IKEA is doing its part to reduce return waste. The Swedish furniture and home retailer recently announced a new partnership with the return optimization provider Optoro—and the results may just change the planet.

If you’re not sure how returns impact the environment, think about what happens to items that can’t return to store shelves, require extra packaging or are transported from one location to another. While a return here and there may not seem like a major problem, over time (and with the high volume of returns in the U.S. retail market) unwanted products can fill landfills and contribute to corporate carbon footprints.

The new collab between IKEA and Optoro seeks to remedy this situation. Javier Quiñones, President & Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA Retail U.S,, said in a press release, “We’re on a mission to become a circular business by 2030, and we need partners like Optoro who can help us achieve our goals.” Quiñones continued, “Optoro’s solution will enable us to eliminate much of the waste created in the reverse supply chain, from minimizing the carbon emissions released in return shipping to finding the best next homes for returned items.”

Tobin Moore, CEO and cofounder of Optoro, added, “IKEA shares our mission of looking to innovation and technology to build the circular economy. Through our work together, we will be able to make an even larger impact on reducing waste from returns, while also improving the customer experience to help fuel ecommerce growth.”

IKEA plans to implement Optoro’s technology in 10 distribution centers, 50 retail stores and the Customer Support Center in the United States.

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Courtesy of IKEA

 

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