As we celebrate our partners’ amazing achievements in 2021, we’re also looking forward to more ground-breaking progress on people and planet in 2022.
Reason 1: Changing energy for good
More than 3 billion people worldwide lack reliable, affordable and modern energy. Yet to contain global warming, humanity must reduce not increase the use of oil, gas and coal. But through investment in renewable energy we can make it work for both people and planet. For the first time ever, the IKEA Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation joined by Bezos Earth Fund have come together to launch the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. With initial funding of $1.5 billion, the Global Alliance aims to unlock US$100 billion in public and private financing over the next 10 years. The programme plans to reach 1 billion people with reliable, renewable power and avoid 4 billion tons of carbon emissions. At the same time, it aims to create, enable or support more than 150 million jobs, driving economic growth over the next decade!
Reason 2: End to coal in sight
The EU’s 27 national leaders came together to increase the bloc’s joint commitment to reduce net emissions by At COP26, our partner the European Climate Foundation introduced an exciting new collaboration: the Coal Asset Transition Accelerator (CATA). This aims to speed up a fair transition to renewable energy and zero-carbon economies. In 2022, CATA will bring together policy experts, investors, donors and governments to create financial compensation models for coal plants in transition, tailored to the local conditions in each country. It also focuses on what coal plant closures mean for workers and their communities.
Reason 3: Food systems on the table
In 2021, the Global Food Systems Summit was the first of its kind to take on the incredible complexity of food systems in their entirety. At the summit, countries confronted the realities of balancing food production with climate action, affordable food with healthy diets, and stable food supplies with fair and open trade.
With our partner Outrage + Optimism, we hosted several podcasts to discuss the outcomes of the summit. The podcasts featured Dr David Nabarro, Food Systems Summit Dialogues, Strategic Director, Johan Rockström, Director Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research and Dr Gunhild A Stordalen, Founder & Executive Chair, EAT Forum. We intend to build on the success of this collaboration in 2022. Feast your ears on a food revolution – IKEA Foundation
Reason 4: First-ever Impact Bond
Lebanon and Jordan host more than two million refugees between them, most of whom come from Syria. This puts huge pressure on their economies and exacerbates social tensions. There’s also a lack of long-term funding for programmes to help refugees improve their livelihoods. That’s why the IKEA Foundation is supporting the first-ever Refugee Impact Bond, an innovative finance model where social investors provide capital to roll out a development programme. It’s a long-term solution that will help refugees and people from host communities to gain the skills they need to set up small enterprises and create safe and stable livelihoods.
Reason 5: Low-carbon healthcare
At the beginning of 2021, no national governments had committed to decarbonising their healthcare systems, which collectively contribute nearly 5% of net global greenhouse gas emissions. By the end of the year, more than 50 countries’ ministries of health—covering more than 35% of global healthcare emissions—had joined the COP26 Health Programme organised by the COP26 Presidency, the World Health Organisation and our partner Health Care Without Harm. Through the programme, governments commit to making their healthcare systems sustainable, low-carbon and climate resilient. Sixteen countries set targets for net zero. Looking forward to 2022, this gives hope that even the most complex systems can be transformed to help stem the rising tide of the climate crisis.
Reason 6: Making sure no-one is left behind
Countries across Europe are gradually moving away from fossil fuels towards an energy system based on renewables and high energy efficiency. To ensure everyone benefits, our partners including the Fair Energy Transition for All and the UK100 network give communities that are in danger of being left behind a voice. This helps climate policymakers deliver a future where all families enjoy a better everyday life. Going into 2022, these programmes show the positive influence local governments can have on a country’s emissions and the economic benefits of local climate action. They are paving the way for a socially just transition to net-zero economies by and for the many people.
Reason 7: Gathering evidence for green economy
The green economy and green entrepreneurship will play a critical role in creating jobs and spurring a fair and inclusive transition to a zero-carbon economy. But decision-makers don’t currently have enough evidence to identify opportunities and solutions to support green entrepreneurs effectively. A research partnership between the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and the IKEA Foundation will help fill these gaps. The partnership will provide knowledge and inspire collaboration to help ensure a smooth transition to a greener, more inclusive economy in which green entrepreneurs can thrive and create good jobs.
