Interview: Steve Howard, COO of Sustainability, IKEA

At yesterday’s BSR conference in New York, I had the privilege of sitting down with Steve Howard, IKEA’s COO of Sustainability to talk about IKEA’s take on sustainability and their new sustainability strategy, known as “People and Planet Positive.”

The concept won’t be new to TriplePundit readers, but the application to a company with as large a footprint as IKEA’s is both unique and laudable.

The strategy is threefold:

1) To make sustainability an accessible concept for IKEA’s customers. The idea is that buying more sustainable products shouldn’t be a luxury – it should be affordable and widespread.

2) To make IKEA fully energy and resource independent. With a combination of agressive targets for on-store solar deployment, combined with other renewable energy purchases, the company aims to produce 70 percent of their own energy by 2015.

3) To make a deeply positive impact in the communities down IKEA’s supply chain – a combination of compliance and auditing, particularly aimed at children’s issues.

The full interview is on video after the jump:

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.