has a much smaller
climate footprint. It's an easy way to make vegan burgers,
tacos or bolognese, with the same great (or better) taste.

Saving energy as you cook
Induction hobs are up to 50% more energy
efficient and instantly responsive.

Let’s sort it out
Our modular home recycling systems make it easier to separate plastic, metal and paper in whatever way works best for you.

Sunny side up
Our home solar solutions are helping millions of people saving energy and money at the same time. By turning their rooftops into mini power plants, customers can save an average of EUR 400 per year on their energy bill.

Our approach

At Ingka Group, we have a key role to play in communicating the sustainability attributes of IKEA products and making sustainable living accessible and desirable to customers.  

We’ve increased our communications on sustainability across our IKEA stores, meeting places and websites to inspire customers and highlight products in ranges that can help them save energy and water, reduce waste and live a healthier life at home. We’ve developed guidance for all our stores to help them highlight the sustainability stories we’re most proud of, right across the store from the parking lot to our restaurants and room sets. 

Image inside of an IKEA store

Clean energy for all

We’re making it easier and more affordable for our customers to use and produce renewable energy, supporting the transition to a net-zero society.

We offer a range of clean energy services in partnership with different service providers to meet customer needs. These services include:

  • Our home solar service, including solar panels and battery storage systems. By turning their rooftops into mini power plants, customers can save an average of EUR 400 per year on their energy bill.
  • An electricity subscription service offered with selected partners, making it easier for customers to switch to buying electricity from solar and wind.

Making renewable energy easy to access and affordable is good for the planet and good for our customers’ wallets and wellbeing. That’s why our goal is to offer one or more clean energy services in all our countries by 2025.

What did we do in FY21?

In FY21, we extended our home solar service to Spain and Portugal, and launched our first renewable electricity subscription service together with Svea Solar in Sweden.

Our clean energy services are now available in 12 countries, of which 11 offer home solar, five offer battery storage systems and two offer a clean electricity subscription service.

In some countries it is more challenging to introduce clean energy services due to local regulations. We are partnering with others to advocate for positive change. In Sweden, for example, we have engaged with Solelkommissionen a solar energy network and met with policy makers to help ensure our solar energy customers could easily access subsidies and benefit from a straightforward installation process.

Girl smiling

Products and services to enable more circular consumption

We know our customers don’t like to be wasteful, and neither do we. By testing, adopting and scaling up new circular solutions, we are exploring ways to prolong the life of our products, give customers access to furniture without owning it and helping people give products they no longer need a second life.

What did we do in FY21?

We continued to test and implement a range of circular solutions for customers.

Circular hubs bring circularity to our stores.

For many years, customers have been able to pick up a bargain in our As-Is areas the part of the IKEA store where we sell returned, damaged, or ex-display products at discounted prices. Now we are turning As-Is areas into circular hubs where, as well as the usual bargains and nearly new products, customers can buy secondhand products, view our product recovery and repacking processes, and learn how to maintain, clean or personalise their IKEA products. By the end of FY21, 170 circular hubs had been implemented in 26 markets. During the year more than 42 million products were given a second life, with 32 million products resold in our circular hubs and more than 10 million repacked and sold in other areas.

Image inside of an IKEA store

Our Buy Back service encouraged customers to give 155,000 pieces of old or unwanted IKEA furniture a second life in FY21.

Customers return the furniture to one of our stores and receive an IKEA voucher in return to spend on something they need or want. We resell the furniture via our circular hubs and any furniture we can’t sell is recycled or donated to local community projects, including those helping people most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our #BuyBackFriday campaign promoted a more sustainable alternative to the usual Black Friday sales events. Across IKEA Retail stores in 27 countries, we encouraged customers to use our Buy Back service and the campaign gained a lot of interest from the media and customers. People used our online tool 482,000 times to see the value of their items and around 96,000 pieces of old IKEA furniture were returned during the campaign

customer shops at IKEA

4.2 million spare parts, here to help

We offer a spare parts service in 30 markets, helping customers prolong the life of their IKEA products by replacing small parts, like screws and fittings. More than 260,000 customers used the spare parts service in FY21, with 4.2 million spare parts provided. In 25 markets, our online system via ikea.com makes ordering spare parts even easier for customers. Our suppliers provide most spare parts, but co-workers also rescue spare parts from damaged or returned products that can’t be resold, ensuring important resources don’t go to waste. We are also testing whether we can offer larger spare parts for furniture such as sofa armrests and cushions, enabling customers to repair damaged or worn products, rather than replacing them.

Women smiling and holding up an IKEA furniture

Furniture as a Service

In our furniture subscription trials we are exploring and testing ways for our customers to access IKEA furniture, without owning it. We are testing how we can offer a furnishing service where we retain the ownership of our products, maintain, and take care of them and when the furniture has been reused as many times as possible the materials and components are recycled. Our aim is to improve flexibility for our customers, extend the life of products and reduce waste by enabling the same product to have several lives. In FY21 we continued to test furniture subscription service. With each test, we’re learning more about the opportunities and challenges of this approach, and making progress towards the goal of offering an affordable and scalable furniture subscription service. 

