Partnership story

Archived content.

IKEA Social Initiative


For more than 10 years, IKEA has been a key partner, contributing to UNICEF’s work through strategic social investments, cause-related marketing promotions, sales of UNICEF Greeting Cards, in-kind assistance and national-level fundraising and promotional activities by IKEA customers and employees around the world.

But what makes IKEA Social Initiative a true partner, is the company’s deep commitment to social responsibility and their direct engagement with issues affecting children. They have truly joined with UNICEF to tackle issues like child labor at their root causes.

The largest corporate cash donor to UNICEF, IKEA Social Initiative has committed more than $180 million in cash and in-kind donations to UNICEF’s programmes to save and improve the lives of children and their families.

Corporate Engagement
IKEA Social Initiative is committed to promote the rights of every child to a healthy, secure childhood and access to quality education. It was formed in 2005 to address the company’s commitment to investments in social programmes on a global level. What once started as IKEA’s fight against child labour in the supply chain has developed into a broad commitment ‘to create a better everyday life for the many’ children.

The IKEA Social Initiative focuses on a child’s right to a healthy and secure childhood with access to quality education and invests in a range of programmes with a holistic approach to create a substantial and lasting change in the lives of children and women by improving their health, enabling access to a quality education for children, and empowering women to create a better future for themselves and their communities. IKEA Social Initiative commitments are targeted on South Asia, and especially India, where the needs of children and women are great, and where IKEA has long business experience.

Long-Term Investment: UNICEF India & IKEA Social Initiative
A further demonstration of their commitment to social responsibility is IKEA Social Initiative’s long-term and integrated investment strategy in UNICEF programs in India. The partnership between the IKEA Social Initiative and UNICEF India Country Office started in 2000, with a strategy focusing on the promotion of the economic and social empowerment of women and children’s rights to education, survival, development, protection and participation in the carpet belt region of India.

Building on the work that has already been done IKEA Social Initiative and UNICEF in India recently signed an additional 5-year agreement to support Child Survival and Protection programs with a pledge of more than US$100 million.

Leveraging a global network: ‘€1 is a fortune!’
Adding yet another layer to the partnership, IKEA Social Initiative also uses its global reach to engage consumers with children’s issues through advocacy campaigns in their stores and to conduct cause-related marketing campaigns in support of UNICEF. Since 2003, IKEA Social Initiative stores around the world have joined together to make a donation for each soft toy sold during the holiday season. Over the past five years, this program has generated $14 million in support of UNICEF education programs, thereby helping to provide a better future for countless children around the world. Learn more… ‘€1 is a fortune!’

In-Kind Assistance
In addition to its global and national contributions, IKEA Social Initiative supports UNICEF programs through in-kind assistance. IKEA Social Initiative donated 18,000 tables for use in schools and health centers in Liberia and Burundi, thousands of much needed quilts to tsunami survivors in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, 45,000 baby blankets for survivors of the Pakistan earthquake and 5,000 bed sheets, 20,000 bath towels, 10,242 sleeping bags, 7,000 school bags and 30,000 bowls to survivors of the China earthquake.

Emergency Response and Rehabilitation
In an emergency, IKEA Social Initiative supports a two-pronged approach by first helping during the initial phase of emergencies with donations of products, then investing in mid-term/long-term recovery and rehabilitation efforts. Most recently, in the early days following the 2008 earthquake in the Gansu province of China, IKEA responded to UNICEF with the provision of immediate needs including bed sheets, towels, sleeping bags, school bags and bowls valued at US$865,000. The IKEA Social Initiative is now investing in excess of US$4.2million to programmes addressing the urgent needs of the earthquake-affected children and communities, namely providing quality education and access to safe drinking water and latrines to the most vulnerable. Nearly 10,000 earthquake-affected boys and girls between the ages of 6 – 11 will benefit through provision of safe and stimulating learning spaces, clean water, and hygienic/sanitary facilities. Learn more about IKEA Social Initiative in China…

IKEA Social Initiative support to UNICEF emergency programmes has exceeded US$10million since 2005, which included a donation 344,000 quilts to the 2005 Pakistan earthquake in Kashmir; early childhood development kits for Iraq, and cash and in-kind support to the 2004 Tsunami-affected countries of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Maldives.

About IKEA and IKEA Social Initiative
IKEA is a global retailer of home furnishings established in 1943. Its mission focuses on good product design and function at affordable prices. IKEA is highly committed to Corporate Social Responsibility and is one of the industry pioneers in establishing and monitoring codes of conduct and standards of operation in its supply chain.

The IKEA Social Initiative, established in 2005, manages IKEA’s social involvement on a global level. The mission is to improve the rights and life opportunities of the many children. The main partners are the two leading global child-right organisations; UNICEF and Save the Children. IKEA Social Initiative invests in a range of programs with a holistic approach, aiming to create substantial and lasting results.