Tuesday, 20 March 2012

IKEA - hype and reality

On its internet page IKEA, the Swedish furnishings company, brags about its ethical management and its partnership with the WWF "to address climate change":

The hype:

Shared values

In the 21st century, the business winners will be those companies who look upon climate change as well as the need for reduced use of natural resources as a driver for innovation and a key to business development − including structuring business operations, setting targets and actively pursuing strategic partnerships. Both WWF and IKEA are convinced that through co-operation we will accomplish more.

The Climate Positive project is an umbrella for all the climate projects that IKEA and WWF are working on. It is mapping various opportunities for IKEA to create a general positive climate impact in society, not only by reducing its own emissions, but also by thinking and acting on how IKEA´s impact effects others.

The reality:

Spying is not a secret to IKEA France executives:

Several Ikea France executives have been asked to cooperate with investigators on charges on illegal surveillance of employees and customers.
This week, French watchdog newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné published condemning emails showing that several high executives at Ikea France, a branch of the Swedish furniture giant, knew about illegal surveillance practices.
Ikea France is said to have set up an entire system for surveying customers and employees, buying information gathered by the national police through a private security company. Questions have also been raised about where this security company got these secret files.
Ikea France apparently also searched for information on employees and customers through records of driving licenses and permits and through mobile phone operators.
CNIL, the French commission on data privacy, will continue the search for internal documents proving acts of illegal surveillance within the company. This morning, they visited several Ikea stores in the Paris area to examine computers and other information storage systems. They were also checking to see if information on personnel was being stored by the company.

this isn't the first complaint filed against the company that brags about its ethical management. American employees launched complaints in 2010. Also in 2010, a book was published recounting scandalous company practices.
In France, empoyees and union members have already said they will press charges.

Read the entire article here

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