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New partnership with Saahas Zero Waste

IKEA Social Entrepreneurship partnering with Saahas Zero Waste to transform the waste sector in India.

IKEA Social Entrepreneurship has partnered with Saahas Zero Waste, India on a pilot programme to transform, through three waste management micro-entrepreneurs, the informal waste sector in India. 

India faces a major problem of plastic recovery and management, which has a detrimental impact on the natural environment and the people working in the sector. Often waste collectors and workers in India are exploited, work in unsafe working conditions with instances of child labour, discrimination and harassment not uncommon. They are mostly women who come from impoverished socio-economic backgrounds and earn very little.

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Working conditions in the informal waste sector, India.
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The result of the programme will be that informal waste workers, through a self-sustaining business model, will for the first time receive formally recognised employment under decent work conditions. It will also see plastic waste collected in an end-to-end recovery which will be a source of secondary raw material for IKEA in the region and will provide detailed traceability to the plastics sourced.

The partnership will demonstrate an integrated approach to turning plastic waste into opportunities, with a focus on innovation and technology and supports the IKEA ambition to work with sustainable raw material and become a circular business by 2030.  Åsa Skogström Feldt, Managing Director, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship B.V says;

We are proud to partner with Saahas Zero Waste on this pilot programme to establish new learnings in waste management and the informal sector. We support their efforts to find a replicable model that could improve this sector when it comes to employment and decent work conditions.

Wilma Rodrigues, founder and CEO Saahas Zero Waste, added;

We are a social enterprise that looks to deliver quality services to our customers. We are also committed to delivering on environmental and social impact. Under the broad umbrella of Let's Transform, mainstreaming the informal sector so that they have access to minimum wages, social security and safe working conditions. Thanks to the support from IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, we now have a ground-level impact team that will not just develop a business plan for our micro-entrepreneurs but also handhold them through the day-to-day challenges.

IKEA is committed to sustainability and bringing a positive impact on people and the planet. We want to be a responsible stakeholder in society and play our part to solve topics like waste management and social inclusion. This pilot programme is just one small step towards this reality.

Read more about the partnership here