Reason 8: Bold ambition for green buildings
At COP26, our partner the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) announced that 44 more businesses had signed their updated Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. This sector-leading commitment on the “whole life” carbon emissions of buildings now has a total of 156 signatories, including 122 businesses and organisations, 28 cities and six states and regions. The businesses and organisations, which account for around 6.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, are already taking significant steps to decarbonise their portfolio operations. Looking forward to 2022, this represents a major increase in ambition towards a net-zero built environment.
Reason 9: Renewables help recovery
An emergency response grant to our long-term partner SELCO Foundation in 2021 supported their response to the devastating second wave of COVID-19 in India. SELCO and its partners used renewable energy to power essential healthcare facilities and help small farmers and entrepreneurs weather the crisis. The grant helped 500,000 people recover and build their resilience to crises in 2022 and beyond.
Reason 10: Benchmarking food and agriculture
Whilst pressure on the food sector is mounting, many major companies continue to operate business as usual. But to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we need transformational change from farm to fork. We are proud to support the first ever Food and Agriculture Benchmark, which measures and ranks 350 of the world’s most influential food and agriculture companies on their contributions to transforming our global food system.
The benchmark was launched at the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit. It aims to stimulate the most influential food and agriculture companies to apply sustainable business practices throughout their operations and to use their influence to encourage value chain partners to do the same. In 2022, more publicly available benchmarks will be published, looking at the Financial Industry and the impact of business on Nature and Biodiversity.
Reason 11: Circular waste model in India
A partnership between Enviu, Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (CAIF) and IKEA Foundation is laying the foundations for building a new circular textile waste model in India. The textile and apparel industries create huge amounts of waste and pollution, equal to the oil industry. India is one of the world’s largest textile producers and importers of used clothing but lacks an infrastructure to deal with textile waste. This leaves an estimated 4 million informal waste workers trapped in low-income, unreliable jobs. In 2022, the partnership will start building capacities and skills amongst these waste workers and creating successful circular enterprises to reclaim value from textile waste. This will reduce the environmental impact of the clothing industry while enabling the workers to increase their incomes and afford a better life
Reason 12: Zero emission trucks
Logistics operators from across Europe are calling for zero emission trucks and a rapid decarbonisation of the road freight sector. The European Clean Trucking Alliance (ECTA), supported by our partner European Climate Foundation, has grown to include over 30 members, including Inter IKEA group. In 2022, ECTA will release several position papers setting out key elements required in the revision of CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles and other EU legislation. At the same time, truck manufacturers are rethinking their assumptions. A few years ago, the industry said there was no alternative to diesel. Now manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, Scania and Volvo assume that 95% of all truck journeys can be covered by batteries. By 2030, half of all new trucks should be zero emission and by 2035 virtually all new trucks could be electric.
Reason 13: Global Methane Reduction Alliance
A truly equitable and sustainable energy transition requires the reduction of methane emissions globally and ambitious decarbonisation targets. That’s why the IKEA Foundation joined a first-of-its-kind global philanthropic alliance for action on methane. The Global Methane Reduction Alliance provides more than $200 million to drive innovation and ambition around methane emissions. At COP26, more than 100 countries announced their commitment to the Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% by the end of this decade. This will help ensure a future where all families can enjoy clean air, clean water and renewable energy
Reason 14: Cleaner air in Uttar Pradesh
The reopening of Delhi and other major cities after the severe wave of COVID-19 in India brought heavy air pollution. Our partner, the Clean Air Fund, led a campaign to fight air pollution, working closely with municipal corporations. This has led to the founding of a Project Management Unit within the regional office of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board. Going into 2022, this will increase the state’s capacity to manage local sources of pollution.