Two persons carying a couch

Testing an IKEA secondhand store

In early FY21, we opened our first secondhand store offering only secondhand IKEA products in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Here customers can buy used IKEA products that have been cleaned, repaired and restored to their former glory, at an even more affordable price. The store is a test, part of a global initiative looking to test and develop circular and profitable business models for the future.

Image of products inside of an IKEA store

Healthier and more sustainable food

We are one of the largest food businesses in the world, serving millions of customers through our IKEA Restaurants, IKEA Bistros and Swedish Food Markets every year.  

For many years, the IKEA food range has included sustainably sourced options and ingredients, from organic rapeseed oil and responsibly-farmed eggs, meat and dairy, to seafood certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and UTZ Certified coffee, tea and cocoa. 

Now, we are going even further to make our food range healthier and better for the planet, and to make plant-based food options attractive and affordable to as many people as possible. We have set new goals for 2025, which include 50% of restaurant meals offered to be plant-based and 80% to be non-red meat.   

Research suggests that customers will welcome these changes.  In a recent Healthy and Sustainable Living survey by Globescan, covering 27,000 people, 41% of meat-eaters said they would switch to plant-based alternatives if they tasted good and weren’t more expensive1. We are already seeing some changes in our food outlets too. For example, in our Kobe store in Japan, a city famous for its beef, our plant ball now has a 50/50 share of sales with our meatballs. 

What did we do in FY21?

Enabling customers to enjoy plant-based dishes

Plant-based food can be good for our health and have a reduced climate footprint compared with meat-based alternatives. We are rolling out a range of plant-based dishes and products.

  • Plant-based mince launched in 26 markets: In FY21, we started selling VÄRLDSKLOK, a shapeable, plant-based mince. It looks and tastes like ground beef, but is made from pea protein. For customers who are already vegetarian or vegan, VÄRLDSKLOK can be another convenient item on their IKEA shopping list. For meat lovers new to plant-based products, it’s an easy way to try an alternative in their cooking at home, substituting VÄRLDSKLOK for regular minced meat in burgers, tacos or bolognese, with the same great (or even better) taste.
  • Plant ball ready to roll worldwide: Our popular HUVUDROLL plant ball is now available in all our 32 markets. Made from 100% vegan ingredients, including pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion and apple, the plant ball looks and tastes like meat (and blind tests show that our customers find them just as delicious). Made with ingredients with a climate footprint of only 4% of the classic IKEA meatball, the plant ball is showing strong sales results, particularly in Germany and Japan.
Food on a table
  • Veggie balls: made with chickpeas, green peas, carrots, corn, kale, and red bell peppers, these have a climate footprint 20 times smaller than our traditional meatballs
  • Vegan soft ice: 100% plant-based, 100% delicious, with only half of the climate footprint of a dairy ice cream
  • Veggie hot dog: made with kale, lentils, quinoa and onions, our veggie hot dogs have a climate footprint 7 times smaller than their meaty cousin
  • Plant-based restaurant dishes: A new range of local plant-based dishes launched in some markets that includes lasagnes, curries, kebabs and wraps, even a vegan chocolate mousse.

An app for reducing food waste

Producing food contributes to climate change, and food that goes to waste is estimated to cause around 8% of global emissions. So reducing food waste is one of the important things we can do as individuals and as a business to combat climate change. We are working with the anti-food waste app, Too Good to Go, to enable customers in Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Spain and Switzerland to buy discounted surplus food from our food outlets. In FY21, this prevented 167,000 meals from going to waste.

Girl is eating and smiling

Growing our own with urban farming solutions

We’re exploring how growing our own fresh produce can play a part in reducing the environmental footprint of our food business by cutting energy and water use and reducing food waste. For the last three years we’ve tested a range of solutions. For example:

  • Container farms outside our stores: In FY21 we installed a highly energy-efficient vertical farm in a container at our IKEA Malmö store in Sweden that uses hydroponic technology. We found that the farm can produce enough lettuce to supply both our in-store restaurants and co-worker canteen, and compared with traditional farming it uses 90% less water, no pesticides and reduces food waste. Next we’ll be testing other crops like dill, parsley and kale, and trialling direct sales to consumers via our Swedish Food Market.
  • In-store urban farm in Korea: IKEA Korea is testing an in-store farm at the Gwangmyeyoung store in Seoul. Named “Farmare” (farmer in Swedish), the water-saving, pesticide free solution grows vegetables for an especially green menu at the IKEA Restaurant.
  • In-store growing cabinets: We tested an in-store growing cabinet at IKEA Kungens Kurva, Sweden, growing lettuce for the co-worker canteen. The cabinets have a glass front, enabling customers and co-workers to see the produce growing. We are expanding this test into pilots in two countries, aiming to grow lettuce for the in-store restaurant and to sell directly to customers.
  • Home growing solution: Together with Inter IKEA Group we are exploring the potential to develop an IKEA home-growing product range to inspire customers to create their own mini farm. During FY21, we tested a home-growing hydroponic kit, developed by a home-growing specialist company (Click & Grow) in two stores in Canada.

co-worker orgnizes IKEA products

Read more about our movements here

1 Healthy & Sustainable Living is an annual global consumer insights research programme by Globescan designed to help brands understand shifting preferences and behaviors related to healthy and sustainable living.