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IKEA Announces BCtA Commitment to Use Better Cotton

15 March 2013: The IKEA Group of Sweden announced a new commitment under the Business Call to Action (BCtA), a global initiative hosted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) that supports private sector efforts to fight poverty through business. Through its BCtA commitment, IKEA aims to provide consumers with sustainably farmed cotton that uses fewer chemicals, pesticides and water without charging consumers a premium.

IKEA used 160,000 tons of cotton in its products in 2012, making cotton its second most important raw material, after wood. Currently, 34% of IKEA's cotton is produced according to the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) standards. By only using cotton produced in line with BCI standards by 2015, IKEA hopes to increase worldwide demand for affordable, sustainable cotton. IKEA is a founding member of the BCI, which promotes continued, measurable improvements for the environment, economies of cotton-producing areas and farming communities by working with a wide range of stakeholders.

IKEA also aims to contribute to ensuring a more stable supply of affordable cotton by training farmers in Pakistan to produce and sell Better Cotton. Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group, said IKEA is pleased “to play our small part in progressing towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). By making sustainability affordable for everyone, we hope we can lead to the transformational change of markets and commodities, such as cotton.”

Sigrid Kaag, Assistant UNDP Administrator, welcomed IKEA's commitment, adding that the BCtA “can challenge and support corporations such as IKEA in new markets by contributing to more inclusive business models with a positive impact on people living in in poverty.” [UNDP Press Release[BCtA Website[BCI Website]