Corporate Responsible Bragging: IKEA is Even Greener than It Seems

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Is IKEA just another big box store trying to get good press with environmental initiatives, a.k.a. PR campaigns? No, according to a Grist interview with IKEA’s sustainability director, Thomas Bergmark. Actually, the company might not even be tooting its horn enough. Grist‘s David Roberts sought out Bergmark after the company announced its “bag the plastic bag” campaign last week. (IKEA will charge shoppers a nickel for the bags that were once free and 59 cents for a reusable, classic blue shopping bag. Benefits go to the non-profit American Forests).

If the campaign seems just cosmetic, the interview reveals deeper green business practices that IKEA doesn’t advertise. The company will increase energy efficiency across the board by 15 percent by 2009 and will also increase use of renewable energy in all stores. On the production side, IKEA requires all suppliers to abide by a code of social and environmental conduct.

“We’re definitely not the company that wants to ring the big bell and do a lot of heavy marketing,” Bergmark said. Well, why not? Why IKEA doesn’t market its environmental responsibility beyond this flimsy bag campaign is a mystery. Do shoppers really not care or understand sustainability enough for such marketing to boost sales?

— Rose Miller

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.