IKEA invests in Dutch mattress recycler and enters Indian market

Ikano Industry, a leading supplier of mattresses and related products to IKEA, joined Ingka Group and Renewi as shareholders of recycling company RetourMatras. Together they are paving the way to a circular mattress.

By 2030, IKEA wants to be 100% circular, meaning 100% of the raw materials used in products will be renewable or recycled. This includes replacing raw materials made from fossil fuels, such as foam in a mattress.

This is why in 2019 Ingka Group, through its investments arm, Ingka Investments and Renewi, a waste-to-product company, that gives new life to used materials, invested in the Dutch mattress recycler.

RetourMatras dismantles disposed mattresses and prepares the materials for reuse. Up to 90% of the materials are recovered and can then be used in new products.

In a new facility, RetourMatras will annually convert the foam from over 200,000 discarded mattresses into repolyol, the main building block for new foam. This circular breakthrough is the result of many years of research and development by Ikano Industry and showcases how cooperation along the value chain is key to move to a circular economy. With this innovation RetourMatras is the first company that manages to bring closed-loop recycling for PU foam from mattresses to scale.

Lukas Visser, Investment Manager, Ingka Investments, said: “At Ingka Investments we invest for the generations to come. We are keen to support RetourMatras in growing mattress recycling with the ambition of developing the materials for a circular mattress. Starting-up the repolyol production is the result of hard work across the value chain, a breakthrough innovation that powers closing the loop for mattresses. This is how we contribute to bring sustainability to the many.”

RetourMattas will open up two more new mattress dismantling facilities, including a first in Belgium and a fourth in the Netherlands, growing its recycling capacity to 1.5 million mattresses per year.

Alberic Pater, Business Development & Transformation Manager, IKEA Retail The Netherlands, commented: “With the added recycling capacity, we are able to offer mattress recycling to our customers closer to home and at lower costs. Moreover, with the new recycling facilities, we pave the way to achieving the national recycling target for mattresses.

“Through our investment in re-polyol production, we bring mattress recycling to a higher level. We presented a prototype of a circular mattress on the Dutch Design Week in 2019 with positive feedback from the public. We’re happy that the first steps towards a circular mattress are being taken on our home turf.”

Furthermore, Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group, (which also includes IKEA Retail and Ingka Investments), has taken its first step to expand into India with a major land acquisition in India.

The 47,833 sq m plot in Noida, Uttar Pradesh will be developed into an IKEA anchored retail destination, adding to Ingka Centres 45 existing Meeting Places around the globe.

The acquisition reinforces the Ingka Group’s long-term expansion plans in India. This announcement comes close on the heels of launching the second IKEA India store in Mumbai in December 2020. IKEA Hyderabad, which was the first store in India, has been open for two years and the company operates online in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.

Ingka Centres’ move to India is part of its global vision to expand into new markets with IKEA anchored destinations that deliver a powerful retail attraction and new experiences to reflect the needs of local communities. India will play a central role in Ingka Centres’ vision to shape Meeting Places with offerings that appeal to the ‘many people’.

Noida has been chosen as the perfect location for a new retail-led destination that will match the lifestyles of the fast-growing population across India’s National Capital Region. Located in Uttar Pradesh, 25 km from New Delhi, Noida is renowned for the quality of its infrastructure, open spaces and for being India’s greenest city. The site is close to the city centre of Noida, with excellent transport links.

Total volume of investment into the project is planned to be close to Rs. 5500 crores (above 600 million euro). The new development is expected to create more job opportunities, support infrastructure development, and the growth of organised retail and home furnishings sector in the region.

Cindy Andersen, Ingka Centres Managing Director, commented: “India is an exciting and dynamic market, and today’s acquisition is a key milestone in our strategic vision to transform the business in response to the changing retail environment. Millions of people live within easy reach of Noida and we want to build emotional connections with them, by bringing as much value as we possibly can to their lives and communities. We look forward to presenting our Meeting Place concept to this market, a concept built around local communities needs and which goes far beyond shopping.”

Ingka Centres’ Meeting Place concept is very different to the typical mall, providing a sustainable mixed-use destination that brings the ‘many people’ together for multiple reasons. Meeting Places are always IKEA anchored and are designed around the needs of local communities to bring value for customers, communities, and partners.

Peter Betzel, CEO and CSO, IKEA India said, “We are happy to announce the first IKEA store in Noida together with Ingka Centres. Delhi NCR is one of our most important markets in India and we will reach the many people with our beautiful, affordable, well designed and sustainable home furnishing products. This next step in our expansion is in line with IKEA’s ambition to meet 100 million people in India in the coming years.”