IKEA is the highest scoring company and leading the way with 76.7 points out of 100. It shows the overall best sustainability performance in relation to cotton production. IKEA has continued to show improvement in policy, uptake and traceability, making it one of the few companies that has improved in all areas since 2016. Most notably, the scope of its water policy and human rights due diligence procedures have been extended to include the cotton cultivation stage. Only the traceability score is low in comparison – the company does not publish a list of suppliers.
IKEA states it is ‘uncomfortable’ with the negative environmental impacts of cotton production. The company is working on improving the conditions of cotton cultivation through membership of BCI and sourcing certified cotton. In addition, IKEA Group is committed to becoming ‘water positive’ by 2020. This means IKEA will contribute to improved management in water-stressed areas of operation including countries of origin for its cotton. IKEA has a supplier code of conduct, IWAY, which includes provisions on forced and child labour. IKEA states that it audits its suppliers regularly and is working with them towards continuous compliance. The company has extended the scope of home furnishing suppliers to include sub-suppliers, including green plant growers. It is committed to continued development of processes for securing compliance with a specific focus on critical supply chains such as cotton. IKEA has no corporate policy addressing HHPs and biodiversity issues within cotton cultivation.
By its own criteria, IKEA claims to have been sourcing 100% of its cotton sustainably since 2015. However, this number includes cotton standards such as E3 and the company’s own standard ‘Towards Better Cotton’ not recognised in this ranking. In 2016, IKEA demonstrated continued commitment to increase uptake of cotton certified by quality standards. IKEA sources 17.9% recycled cotton and 69.4% Better Cotton. This results in an uptake of more sustainable cotton of 87.3% as measured by the criteria of this ranking – the highest percentage of all companies assessed.
In calendar year 2016, IKEA sourced 131,000 MT of Cotton. IKEA’s Sustainability Report 2016 shows a diagram of countries of origin. 83% of sources are specified, the rest fall under ‘other’. IKEA does not publish Information on supply chain relationships for final products, fabric or yarn manufacturing.