Corporate Environmental Responsibility: a Review of Environmental Contribution of Ikea

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Unit Title: Communications in Business 100

Essay Title:Corporate Environmental Responsibility:
A review of environmental contribution of IKEA

Introduction of business vision of IKEA

Nowadays the market competition is very intense. In order to maximize the profit and market share, sometimes companies might make some of the destructions in our society or even pollute the environment. With the people’s level of education is rising, people start to concern more about the problem of health, environmental protection, and also sustainable development, there are stricter laws for companies to obey. IKEA is the largest Sweden-based furniture maker in the world (Swedish Retailer 2012), and the vision is to create a better life for its customers (IKEA business idea 2012). This essay analyses how the company action impact particular stakeholders in positive and negative way.

IKEA, the negative impact on the environment

It is difficult to imagine how IKEA directly affecting the environment, but actually IKEA is influencing the environment in an indirectly way. Firstly, the best known business activity of IKEA is the IKEA catalog. IKEA has published around 2 million copies in 30 languages and 59 editions that are more than 20 times the population of Sweden also double the number of the Holy Bible (Reality Catalog 2012). However, in the bleached pulp process, the manufacture is required to use chlorine to bleach wood pulp; it combines with wood resins and organic substances to form a host of carcinogenic and mutation-causing byproducts (Chlorine-Free Paper 1992). Furthermore, the most harmful part of the process is paper production. Breaking down wood fiber to make paper consumes a lot of energy, which in many cases comes from coal plants (The Hidden Life of Paper 2006). Although IKEA has used chlorine-free paper, it will still have a certain degree of pollution. Such as releasing carbon dioxide when we felling the trees, it will step-by-step to destroy forests. Thus, affecting the ecological environment. In addition, when customers finish their purchase or a new catalog is published, people no longer need the old catalog. That causes a formation of large amount of garbage.

With the network is growing and popularity, IKEA do not need to devote a lot resources in producing the catalog, no matter in money or natural resource aspect. Compared with the B&Q, which is a family and gardening materials chain store, provides detailed information of their products in their website, therefore customers can easily find what they want (B&Q 2012). In my opinion, IKEA should allocate their resources and develop an online catalog like B&Q, and furthermore provides Smartphone application which is even more convenient for customers. It is not only saving money but also environmental friendly due to reduction in using paper, this helps build a positive corporative image.

IKEA, the negative impact on the environment (cont.)

The other cause is with the rapid development of IKEA comes air pollution problem due to heavy logistics. IKEA shopping mall often requires a large area of ​​land and always set up in a residential area. Therefore, acquisition of land is inevitable for IKEA and it will lead to fewer public space such as City Park (In New Rochelle 2001). Acquisition activities is affecting particular stakeholder seriously, especially for the local residents. Once the store opened, the whole town will change. Shoppers would transform and scar a quiet neighborhood possessed of a battered industrial charm. (Brooklyn Neighbors 2008). Moreover, to construct such a big-box store, there is no doubt that it will increase the burden on the traffic cause traffic congestion and air pollution. According to the IKEA's logistic data, there are 70,000 weekly vehicle trips in and out the development, and most of that traffic will be for the Swedish furniture store. (Somerville...
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