Recognized as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 25, 2020)
Here are some of the reasons why IKEA Canada Limited Partnership was selected as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers (2021):
- IKEA Canada helps employees save for the future with a matching RSP program and longer serving employees have the opportunity to share in the company's success through a defined profit-sharing plan (after five consecutive years)
- IKEA Canada supports employee development with a variety of in-house and online training programs and encourages continuous development through tuition subsidies for courses related to an employees' position and subsidies for their professional accreditations
- To help balance employee priorities outside of work, IKEA Canada offers paid Wellness Days (varying by employee group), which can be taken for a variety of personal reasons including illness, supporting a family member, participating in a community event, appointments or spending time with a new pet
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2020):
By Richard Yerema and Chantel Watkins, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jun 15, 2020)
Here are some of the reasons why IKEA Canada Limited Partnership was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2020):
- IKEA Canada manages a unique "Sell-Back" program that's part of the transition to a more circular economy, letting customers return their gently used IKEA products in exchange for store credit, with the company committing to reselling or donating the products to ensure they can continue being used and avoid unnecessary waste -- over 7,600 sell-back requests were made in the first two months after the program's launch
- In addition to supporting sustainability committees at each store location, all employees receive sustainability training (with annual refresher courses) -- the company also conducts internal sustainability reviews at each store location (at least every three years) and manages the IKEA Sustainable Living Challenge to increase employee awareness on how their day-to-day actions impact the environment -- a similar challenge was recently launched on Earth Day to challenge customers across the country to live more sustainably
- IKEA Canada continues to invest in green energy with 14,000 solar electricity panels atop six locations, generating enough electricity to power approximately 200 homes (includes the largest rooftop solar panel network in Ontario) -- impressively, the company's wind farms in Pincher Creek and Drumheller, Alberta can produce four times the energy consumed by IKEA Canada across the country
Local action drives IKEA’s global green strategy
As one of the world’s largest retailers with almost a billion customers, IKEA knows it’s big enough to make a difference in helping achieve global sustainability, says Melissa (Barbosa) Mirowski, country sustainability manager for IKEA Canada, based in Burlington, Ont.
“People don’t just want better value and better products – they also want better businesses,” Mirowski says. “We know the companies and brands that will thrive in the future will be the ones that stand for something. So we’ve decided to go all-in on sustainability as part of our overall corporate strategy.”
Going all-in has meant adopting a global environmental strategy called People + Planet Positive, with ambitious commitments to transform IKEA into a climate-positive and fully circular business by 2030. In her current role, Mirowski is responsible for ensuring that the strategy comes to life in the Canadian market.
That involves “both developing offerings for our customers to extend the life of their products and ensuring significant waste and emissions reductions in our operations,” she says. “In Canada, one initiative I’m particularly proud of is our sell-back program, which allows our customers to apply to sell their gently used IKEA products back to us in exchange for store credit. We then give those products a second life through resale or donation. We’ve received more than 30,000 submissions since the program launched.”
Other initiatives have included reducing food waste from the restaurant kitchens in IKEA stores by the equivalent of roughly 200,000 meals in a little over a year, and a recovery program to rebuild and rewrap products that have been returned, instead of sending them to landfill.
Engaging customers and employees at the store level plays a critical role in ensuring the success of the overall strategy. In Ottawa, that’s part of Julie Damaren’s role as communications responsible.
“We put the global ideas for sustainability into local action,” she says. “A lot of our co-workers were drawn to IKEA because we’re a sustainable company. It’s a value we all share.
“We have many, many community activities. For example, we’re members of Carbon 613, a local sustainable business network, to cut down on emissions, and we work with Second Harvest Food Rescue to reduce food waste and with Cleaning the Capital to help clean up garbage in our community. We also donate textiles and furniture to organizations like EcoEquitable and Helping with Furniture.
“Our people really enjoy getting involved,” she adds. “It’s all part of IKEA’s fun, engaging and super-friendly workplace culture.”