Reason 15: Sparking design innovations
Delivered with the support of Engineers Without Borders UK, the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge is a global, multi-disciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to help accelerate renewable energy access. University student teams from Bangladesh, India, Uganda and the UK won the top prizes. The IKEA Foundation is proud to support the challenge as it is an effective way to work together with innovators to make renewable energy more accessible to many communities more quickly, reducing carbon emissions.
Reason 16: Science Based Targets initiative grows
In November 2021, the IKEA Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund both stepped up to support the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) with an €18 million grant. The SBTi supports companies by validating credible emissions reductions targets. More than 2000 companies worldwide have already committed to set science-based targets – this figure has more than doubled in 2021. The initiative’s aim is to continue to exponentially increase the number of companies reducing emissions in line with the 1.5°C global temperature limit set by the Paris Agreement. This new grant will enable it to scale up its ground-breaking work to guide more companies towards zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 and beyond. SBTi Awarded $37 Million in Grants to Accelerate 1.5°C Strategy – ESG Today
Reason 17: Funding resilient value chains
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) have become anchor funders of Aceli Africa. They join the IKEA Foundation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and USAID’s Feed the Future initiative in funding this innovative market incentive facility. Aceli Africa aims to unlock private sector lending for agricultural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that practice circular and regenerative agriculture in East Africa. The new awards of $11.9M from the Dutch government and £7.5M from FCDO bring total donor commitments to $54M.In 2022, this additional investment will nurture African agricultural value chains that are inclusive, resilient and sustainable and help SMEs adapt to the impacts of COVID-19 and the climate crisis. https://aceliafrica.org/aceli-africa-lands-62m-in-international-donor-commitments/
Reason 18: Eating for the planet
There is growing academic evidence for the need to transform food systems. To translate this evidence for a wider audience, our partners Stockholm Resilience Centre and EAT Foundation joined hands with Now This media. Their videos shared knowledge and insights on how we can all eat in a way that is good for the planet. More than 3.5 million people have watched the videos to date.
Reason 19: Ambition loop on climate action
Ahead of COP26, more than 775 businesses signed a letter to G20 leaders, organised by the We Mean Business Coalition. The letter urged world leaders to go all in to keep the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal within reach by delivering a series of specific policy outcomes. These included an end to coal by 2030 in developed countries and 2040 in developing countries and ending fossil fuel subsidies immediately. It also called for leaders to deliver climate finance to developing nations and taking all necessary measures to cut emissions in half by 2030. The G20 meeting in Rome and COP26 saw significant progress towards delivering many of these policies. With ambitious regulation from governments, many more businesses are gaining the confidence to act on climate, cutting their emissions to align with the 1.5⁰C target. More than 1,000 companies have now committed to set science-based targets aligned with 1.5⁰C. The ambition loop between companies and governments is now absolutely clear. By working together, they can accelerate climate action, unlocking business leadership and policy ambition.
Reason 20: Renewable energy match-making
Many farmers in Africa see much of their crop go to waste as there is no way to keep the produce cool and fresh. At the same time, cooling technology powered by renewables means that cold storage facilities are available, but the companies making them still have a lot of work to do to find the right customers to serve. In 2022, our partner Carbon Trust is bringing these two groups together in the programme Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities to drive new opportunities. This will enable more businesses in rural Africa to harness renewable energy as a way of creating sustainable jobs and reducing poverty through economic growth and empowering women..
Reason 21: More zero emission vehicles
More promising news for this year. Our partner The European Climate Foundation shared the news that the entire VW Group wants to sell only e-cars in Europe by 2035 at the latest. Together with the claim of the city of Brussels, who wants to set up a clean-cars-only zone in 20235, we hope that this will become a city and car domino effect.
Reason 22: More finance for solar power
Our partner SunFunder helps small businesses get access to finance to invest in solar power. We are proud that SunFunder was awarded a special 10th anniversary edition of the UN Global Climate Action awards in 2021, for their innovative finance solutions to reduce energy poverty. They have been recognised as a winner, under the Financing for Climate Friendly Investment category, for their industry-leading track record of debt financing for solar energy in Africa and other emerging regions. 2022 will be another year full of opportunities to scale-up with impact.