SWEDISH VISION IN ASIA
At the end of March, IKEA announced the development of Toppen Shopping Centre, comprising 1.1 mil sq ft shopping centre seamlessly integrated with IKEA Tebrau in Johor. Asian Property Review had a chat with Christian Rojkjaer, Managing Director of IKEA Southeast Asia on its expansion plans and its sustainability and technology aspirations.
- Where else in Southeast Asia is IKEA SEA expanding next after Penang and the Philippines?
We are investigating the market potential in Vietnam and have applied to our franchisor for the rights, so our ambition is strong but we have no firm plans at this time.
- IKEA takes seriously ‘people and planet’ issues – please share what are some of these issues?
- We make sustainability a natural part of our everyday business – taking responsibility for the impact we have on the environment and all the people touched by our business (including coworkers and suppliers.)
- We introduce the IKEA code of ethics, called IWAY, to all suppliers and work with them to ensure respect for human rights and fair working conditions for the many people who work for us through contracted companies.
- Our sustainability principles are also embedded in the way we design our buildings, the materials we choose for construction and the features we include to help us conserve water, generate renewable energy, manage waste and more.
- Some examples:
- At our IKEA stores, we recycle an average of 70% of all the waste we produce and we help customers recycle, too.
- We have installed rain water harvesting systems at all our shopping centres and most IKEA stores.
- We track energy consumption and outfitted all our IKEA stores and our shopping centres with LED lights, which consume 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- We now have more than 16,000 solar panels on rooftops of our IKEA stores and our shopping centres in the region, generating more than 5.5 million megawatt hours of renewable energy during 2017 alone.
- At our Toppen Shopping Centre, Johor, we will be introducing kitchen macerators (decompose food with solvent) underneath the sinks at all our Food & Beverage outlets to minimise the amount of food waste going to landfill.
- We also take social responsibility by developing long-term partnerships with non-profit groups in the communities where we operate and, during 2017, donated a total of SGD1.6 million to good causes. All our co-workers are entitled to a day of paid leave to donate their time to a charitable cause.
- In terms of IKEA’s sustainability aspirations, would doing away with plastic products be one of its eventual goals?
This has been something we have been working together with our partners, tenants, and even manufacturers of our IKEA products. This includes minimizing waste in our value chain and turning it into a resource by using it to make new products.