IKEA contributes to Reducing air Pollution with FÖRÄNDRING, a collection based on rice straw

Mumbai, 04 June 2019: In 2018, IKEA launched the ‘Better Air Now’ initiative with the aim to take action on a global environmental issue by turning rice straws - a harvesting residue that contributes heavily to air pollution when burned - into raw material. The first results are seen in the upcoming collection FÖRÄNDRING. The long-term ambition is to create a model for how to reduce air pollution in other crop burning regions of the world, which is why IKEA has joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.
Health effects due to air pollution is a growing and severe global concern. The situation in North India is one of the most alarming, where 9 of 10 of the world most polluted cities are situated*. One peril 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.
The long-term ambition for the ‘Better Air Now’ initiative is to include other parts of India and beyond and to create a model for how to reduce 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.
“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 big 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. 
FÖRÄNDRING means ‘change’ in Swedish and illustrates the desire to contribute to positive change; changing current habits where rice straw is being burnt as well as a change for the many people by contributing to better air. The first product prototypes from the collection are presented at Democratic Design Days 2019 in Älmhult, Sweden.
“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.
“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.
FÖRÄNDRING is aimed to be sold during autumn 2019 in selected IKEA markets.
About the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC): The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is a voluntary partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, businesses, scientific institutions and civil society organizations 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 and 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.
About IKEA and IKEA India: The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people and we offer well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. There are currently 423 stores in 51 countries with a sales volume of 38.3 billion euros. 936 million customers visited IKEA stores in FY17 and more than 2.3 billion people visited IKEA online. Our 194,000 co-workers from all over the world are the inner strength of IKEA, sharing fundamental humanistic values of togetherness, humbleness, simplicity, cost-consciousness and common sense.
IKEA has been sourcing from India for over 30 years for its global stores. It currently has more than 50 suppliers with 45,000 direct employees and 400,000 people in the extended supply chain. The IKEA Group is the first major single-brand retailer to get FDI approval and plans to open several stores across the main metro cities in India.


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