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Andreas Ahrens, Head of Climate, Inter IKEA Group

Andreas Ahrens

What will you be discussing at The Economist’s Climate Risk Summit?

The impact we already see and the impact we foresee, and the exponential risks involved if we fail to take action and really work towards mitigating climate risks.

What’s the one thought you would like attendees to take away with them from the Climate Risk Summit?

That we know what we need to do. Now we need to accelerate action on all levels, business and politics. We don’t need any more meetings to discuss strategies or to discuss what to discuss in the next meeting. 

What are the biggest risks facing businesses when it comes to facing/dealing with climate change?

There is not ‘one’ biggest risk. There are a range of scenarios of varying degrees of negative impact – many of which will happen regardless. Remember that we are at 1 degree global warming already and very little has been implemented in reality yet. But there are also opportunities for businesses to change. Change will have to come, the only question is how quick we are at adopting measures. Businesses that are early in the change cycle will have huge potential to gain market share and build brand reputation. 

How has Inter IKEA Group’sattitude towards the management of climate risks changed in the last few years?

We have full buy in and support from our CEO Torbjörn Lööf – and that’s where it starts. In IKEA there is a massive change in awareness and more importantly in the drive to change how we approach our business and how we do business. It can be seen in everything from our rapidly growing offering of plant-based foods to how we work with design and production to become circular. Changing the supply chain in a business as big as ours will take time, but we have started the journey to become climate positive by 2030. 

How can diverse stakeholders, governments, the private sector, academics and nonprofits more effectively collaborate to reach climate-related goals? 

It is critical that we a take a holistic approach to climate challenges. We need a range of actions and many are interdependent. Cooperation, effective financing and public-private partnerships are critical.