IKEA Launches Green Initiative Featuring a Furniture Buy Back Program

The outside of an IKEA store
Alexander Isreb

IKEA is going green and hoping to take consumers along for the journey. The Swedish furniture giant is launching a number of eco-friendly initiatives this year, including a furniture buyback program.

Although the buyback program will be available in 27 countries, IKEA has not announced a U.S. initiative yet. For now, international customers will have the chance to exchange old furniture, while Americans will have to merely follow IKEA’s push toward sustainability.

IKEA’s Buy Back Program

IKEA’s buyback plan will begin around Black Friday in a number of countries, including England, Canada, France, Germany, and Russia. A company spokesperson told the New York Times that “the U.S. is currently exploring ways to bring Buy Back to the country in the future.” Although IKEA has done buybacks in the past, this is the first time the company has rolled out an initiative on this scale.

Customers will be able to turn in their old IKEA furniture for up to half its initial price. Anyone bringing back a piece in “new” condition will get 50 percent of its retail price. Any pieces in “very good” shape will yield a 40 percent return, and “well-used” items can be worth up to 30 percent of the original value.

IKEA will refurbish and re-sell all the items it buys back in its secondhand section. The offer generally applies to any furniture without upholstery, as long as it’s fully assembled. Anything too damaged to be resold will be recycled or donated.

The company hopes the program will decrease consumption around what is typically one of the largest consumer holidays of the year. In its 2020 Sustainability Strategy Report, the company noted that “excessive consumption” is one of the most pressing problems facing society.

“IKEA hopes that the initiative will help its customers take a stand against excessive consumption this Black Friday and in the years to come,” a spokesperson told Reuters.

IKEA Sustainable Living

In addition to the buy back plan, IKEA has big ideas for sustainability. The company plans to use only recyclable or renewable materials in all products and packaging by 2030, for instance. Plus, IKEA recently announced that all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries will be off shelves next year because of their environmental footprint.

IKEA also plans to increase inclusivity as a step toward building a more wholly sustainable business. Overall, one of IKEA’s main goals is to not only bring sustainability to its products but to also motivate consumers to live more sustainable lives. You can find the full details of the company’s plan in its 2020 Sustainability Strategy report.

“We will use our scale to inspire and enable the many people to live a better everyday life within the boundaries of the planet by 2030,” Lena Pripp-Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer at Inter IKEA Group, said in a statement.

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