Collaborating with IKEA Retail (Ingka Group) to become people and planet positive

13 Jan 2020

In 2019 we worked with IKEA Retail (Ingka Group) to deliver ONE HOME, ONE PLANET (OHOP) at one of their leading sustainable stores in Kaarst, Germany. The event is part of the company’s ambitious strategy to become people and planet positive by 2030.

OHOP is an action-focused event that aims to shape and influence the sustainable future of retail, by exploring how retail can inspire one billion people to live a better life within the limits of the planet.

In April 2019, OHOP gathered more than 200 sustainability leaders and pioneers. Over two days, they shared ideas and collaborated on solutions to make sustainable and healthy living affordable and accessible to as many people as possible; becoming circular and climate-positive; and moving from inequality to being truly fair and equal.

We caught up with Henriette Dalby, who managed Xynteo’s delivery of OHOP 2019, and Anette Solvang Bergersen, who will lead Xynteo’s design and delivery of OHOP 2020, on our work to support IKEA Retail (Ingka Group) in reaching its goals. 

Xynteo Ikea One Home One Planet
OHOP 2019 gathered more than 200 leaders to advance a sustainable future for retail.

How did we collaborate with IKEA Retail in 2019?

Henriette: We rolled up our sleeves with the IKEA Retail team, including CEO Jesper Brodin and his leadership team, to design and deliver the OHOP event concept, programme and sessions, leveraging our unique network, and to facilitate open innovation working sessions using our Xynteo methods and tools. 

What was the experience like at OHOP in Kaarst, Germany?

Henriette: It was a great experience, and we were stunned by the turnout and output of the event! With ONE HOME, ONE PLANET, IKEA Retail started something they’ve never done before, and it was a true privilege to work alongside them on this journey. 

What made it extra special was how we delivered OHOP in the IKEA store showrooms - in their kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms, with customers shopping around us. A visit to IKEA will never be the same again!

In the post-event survey, 100% of participants said they would gladly attend the event again and 98% rated their overall experience as “very good” or “excellent” – a result we’re obviously super proud about!

How did we deploy Xynteo’s methods and tools?

Xynteo IKEA One Home One Planet
"With ONE HOME, ONE PLANET, IKEA Retail started something they’ve never done before", Henriette Dalby, OHOP Project Manager.

Henriette: The design of OHOP happened to closely mimic our own flagship event, the Xynteo Exchange – with three modules The Town Hall, The Action Space and The CoLabs (collaboration labs) similar to the Xynteo Exchange Square, Marketplace and Studios.

To leverage the participants’ diversity in perspectives, skills and insights, the attendees were split into active working sessions. Led by 15 Xynteo facilitators, they worked on nine solutions workstreams at two different levels of maturity:

  • Generation of new concept solutions – leveraging our ideation toolkit, including systems mapping.
  • Bringing to life existing ideas or scaling up running solutions – leveraging our acceleration toolkit, including user journey mapping.

What concrete results did IKEA Retail get from OHOP 2019?

Henriette: The collaboration sessions at OHOP 2019 validated existing strategies, while challenging IKEA Retail’s thinking on certain topics. This led to further development of some of their ‘people and planet positive’ initiatives, including: 

  • Jobs for migrants and refugees: It set the base for a framework on how to work with refugees, create value for host communities and support skills development.
  • Social entrepreneurs: It scoped the need for developing a framework for social entrepreneurs which will be launched in 2020.
  • Gig economy: It gave direct inputs to the risks and opportunities and confirmed the need to move forward with a new type of approach for working with service platforms. This has been taken forward into the development of new potential requirements for service platforms partners.
  • Measuring impact: The discussions helped frame the development of an internal measurement tool and the first version of the 4P’s tool (impact on people, planet, profit and perception), launched in October 2019.
  • Innovation projects: We explored how new business models can allow people to live sustainably without depleting the planet’s resources. OHOP confirmed that we were on the right track and some of the input has been integrated into the clean energy, urban farming and circular tests that will be conducted in the markets during 2020.

Will you take the same approach for OHOP 2020?

Xynteo IKEA One Home One Planet
The upcoming OHOP in 2020 will build on the success of the 2019 event.

Anette: Largely yes, we are keen to build on the success of 2019. In addition, we are currently working on a few key progressions. In line with Xynteo’s increased focus on advancing existing initiatives with the potential to scale, the collaboration sessions will be more “acceleration” focused than ideation focused in 2020. 

An important element in achieving this is the increased participation from across IKEA Retail. While OHOP 2019 was largely focused on external participants, in 2020 almost a third will be senior leaders from across the company. The participation is an important signal of the commitment from across the organisation to reach their 2030 goals. 

What results do you expect IKEA Retail to see from its partnership with Xynteo in 2020?

Anette: Ultimately, we hope that our approach and close collaboration with IKEA Retail will result in an achievable pathway to impact. The topics that we will focus on in the CoLabs have been nominated internally by people who are motivated to see through the successful implementation of the projects. The aim is not to solve these sticky problems in three days, but to create the right environment for IKEA Retail's people and planet positive strategy to be achievable by 2030. 

Xynteo IKEA One Home One Planet
IKEA Retail is committed to balancing economic growth and positive social impact with environmental protection and regeneration.

Read more about IKEA Retail’s strategy to make sustainable and healthy living affordable and accessible; become circular and climate positive; and fair and equal here. 

In March 2020 ONE HOME, ONE PLANET will take place at IKEA Greenwich, IKEA's leading sustainable store and the UK’s most sustainable retail space. With its renewable energy from solar panels, LED lighting, rainwater harvesting and renewable construction areas (amongst many other features!), the building has “sustainability built into its DNA”.

At Xynteo we’re thrilled to contribute to IKEA Retail’s journey towards becoming people and planet positive by 2030!