New Ikea research has found that nearly three quarters of Australians consider the environment when making purchasing decisions, and half of us are likely to be influenced by a company’s social and environmental practises.
The Newspoll survey, commissioned by Ikea Australia, found that over half of Australians believe companies should be doing more to protect the environment, more so than individuals alone. Additionally, the research has revealed that 82 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men are calling out for governments and organisations to step up for environmental and social sustainability.
This week Ikea the Never Ending List, which comprises nearly 100 business and product-related accomplishments and improvements aimed at areas the company can make significant impact. These include everything from products and materials, to suppliers, energy and transport, and community involvement.
According to Ikea Australia’s country manager, David Hood, consumers are becoming increasingly discerning when it comes to what they are buying and doing to promote environmentally-friendliness.
“Our research shows Australians are demanding that businesses have a stronger stance on issues concerning sustainability,” he said.
“One in two Australians is influenced to buy from a company they have heard positive things about in relation to its environmental or social practices. Likewise, over half of Australian’s wouldn’t support an organisation they’d heard negative things about.
“At Ikea we recognise that until this point we have potentially been part of the problem. The Never Ending List is our commitment to contribute to the solution. This means that we will constantly review what we are doing and how we are doing it to ensure we have as little impact on the social and natural environments as possible.
“Whether the changes we make are small, like using off cuts from quilts to stuff pillows or making bowls from natural resources like bamboo and banana fibre; to more significant changes including store design, waste management, increasing our commitment to our social partners Unicef, Save the Children and WWF, or extending our flat pack offering, our never ending list is our long-term commitment to do more,” said Hood.
Emeritus Professor Dexter Dunphy from the School of Management at Sydney’s UTS, believes Ikea’s Never Ending List initiative signals an important change in commitment by major retailers to sustainable manufacturing, marketing and distribution of well designed, environmentally-friendly products.
“As individuals we often feel that there is little we can do to help create a more sustainable world for our children and grandchildren,” he said.
“As members of the workforce we often help make our workplaces more sustainable. But all of us, as consumers, have much greater power by choosing to support companies that demonstrate genuine environmental and community leadership. We need to see each purchase we make as a potential vote for the coming consumer revolution.”