As part of the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer, has committed to support small and medium businesses (SMEs) within its business network to take climate action and lower their carbon emissions. Working with its partner, the We Mean Business Coalition, Ingka Group will mobilise, promote and engage with its business to business network, with the aim to encourage them to become signatories of the SME Climate Hub, where small and medium sized companies can access free tools, knowledge and solutions to lower their carbon footprint.
Recent research* carried out highlights that small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) need additional resources and guidance to help reduce carbon emissions and need access to knowledge, tools and resources to make the biggest impact. Therefore, IKEA will use its size and reach to become a trusted and responsible partner of SMEs through its partnership with the SME Climate Hub.
Launched in 2020, the SME Climate Hub provides SMEs with practical resources and tools tailored to support small businesses in taking concrete steps towards emissions reductions. This includes tools like the Business Carbon Calculator and an educational course which enable businesses to measure, report on and reduce their emissions, and educate themselves on actions that can be implemented throughout their business.
“Despite the current global challenges facing many businesses, addressing climate change must remain a top priority. Businesses with under 500 employees represent 90% of business globally and affects the livelihoods of over 2 billion people, so we want to utilize our size and scale, and the IKEA business network** to create positive change and a climate movement within the smaller business community.
This is an important step for small and medium businesses, which is currently missing. The SME Climate Hub acts as the first steppingstone in this journey and supports businesses in making climate commitments and setting a roadmap for actions. We believe that what at first seems like a challenge can become an opportunity for sustainable and responsible growth and lead to amazing innovations,” says Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group.
Despite the current global cost-of-living crisis, supply chain vulnerabilities, and day-to-day business pressures vying for the attention of small business owners, the research found that most small and medium businesses still take climate action seriously, but two-thirds of small businesses are worried they don’t have the right skills and knowledge to tackle the climate crisis.
“While many small and medium-sized business owners often lack the knowledge or resources to tackle climate change, they also know that climate action is key to the long-term profitability of their business. By mobilizing its business network to make the SME Climate Commitment and start taking steps to reduce their emissions, IKEA is setting a strong example of climate leadership, says María Mendiluce, CEO of We Mean Business Coalition, a founding organization of the SME Climate Hub.
IKEA will inspire business in the art of what is possible. It will make climate action accessible to all. It’s imperative that every business, of every size, have the resources they need to prioritize climate action and create a just future that leaves no one behind. We encourage corporations from every industry and region of the world to follow suit,” she says.
The SME Climate Hub initiative is an accredited partner of the United Nation’s Race To Zero campaign. Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time.
IKEA is taking action to transform its business and has committed to the Paris Agreement and doing its part to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This includes a commitment to become climate positive by 2030*** and becoming net-zero latest 2050. IKEA is already taking responsibility for its emissions, reducing its climate footprint in line with science, committing to becoming a circular business, and enabling customers to live more healthy and sustainable lives.
*SME Climate Action Research conducted by Ingka Group between November-December 2022 – Throughout qualitative and quantitative research with 560+ SMEs in Spain, the US and Sweden, we discovered how SMEs feel about the climate crisis and their attitude towards action-taking.
**Launched 16 months ago and now live in 14 markets, IKEA Business Network is a B2B loyalty program that will support small and micro businesses in running their business. IKEA Business Network is designed based on real customer needs. IKEA Business Network enables Ingka Group to start communicating with our business customers, creating a base for relevant communication to drive commercial value. More information can be found here Empowering your business to take climate action – IKEA
***IKEA is committed to the Paris Agreement and to contribute to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This includes a commitment to halve the absolute net GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from the total IKEA value chain by 2030. We will achieve this by drastically reducing GHG emissions through science-based targets and by removing carbon from the atmosphere through natural processes and storing it in land, plants and products through better forest and agriculture management within the IKEA value chain. We will contribute to further greenhouse emission reductions in society by going beyond IKEA, such as enabling customers to generate renewable energy at home. Read more about the IKEA commitment here.
About the SME Climate Hub:
The SME Climate Hub is an initiative of the We Mean Business Coalition, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, and the United Nations Race to Zero campaign. In collaboration with Normative and the Net Zero team at Oxford University, the SME Climate Hub provides tools and resources to enable SMEs to make a climate commitment, take action and measure their progress towards emissions reductions. This partnership allows SMEs to join the United Nations Race to Zero campaign — an international campaign that brings together an unprecedented coalition of real economy actors and 120 governments committed to achieve net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. Home – SME Climate Hub
About We Mean Business Coalition:
We Mean Business Coalition works with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The Coalition is a group of seven nonprofit organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, Climate Group, CLG Europe, The B Team and WBCSD. Together, we catalyze business and policy action to halve emissions by 2030 and accelerate an inclusive transition to a net-zero economy. Find out more at wemeanbusinesscoalition.org.
About United Nations Race to Zero campaign:
The Race to Zero Campaign is an initiative backed by the United Nations High-Level Climate Champions. As well as the SME Climate Hub, the 2030 Breakthroughs: Retail campaign is an accredited partner of Race to Zero and is founded by Best Buy, H&M Group, Ingka Group (IKEA), Kingfisher plc and Walmart, and hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The global campaign aims to mobilize retail associations to engage their members and catalyze a net zero breakthrough within the retail industry by 2030. More information can be found here: Race To Zero Campaign | UNFCCC