IKEA and the ‘Better Cotton Initiative’


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 Year2014
TrackCorporate Sustainability
Key WordsCorporate sustainability, supply chain management, cotton industry
Coursesstrategic management, supply chain management, corporate sustainability, CSR
Target AudienceMBAs. Graduate, Executive
Purchase InformationThis case is part of the oikos free case collection. Download a free online copy below. If you are a faculty member and you are interested in teaching this case, you can request a free teaching note by sending us an email to freecase@oikosinternational.org
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posted June 26, 2014

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