A man is operating a machine that moves heavy objects. He is loading logs onto the back of a truck.

Creating a sustainable IKEA value chain with IWAY

We believe that everything we do comes with the responsibility to create a positive impact on people, society and the planet. But we can only achieve this if our business partners share our vision and commitment to sustainability. That’s why we have IWAY, the IKEA code of conduct for suppliers.

What is IWAY?

IWAY is our supplier code of conduct for responsibly sourcing products, services, materials and components. It is a mandatory standard and sets clear expectations for environmental, social and working conditions, as well as animal welfare, for all suppliers and service providers that work with IKEA.

We’ve based IWAY on internationally recognised standards and principles for human rights, environmental protection and worker health and safety, as well as on our own IKEA values and legal compliance. It’s the foundation for our overall sustainability work, together with our direct suppliers and sub-contractors in the whole value chain.

The current version of the IWAY Standard, IWAY Standard 6, was introduced in September 2020 after an extensive revision involving many IKEA co-workers, as well as several suppliers, other multinational companies and non-governmental organisations. The improved features of the new generation of IWAY bring us one step further to our ambition of maintaining a people and planet positive value chain. It introduces such topics as biodiversity and conservation, animal welfare, and an increased focus on the competence development of workers.

A co-worker in a yellow safety vest drives a cleaning machine through an IKEA warehouse, surrounded by packed IKEA products.

A look at IWAY requirements

IWAY is structured around 10 principles that focus on animal welfare and different environmental and social topics.

IWAY principles:

  1. IWAY principles are supported by effective routines and open dialogue.
  2. Business is conducted lawfully and with integrity.
  3. Children are protected and opportunities for work, learning and family life are promoted.
  4. Fundamental labour rights are respected.
  5. Workers have time off work, are paid responsibly and have opportunities to develop competence.
  6. Workers’ health and safety are protected.
  7. Working and living conditions are suitable.
  8. The planet is protected.
  9. Resources, including water and waste, are managed in a sustainable and circular way.
  10. Animals live decent lives.

Each of the 10 IWAY Principles is, in turn, supported by IWAY requirements. If you want to learn more about the IWAY requirements, please read the IWAY Standard and respective IWAY Sections.

IWAY principles are based on internationally recognised standards and principles, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, among others.

With IWAY we create impact in 4 main areas:

  • Promote positive impacts on the environment.
  • Secure decent and meaningful employment for workers.
  • Respect children’s rights.
  • Improve the welfare of animals that are present in the IKEA value chain.
IWAY requirements are based on a 4-step staircase model: Must, Basic, Advanced and Excellent. IWAY Must and IWAY Basic are the minimum requirements which need to be in place for all suppliers and service providers who do business with IKEA. Together with our business partners, our ambition is to work towards continually improving requirements to reach IWAY Advanced and IWAY Excellent.

Keeping IWAY up-to-date

IWAY has been the base for much of our sustainability work since 2000 and we are continuously revising it to ensure that it is agile, relevant and effective, always reflecting global changes and the IKEA business reality.


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