IKEA Cardiff - Striving for resource & energy independence

Dŵr Cymru Environmental Leadership Award, 2017, Shortlisted

IKEA Cardiff is the only Wales branch of IKEA, a home furnishing retailer committed to creating a better everyday life for as many people as possible. 

Good for business

  • Profit – In the year 2016, IKEA Cardiff made a profit from recycling and selling instore waste
  • New income streams – The internal Recovery Department at the store made over £800,000 in revenue, Bargain Corner returned and repacked items to the value of over £50,000 and over £25,000 of stock was returned to suppliers, addressing issues around quality and documentation
  • Built customer relationships – incentivised returning stock, unwanted items or recyclable waste with free coffee grounds, wood and a new take-back furniture scheme, with higher customer satisfaction levels for the Cardiff store than the company’s UK average

Good for the environment

  • Targets met – 91.3% of store waste was recycled and 0% was sent to landfill, reducing the impact on the local public services and our environmental impact
  • Reusables – The store, and customers, donated a total of 140kg a month of textiles to the charity Recreate and over 500kg over the course of a year to Wastesavers
  • Made it easy – The IKEA Cardiff store made new facilities available for customers, including mobile phone, lightbulb and battery recycling drop-off zones, making it simpler for customers to safely recycle hard-to-dispose-of items.

Striving for resource & energy independence

Business transformation is at the heart of what IKEA Cardiff are doing with customers, products and suppliers. The store understands that to meet customer demand and expectation – and therefore remain a successful business – the team also need to consider resource use, the cost of raw materials and reduce their impact on the natural environment.

The business plan for the store is aligned with the parent company’s People & Planet Positive Strategy, but does so in way relevant and appropriate to the Welsh marketplace – working with local charity groups and making the approach the team take in store unique. 

This approach is manifested in a commitment to see “waste as a resource”. This allows IKEA Cardiff to consider every action – and the products – in terms of what can be saved, reduced, reused or recycled. This includes a Tornado space saving storage device, allowing the more effective storage of spare parts and products which would have usually cost the store over £100,000. One member of the team’s sole focus is waste management, partnerships with local Welsh charities and the management of the store’s take-back schemes and six members of the team have been added to the Recovery Department which is responsible for rebuilding and selling returned, ex-display or damaged items. 

IKEA Cardiff is now not only meeting its target of sending zero waste to landfill, but it is also taking a lead on making the reduction of environmental impact accessible for customers – by making free wood available for customers, selling used coffee grounds, promoting take-back schemes for larger household items and making facilities available for hard-to-dispose-of items like batteries, mobile phones and lightbulbs. It is this commitment to supporting customers’ aspirations to be more environmentally conscious that has led to them receiving better customer satisfaction scores than the company’s UK average. 

A comprehensive approach to looking at waste differently, with local management support and a commitment from across the team in store – underpinned by a larger policy commitment – has ensured that IKEA Cardiff is setting and meeting targets, continuing to be successful and reducing its environmental impact.  

What IKEA’s President and CEO said:

“Climate change is a reality. We see that we are already on a one degree centigrade increase in the global temperature and with that, I think it’s clear that a company like ours needs to be part of finding the solution.”Peter Agnefjäll, President & CEO, IKEA Group