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Sustainability is good business – Ikea Philippines

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo - Philstar.com
Sustainability is good business â Ikea Philippines
Ikea Philippines Store Manager Daniel Rivero sharing the brand's sustainability programs
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Ikano Retail, franchisee of Swedish label Ikea in the Philippines, recently released an overview of its sustainability direction and a report card on its performance toward 2025 sustainability targets – ranging from sustainable product sales in their stores and gender balance in the workplaces to a full accounting of its carbon emissions. 

This report covered stories from the 2023 financial year, September 2022 to August 2023, and focused on the brand’s sustainability commitment on inspiring healthy and sustainable living, being more circular and climate positive, and creating a fair and inclusive culture. 

Answering a query from Joseph Garcia from Philstar.com’s sister company Business World, Jarek Lesniewski, Country Fulfillment Operations Manager for Ikea Philippines, explained that at first, it was hard for the company to take on the sustainable route.

“Starting the business here in the Philippines and all around the world, we have to think about not only how to make the business bigger, but also how to take care of the people and the planet better,” he said.

According to the company’s sustainability report, last year, the brand sold 1,020,920 sustainable home furnishing items in the Philippines, ranging from energy-saving bulbs to furniture made of sustainably sourced materials. To date, 73% of the brand’s home furnishing products are either made of renewable or recycled materials. 

Lesniewski noted that while sustainability seems to cost a company more, in their experience, it even costs less. All the expenses, he assured, are worth it as sustainability brings “good business” also for their partners.

Angie Lat, Business Navigation and Operations Manager for the brand’s Pasay City flagship store, gave as example a waste processing equipment they purchased for their sustainable efforts.

“So we invested in this machine, right? So it’s not really cheap. It’s a really expensive machine,” she admitted. “But in turn, most of it benefited us because we have less expenses for transportation for all of our wastes.”

The machine, she added, also helps in recycling waste into raw materials for other future products. 

“Our zero-waste campaign is still ongoing, so whatever we have invested into this equipment, it would still give us good impact and a good return of investment,” she affirmed.

Investing in sustainability, said the brand’s Philippine store manager Daniel Rivero, is “necessary expense.”

“Of course, if we’re not profitable, how can we respond to market demand? How can we fill stores?” he pointed out.

According to him, sustainability is pursued not for profitability but as a necessary way of life and work “for our children and the generations to come.”

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