IKEA strategy for sustainable sites

The Context
It is the ambition of IKEA Belgium that the new IKEA stores become the reference destination for sustainable shopping in Belgium, with new developments being an inspiring example for existing stores. IKEA was looking for technical assistance to develop a new property strategy that should meet this ambition, considering all aspects of sustainability (environment, community, customers, suppliers,…) for their new and existing sites. 

The Challenge
Given their large size and high numbers of visitors, IKEA stores have an important impact on their environment. How can IKEA cope with the high pressure on land use and road traffic when selecting new site locations in Belgium and how can they reduce their footprint during construction and operation? How can they ensure the right balance between good energy management and a comfortable shopping and working environment? The new strategy should serve as a compass to guide both site developers and operators to make coherent sustainable decisions taking into account the entire life cycle of the store.

The Trajectory
Futureproofed organised a two-day strategy workshop with a selected team of coworkers involved in site expansion, development and operation. During the workshop, Futureproofed challenged the team to think out of the box and to exchange ideas on the IKEA store of the future, using brainstorm sessions and co-creation exercises. Inspiring cases of exemplary sustainable stores and shopping centers were presented as well as sustainable solutions to cope with important challenges such as material scarcity, climate change, fossil depletion and biodiversity. 

Results and resolutions
The key take away of the workshop was the common consensus that IKEA Belgium as a whole had to “think differently”. A coherent vision was formulated around four key sustainability themes and clear objectives were set to support this vision. The workshop created a positive team spirit and enthousiasme to jointly take further steps to embed sustainability into the entire life cycle of their stores.

Building a new store is not an easy task. The pressure of time and cost is high. To support project developers and maintenance managers in making new and existing stores more sustainable, we needed a clear strategy and vision that could be translated in guidelines. But we also need engagement of the coworkers to work differently in the future. With this two day workshop Futureproofed helped us to understand today’s challenges and to get inspired by others. Beside that, they facilitate in a very constructive way discussions to support the whole group in creating the direction forward.
— Caroline Gastaud, Sustainability Manager IKEA Belgium

Country: Belgium
Client: IKEA
Sector: Furniture
Services: Sparring, coaching
Year: 2016