Taking place in IKEA's very first store in Älmhult, Sweden, IKEA’s annual Democratic Design Day has become a highlight in the design calendar. The Democratic Design Day was started as an effort by the world’s largest retailer to be more transparent as it shares what’s it been working on and its vision for the future.
As IKEA looks towards the future during their Democratic Design Day, we are looking to the past and at how they have been innovating their products and paving the way to becoming the world’s leading green corporation.
Polystyrene free packaging
In an effort to reduce harmful packaging and break their dependence on polystyrene, IKEA has decided to start using fungi-based packaging. The fungi-based packaging can decompose fully by simply throwing it into your garden, while polystyrene takes thousands of years to degrade.
Net positive energy status
As the winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business Award, IKEA announced that it is aiming to produce all its electrical needs through renewables by 2020. The retailer already produces 53 per cent of its own energy requirements through 314 wind turbines and 700 000 solar panels. IKEA has also launched projects to introduce solar-panels to all its US stores.
Furniture entirely out of paper
In an effort to create more cost-effective furniture, last year IKEA announced that they are launching a furniture line made entirely out of paper. The furniture will be made out of a composite of repurposed pulp, through a process the company has developed, that pressure-moulds it into hyper-resilient forms.
100 per cent LED lighting
The retailer has also fully switched to LED lighting in all of its stores, making them the first major global retailer to make this commitment. LED lighting are widely known for being environmentally friendly and uses as much as 85 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 20 times longer.
The world’s largest eco-friendly retailer
In 2014, IKEA sold a whopping 1.3 billion euros of sustainably produced and eco-friendly furniture, making them the largest retailer to do so. All furniture within the IKEA portfolio is made from sustainable sources with a huge increase of Bamboo use which grows 10 times faster than trees.