Ikea Commits to Better Cotton Initiative for All Products by 2015
March 28, 2013
The Ikea Group of Sweden has commitment to the Business Call to Action (BCtA) and reinforced its goal to use only cotton produced entirely in line with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in all IKEA products by end of 2015.
As part of the program, the home furnishing retailer also plans to grow worldwide demand for sustainable cotton at affordable prices. The BCtA is a global initiative that aims to support private sector efforts to fight poverty through its core business, supported by several international organizations and hosted by the U.N. Development Program.
Ikea’s goal is to ensure that consumers do not pay a premium for cotton products that are more sustainably farmed than conventional cotton — using less water and fewer chemicals and pesticides. Forecasts suggest cotton production costs will increase as conventional cotton farming becomes more water and chemical intensive. IKEA said it believes it is possible to produce cotton at a lower cost and through practices that not only improve incomes for farmers but also have a lower impact on the environment.
Cotton is the second most important raw material for the company after wood, making it a clear strategic priority. In 2012, Ikea used 160,000 tons of cotton in its products, with the majority coming from India and Pakistan where its work related to the BCtA commitments are focused.
Ikea’s commitment began in 2005 as part of its overall environmental efforts and as a founding member of the BCI, which works with a diverse range of stakeholders to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities, and the economies of cotton-producing areas.
Ikea is providing technical assistance and training to thousands of farmers in Pakistan to help them produce and sell Better Cotton. Currently, 34 percent (51,000 tons) of all cotton used in Ikea products is produced in line with BCI standards. In 2012, the annual world production of sustainable cotton was only 250,000 tons, which Ikea seeks to increase through its holistic sustainability approach.
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