Ikea pledges to slash emissions from food

Ikea and the World Bank are among the latest organisations to commit to slashing food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030.

The pair joined a number of US universities and other organisations in making the Cool Food Pledge during this week’s United Nations Climate Action Summit.

The pledge is overseen by the World Resources Institute (WRI) which is aiming to build a movement to reduce the climate impacts of food in line with limiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius.

Signatories are encouraged to use simple nudges at their restaurants like changing menu layouts, using appetising language and offering more plant-focused meals to help consumers choose foods with lower carbon footprints.

“A lot of what we’re learning is that changing people’s behaviour to eat more sustainably is not hard stuff and it can lead to big impacts,” said WRI director Daniel Vennard. “For example, putting less-resource intensive plant-based dishes in a ‘vegetarian’ menu section reduces ordering of those dishes by 56%. Simply putting plant-based menu items in the same list as meat-heavy dishes can increase the chance a diner will choose that option.”

Ikea has an ambition to become climate positive by 2030. It said that joining the Cool Food Pledge was a way to hold itself accountable to hitting climate targets.

WRI is actively encouraging UK businesses to make the pledge in collaboration with the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

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