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The Ikea message: deconstructing Ikea's environmental discourse - Sustainability and profit

Ravn, Kenneth LU (2016) HEKK02 20152
Human Ecology
Department of Human Geography
Abstract
During the recent decades, concerns about the environment and climate change have progressively gained importance in political, social and economic arenas. Amid environmental conferences and international political negotiations, on the business side corporations have scrambled to find ways to secure themselves and even prosper on an environmentally aware consumer base.
This thesis examines how Ikea conceptualizes environmental problems and solutions. It will be argued that the company draws heavily on the theory of ecological modernization in its environmental policymaking. In short, ecological modernization is a set of principles that presupposes that resolving the environmental crisis can be done within the current capitalistic system.... (More)
During the recent decades, concerns about the environment and climate change have progressively gained importance in political, social and economic arenas. Amid environmental conferences and international political negotiations, on the business side corporations have scrambled to find ways to secure themselves and even prosper on an environmentally aware consumer base.
This thesis examines how Ikea conceptualizes environmental problems and solutions. It will be argued that the company draws heavily on the theory of ecological modernization in its environmental policymaking. In short, ecological modernization is a set of principles that presupposes that resolving the environmental crisis can be done within the current capitalistic system.
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the logic of the discourse of ecological modernization and Ikea's environmental policies in particular. Indications that this logic is fundamentally based on continuing consumption and economic growth will be presented.
By taking the standpoint that overconsumption is a cause of environmental degradation, a central question is how Ikea draws attention away from this issue. To this end, the theoretical approach of human ecology is employed and a critical discourse analysis is conducted on three Ikea documents that details the company's environmental policies and strategies.
The results show that Ikea refrain from formulating consumption as an issue of concern, and instead focuses on conceptualizing environmental solutions in innovation, technology, and unclear definitions of sustainability. Additionally, the results reveal that Ikea seeks to increase consumption (defined as sustainable) as part of its environmental policies. (Less)
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author
Ravn, Kenneth LU
supervisor
organization
course
HEKK02 20152
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Ikea, ecological modernization, sustainable development, consumption, discourse, critical discourse analysis, human ecology
language
English
id
8775418
date added to LUP
2016-06-16 12:25:32
date last changed
2016-06-16 12:25:32
@misc{8775418,
  abstract     = {During the recent decades, concerns about the environment and climate change have progressively gained importance in political, social and economic arenas. Amid environmental conferences and international political negotiations, on the business side corporations have scrambled to find ways to secure themselves and even prosper on an environmentally aware consumer base. 
This thesis examines how Ikea conceptualizes environmental problems and solutions. It will be argued that the company draws heavily on the theory of ecological modernization in its environmental policymaking. In short, ecological modernization is a set of principles that presupposes that resolving the environmental crisis can be done within the current capitalistic system. 
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the logic of the discourse of ecological modernization and Ikea's environmental policies in particular. Indications that this logic is fundamentally based on continuing consumption and economic growth will be presented. 
By taking the standpoint that overconsumption is a cause of environmental degradation, a central question is how Ikea draws attention away from this issue. To this end, the theoretical approach of human ecology is employed and a critical discourse analysis is conducted on three Ikea documents that details the company's environmental policies and strategies. 
The results show that Ikea refrain from formulating consumption as an issue of concern, and instead focuses on conceptualizing environmental solutions in innovation, technology, and unclear definitions of sustainability. Additionally, the results reveal that Ikea seeks to increase consumption (defined as sustainable) as part of its environmental policies.},
  author       = {Ravn, Kenneth},
  keyword      = {Ikea,ecological modernization,sustainable development,consumption,discourse,critical discourse analysis,human ecology},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Ikea message: deconstructing Ikea's environmental discourse - Sustainability and profit},
  year         = {2016},
}