Corporate Responsible Bragging: IKEA is Even Greener than It Seems

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Is IKEA just another big box store trying to get good press with environmental initiatives, a.k.a. PR campaigns? No, according to a Grist interview with IKEA’s sustainability director, Thomas Bergmark. Actually, the company might not even be tooting its horn enough. Grist‘s David Roberts sought out Bergmark after the company announced its “bag the plastic bag” campaign last week. (IKEA will charge shoppers a nickel for the bags that were once free and 59 cents for a reusable, classic blue shopping bag. Benefits go to the non-profit American Forests).

If the campaign seems just cosmetic, the interview reveals deeper green business practices that IKEA doesn’t advertise. The company will increase energy efficiency across the board by 15 percent by 2009 and will also increase use of renewable energy in all stores. On the production side, IKEA requires all suppliers to abide by a code of social and environmental conduct.

“We’re definitely not the company that wants to ring the big bell and do a lot of heavy marketing,” Bergmark said. Well, why not? Why IKEA doesn’t market its environmental responsibility beyond this flimsy bag campaign is a mystery. Do shoppers really not care or understand sustainability enough for such marketing to boost sales?

— Rose Miller

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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