IKEA UK joins sustainability partnership

The campaign will see IKEA UK help to target zero carbon emissions in all 32,000 schools across the UK by 2030, ahead of the UK Government’s 2050 target

IKEA UK has announced a new partnership with climate solutions charity, Ashden, for the ‘Let’s Go Zero initiative’, a coalition campaign which aims to support UK schools’ efforts to reduce their emissions and calls for government action on greening schools. 

The campaign will see IKEA UK help to target zero carbon emissions in all 32,000 schools across the UK by 2030, ahead of the UK Government’s 2050 target.  

To do so, IKEA UK said it will mobilise customers and its 12,000 employees to engage with local schools and young people, encouraging them to sign up to ‘Let’s Go Zero’ and to make the changes needed to reach net zero. 

This will include leveraging IKEA UK stores and expertise in life at home to promote its ‘shared vision of a healthier, more sustainable society, and to inspire action on climate’.   

It comes as the company was recently announced as a partner for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). While at COP26, IKEA UK and Ashden will be encouraging schools to sign up to the ‘Let’s Go Zero’ initiative.  

IKEA UK will also support Ashden in influencing the UK Government to support the initiative and create enabling policy and financial packages that will facilitate the decarbonisation of UK schools.

Marsha Smith, deputy country retail manager at IKEA UK & Ireland, said: “The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges that society faces. At IKEA, we’ve set ambitious goals to guide us on our journey to becoming climate positive by 2030. Radical collaboration is needed to assemble a better future and keep global warming at or below 1.5 degrees, whilst inspiring and enabling a healthy and sustainable life for all.   

“In Ashden, we have found a partner that can help us accelerate our vision of creating a better, healthier and more sustainable life at home for many people – and when we say home, we mean it in its broader sense, to encompass neighbourhoods and communities.”  

Harriet Lamb, Ashden CEO, said: “Schools are key community hubs throughout the country. With 10 million people going through the school gate every day, their role in tackling the climate crisis is pivotal.  

“There is massive untapped potential to accelerate decarbonisation in education, and we also hope to respond to those young people calling for change, and to inspire and educate the whole next generation to make sustainable, healthy choices in their lifestyle. Young people are a leading force in shaping public discourse around climate change, both leading up to COP26 and well into the future.”   

She added: “We’re thrilled to join forces with IKEA UK, who is perfectly placed to bridge between action in schools and action in everyone’s communities and homes. IKEA UK has the scale and reach to take this campaign to the next level.”  

The ‘Let’s Go Zero’ coalition campaign is led by Ashden and includes Global Action Plan, WWF, Sustrans, Soil Association, Fairtrade Foundation, EcoSchools, Carbon Trust and others. To date, more than 500 schools have signed up to the campaign, with numbers rising every day. 

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