oikosPublicationsCasesIKEA and the ‘Better Cotton Initiative’

IKEA and the ‘Better Cotton Initiative’

26 June 2014 | Cases | Resources, Supply Chain


The purpose of this case study is to discuss the relation between management and sustainability, paying specific attention to the issue of supply chain and innovation. IKEA, the world’s leading furniture retailer, has a long history of managing environmental and social issues. The company has developed internal procedures to assess the sustainability impact of new products (the IKEA Sustainability Product Scorecard) and has implemented a code of conduct to deal with social responsibility among suppliers (IWAY). The issue of cotton has emerged as a new challenge. To address this challenge, IKEA must adopt an innovative approach that goes directly to the source: the farmers. Through its partnership with a leading environmental NGO (the WWF), IKEA developed a pilot project aimed at influencing farmers in Pakistan and India to change the way they cultivate cotton. The initial results motivated the company to extend its pilot initiative with the goal of mainstreaming Better Cotton as a new market commodity. The development of a new strategy is required.

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Authors: Stefano Pogutz
Institution: Università Bocconi
Competition Year 2014
Place 2nd
Track Corporate Sustainability
Key Words Corporate sustainability, supply chain management, cotton industry
Courses strategic management, supply chain management, corporate sustainability, CSR
Target Audience MBAs. Graduate, Executive
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