People taking more climate action, says new IKEA report

People are increasingly taking climate related actions in their daily lives, especially if it helps them save money, according to a new People & Planet ​Consumer Insights & Trends study published by Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer.  

The study of over 33,000 people across 30 countries also shows that 66% take action in their daily lives that helps address climate change. However, the number who agree their actions can have an impact has fallen from 81% in 2021 to 76% in 2023. Gen Z (those aged 18-24) are feeling least hopeful, with the number who agree their actions can have an impact falling from 81% in 2021 to 73% in 2023 – the biggest drop of any group. 

The study by Ingka Group together with GlobeScan, builds on three previous studies done in 2017, 2019, and 2021 and was conducted to learn more about how people think, feel and act in relation to people and planet, and what they are doing to address issues around inequality and climate change in their daily lives. 

The current global context, which has been dominated by worries of cost of living is having a significant impact. Money-saving climate actions have increased due to necessity, with 50% using smart technology to save/monitor energy use (up from 46% in 2021), 90% saving on heating and cooling (up from 88% in 2021) and 52% of people buying second-hand household items at least some of the time, (up from 48% in 2021).  

“We can clearly see from the new insights that saving money is driving more sustainable behaviour. However, we also see that people want to increase their climate action and are looking for greater support in order to make impactful changes. Sustainability needs to become affordable and accessible for the many, not the few. With our size and reach we are working hard to scale affordable solutions that enable our customers to take climate action in their daily lives. Making plant-based food and energy efficient products affordable are two ways we are supporting our customers on the journey”, says Karen Pflug, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ingka Group.

“The climate crisis can only be solved if we act with urgency and work together across businesses, governments, and society. And this new research sends a strong signal that customers expect us to act. Two out of three people want governments and businesses to take significant action to reduce climate change. To increase climate action, we as businesses must continue to tackle emissions across our operations and enable our customers to do the same, whilst pushing for legislation and incentives from governments around the world,” she says.  

The insights show that many people want help with prioritising actions that would have the most impact, with 36% saying they would take more action if they had more information and advice on what to do, and 41% saying that knowing the impact of their actions would motivate them to do more.  

“One of the insights that stands out in this 4th wave of our study with Ingka Group is the gap in public knowledge about what to do and which actions are most impactful. Of the top six household actions that people take regularly, only two are in the top six for real impact – avoiding food waste and saving on heating and cooling. People need help from government and business with prioritising the most impactful actions. Sharing guidance on what to do, how, and the positive impact it will have on the planet is key,” says Caroline Holme, Senior Director, GlobeScan.

By signposting responsible purchase choices, clearly labelling more sustainable products and communicating benefits, Ingka Group has an opportunity to inspire and enable the billions of people it reaches to take more action in their own lives. In 2021 IKEA Retail stores implemented Sustainable Living Shops, a dedicated space in the store that focuses on highlighting accessible and affordable products and solutions among the existing IKEA range that can support people to take small steps and reduce their climate impact.  

Through its IKEA Retail stores it also offers customers a number of services and solutions for a more sustainable life at home. These include buy back and take back services, in-store circular hubs, online platforms for second-hand products, introducing a more plant-based food offer, and expanding Energy Services to more countries, so many more people can use or generate their own clean energy.  

As in previous research studies, the new insights will also continue to inform the Ingka Group People & Planet Positive strategy, supporting its sustainability ambitions in 31 Ingka countries, as the company works towards its 2030 commitments. And as global business leaders and government representatives now gather for COP28, Ingka Group will amplify the findings from this study, brining in the voices of the many people, to advocate the private sector and governments to accelerate climate action.  

Save this article for later

You can revisit this article if you save it as favourite news!

Leave a Comment