As we all know IKEA sells affordable flat pack furniture and household goods. Over recent years the company has made many positive noises regarding sustainability, but do its ethical commitments hold any weight? 


Is Ikea ethical?

Our research highlights several ethical issues with Ikea and we have awarded them negative marks in a number of categories on our scoring system, including for habitats and resources, human rights, supply chain management, workers' rights, animal rights, factory farming, anti-social finance, and political activities.

Below we outline of some of these issues. To see the full detailed stories, and Ikea's overall ethical rating, please sign in or subscribe.


IKEA scores our worst rating for supply chain management although it was meant to be working with a number of NGO's to improve this.

The company did however have operations in several countries regarded by Ethical Consumer as oppressive regimes. These included China, Russia, India, Vietnam and Thailand. The IKEA website also had links to the company's websites in different countries including Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.


IKEA receives a middle rating for its environmental reporting. It showed a good understanding of its main impacts and had a series of targets. However the report was not independently verified. For a company with IKEA's resources and reach we would expect them to achieve the best rating in this category.

Ethical Consumer could not be sure the company was not sourcing GM or Uzbek cotton, and therefore, it received negative marks in the genetic engineering and workers' rights categories. IKEA was considered to be addressing pollution and toxics issues associated with cotton through its work with the Better Cotton Initiative.

The company received a best rating for its timber sourcing. The company was sourcing over 50% of its wood from sustainable sources and was involved with a number of stakeholders to further improve their sourcing.


The company scores negative marks on our rating system for the sale of factory farmed meat and leather. 


Due to the fact that Stichting INGKA Foundation had two or more subsidiaries which were considered to be of high risk of being used for tax avoidance purposes, the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for the likely use of tax avoidance strategies.

This included two holding companies in Luxembourg and one in Switzerland. The company also had a subsidiary based in Hong Kong which was listed as involved in finance, although it also had subsidiaries based in China.

phtoto: Ikea Store
  • Ethical Consumer Best Buy: No
  • Boycotts: No

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