IKEA Launches Design Competition for Children to Encourage Sustainability

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Swedish furniture giant IKEA is encouraging children to make their schools more sustainable through a new design challenge.

Sustainability has taken centre stage at IKEA in recent years, impacting its production and packaging of furniture, new store builds, and notably, its cafe menus. Now, the company’s incentivizing U.K. youth to come up with the next big idea through the Let’s Go Zero competition, part of the Let’s Go Zero campaign, which is working to make 32,000 U.K, schools zero carbon by 2030.

“At IKEA, we’re committed to making healthy and sustainable living accessible and affordable for the many while inspiring the next generation,” Marsha Smith, Country Deputy Retail Manager, at IKEA Group UK & IE, said in a statement. The company hopes the competition will encourage children to do more for the planet than previous generations.

Let’s Go Zero

“We’re proud to be partnering with the Let’s Go Zero campaign, encouraging children to pave the way for a sustainable future. Small simple changes can have a huge impact, whether that’s introducing more plant-based menus or launching a uniform swap shop. We can’t wait to see the projects and ideas that will help make schools more sustainable while inspiring all ages to tackle the climate crisis.”

IKEA and Let’s Go Zero will be selecting four winning ideas from schools across the U.K. and say that through “products, solutions, and funds (for the value of £2,000 for each project) we’ll bring these visions to life, helping you do your bit for the planet.”

Courtesy IKEA

According to IKEA, the competition builds on the increasing number of young people wanting to see changes to their schools in order to fight the impact of climate change and reduce their contributions to the issue.

IKEA says nearly half of students surveyed are confused about sustainability with 80 per cent saying they want to learn more and want to see more changes within their schools; 65 per cent say their schools haven’t done enough to address the issue.

The competition comes after toy giant Lego Group announced it’s bringing a factory back to the U.S.; the Virginia facility will be online by 2025 and completely carbon-neutral. Lego is also working to make all of its bricks out of recycled plastic by 2030. It released a prototype last year.

IKEA Sustainability

The company is also working to further its sustainability commitments. Last month it re-released its popular Billy bookshelves with improved sustainability metrics.

Courtesy IKEA

“Billy is one of our most beloved products, and it represents an important part of IKEA’s history. The new wood expressions will be a great facelift, and the shift to paper foil enables more efficient material use and reduces production waste. It is a giant leap into the future for Billy. We hope it continues to be as popular and spread joy in people’s lives for many more years to come”, Jesper Samuelsson, Business Leader at Inter IKEA Group, said in a statement.

The chain also recently announced plans to sell solar panels to U.S. residents through a partnership with California-based Sunpower.

“At IKEA, we’re passionate about helping our customers live a more sustainable life at home,” said Javier Quiñones, CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA U.S. “We’re proud to collaborate with SunPower to bring this service to the US and enable our customers to make individual choices aimed at reducing their overall climate footprint.”


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