Must we act?
To date, more than 6 million people have fled Ukraine since the war began in late February. It’s the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the end of WWII. And sadly, this is only one of many examples in recent years that is forcing millions of people to flee their most important place in the world, their homes, and their countries. In recent years, many countries where Ingka operates have seen the arrival of large numbers of people. They come from all over the world, from regions experiencing crises of all kinds.
Arriving with high hopes, people want to make a fresh start – to build a new life for themselves and their families. The reality they find is somewhat different and, in many countries, integration proves to be difficult. As a result, the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report 2022 finds that large scale involuntary migration is a top long-term concern for economies and societies. The message is clear: yes, we must act.
Can we act?
Experts agree that having a job is key for successful integration. We know from experience that people are highly motivated to work and that they have skills, perspectives and experiences that can benefit societies and businesses. This is where we step in. We believe that every person has a talent to be nurtured and we value each individual because of their unique abilities and skills to be part of developing business and people, for the better.
As a values-driven company, equality and inclusion are part of our DNA. We know that a diverse workforce gives us a better understanding of our customers’ needs, and by reflecting the diversity of our local communities, we can widen our customer base and tap into new markets.
Will we act?
Wherever we are, we contribute to a thriving and inclusive community by how we run our businesses and through our local community engagement initiatives, such as transforming empty apartments and refugee centres into homes. We’ve also started to look at how we can expand refugee integration beyond our own operations by encouraging our business partners to act as well. Already, our Skills for Employment initiative has supported more than 1400 refugees and asylum seekers in 24 countries to improve their employability and language skills and increase their opportunities to set up a new career in a new country.
Now more than ever, it’s critical that we work together across companies, society and governments to support and open doors for jobs, integrations and development of people. We need to take action now, and by working together we can have a greater impact.
Let’s take action, together.
Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer, Ingka Group
Ulrika Biesèrt, Chief Human Resources Officer, Ingka Group
Karen Pflug, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ingka Group
Tolga Öncü, Chief Operating Officer, Ingka Group