IKEA contributes to reducing air pollution with Forandring, a collection based on rice straw
Förändring is a part of IKEA’s ‘Better Air Now’ initiative, launched in 2018
The deteriorating health of individuals due to air pollution is a growing and severe global concern. One peril in India is burning of rice straws, a residue from harvesting rice that widely aggravates pollution and smog. Through the ‘Better Air Now’ initiative, launched in 2018, rice straws can instead become a new renewable material source for IKEA products. The first results of this initiative can be seen in the upcoming collection Förändring, set to launch in the autumn of 2019 at Democratic Design Days in Älmhult, Sweden.
Förändring means ‘change’ in Swedish and illustrates the desire to contribute to positive change. The long-term ambition is to include other parts of India and beyond, and to create a model for reducing air pollution in other crop-burning regions of the world. Therefore, IKEA has now joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition as an actor in the Coalition’s Agricultural Initiative.
“Förändring is a collection in the shades of black and blue. It illustrates the present situation with smog and air pollution, and the hopes for a more optimistic future with crisp and clear blue sky,” says Iina Vuorivirta, IKEA designer.
“Many learnings have been gained from this journey so far, and we see countless opportunities for the future. Joining the Climate and Clean Air Coalition is an important next step, as it gives the opportunity to gain more knowledge as well as inspire others to be part of addressing this issue. We want to share our pilot model from Better Air Now for repurposing agricultural residues that can be scaled up and replicated by others in other regions and with other crops,” says Helene Davidsson, sustainability manager, South Asia at IKEA Purchasing & Logistics.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is a voluntary partnership of governments, intergovernmental organisations, businesses, scientific institutions and civil society organisations committed to improving air quality and protecting the climate through actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. The CCAC’s Agriculture Initiative works to advance methane and black carbon abatement as well as recovery practices within the sector. In addition to helping reduce the rate of near-term warming, these practices can provide immediate co-benefits for public health, food security and economic development, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and low-emissions agricultural development.
“Growing up in India, I have never been able to take clean air for granted; heavy air pollution is part of mine and many other people’s everyday life. The idea of doing something that contributes to improving the situation has given me a lot of energy. We wanted to reflect this important topic in this collection,” says Akanksha Deo, IKEA designer.
IKEA is one brand and many companies. Around the globe, a large number of companies operate under the IKEA trademarks. IKEA Range & Supply, consisting of IKEA of Sweden in Älmhult and IKEA Supply AG in Pratteln, Switzerland, have the responsibility to develop, design, produce and supply IKEA stores and sales channels around the world with home furnishing solutions available to the many people. Each year, IKEA Range & Supply introduces 2,000 new products. IKEA has been sourcing from India for over 30 years for its global stores. The IKEA Group is the first major single-brand retailer to get FDI approval and plans to open several stores across the metro cities in India.