An Accelerator for Positive Impact Innovation Aligned with the Global Strategy

An Accelerator for Positive Impact Innovation Aligned with the Global Strategy


IKEA is a globally recognized company known for its strong commitment to sustainability. While it has rapidly advanced its sustainability strategy in the B2C business, the B2B line - IKEA for Business - emerges as a new business area within the company with a dual objective: global growth in the coming years and the challenge of integrating the global sustainability strategy into the daily activities of the teams in this new line.


A holistic solution has been implemented based on three action pillars. Two of them focus on training and inspiring the teams to generate a positive impact in all areas of the business, while the third aims to identify and validate new business opportunities and positive impact in the short term to accelerate the company's growth:

  • Educate: Training sessions on sustainability topics.
  • Coach & Transform: Creation of a sustainability ambassadors program.
  • Build: Development of prototypes to validate new services beneficial for the planet, IKEA, and its business clients.

Laying the Foundations to Create Initiatives that Generate Real Positive Impact

To gain a deeper understanding of the end customer and establish the foundations for creating valuable initiatives for both business clients and the planet, we conducted qualitative and quantitative research with over 550 people in three markets (Spain, Sweden, and the United States).

This research aimed to understand how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with 1 to 250 employees think, feel, and act regarding sustainability and focused on the company's main clients: accommodations, coworking spaces and offices, and restaurants.

Thanks to this, all the prototypes and initiatives developed within the Build pillar have been framed within the challenges and needs of SMEs to ensure the growth of IKEA for Business by providing value to business clients and the planet.

Each initiative developed, in addition to addressing the needs of business clients, has aimed to solve major impact challenges by finding the common ground between customer needs and planetary needs. The initiatives addressed impact challenges such as energy efficiency and transition for SMEs, or circularity and the end-of-life of products with large volumes and environmental footprints.

An Accelerator for Positive Impact Innovation Aligned with the Global Strategy

From Inspiration to Project Activation with Key Objectives and Results

This project has been designed to support IKEA for Business in conceptualizing new positive impact services as growth levers and to accompany the teams in integrating the global sustainability strategy into their daily activities.

To address these challenges, the project starts with inspiration and training to bring a positive impact mindset to the teams. It then reaches the prototyping and activation of specific projects that allow having a positive impact on the planet and providing value to IKEA and its business clients.

As a demonstration of IKEA for Business’s commitment to conceptualizing and prototyping new positive impact services and ensuring the project's relevance, objectives and key results (OKRs) were established to which the project responds within IKEA for Business’s global growth and sustainability strategy. Thus, all decisions made in the project are fully aligned with the company's strategic objectives.

To achieve these goals, we worked as an extended team of IKEA for Business, connecting and collaborating with different teams and key stakeholders, ranging from product and business areas to sustainability or other specific service teams within IKEA.

To ensure that teams always have access to the resources generated for use in their daily activities, a landing page was developed that gathers all the content and tools created within the framework of this project, as shown below.

More than 40 Participants in Training, 5 Impact Ambassadors, and 4 Prototypes

To help IKEA for Business establish a positive impact mindset in the daily activities of the teams, up to 5 training and inspiration sessions were organized with more than 40 participants with decision-making roles within the various business areas.

These sessions covered topics relevant to the teams, including:

  • How to build products and services within planetary boundaries?
  • How to reduce the climate footprint of products and digital services?
  • How to promote circularity through digital products for business clients
  • How to place impact at the center of business?

Beyond training, a support program was created for IKEA for Business teams. Five sustainability ambassadors were identified and worked hand-in-hand to establish impact objectives in their teams, offering solutions and tools to implement in their daily activities to make more responsible decisions for the planet.

To help IKEA for Business in activating new business models, we collaborated with various teams to create functional prototypes that allow validating new positive impact digital services.

IKEA for Business aims to accompany business clients (mostly SMEs) on their path to sustainability. Therefore, one of the prototypes launched (IKEA Cares) focused on promoting more responsible decisions among business clients by providing interactive information about the most planet-friendly products, as well as actionable tips to reduce the impact of their businesses while increasing their savings.

An Accelerator for Positive Impact Innovation Aligned with the Global Strategy

A holistic project aligned with IKEA for Business’s Strategic Objectives

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