Pia Heidenmark Cook, chief sustainability officer at Ingka Group

Changing of the guard: Ikea chief sustainability officer to step down

Pia Heidenmark Cook will step down as Ingka Group chief sustainability officer at the end of July 2021, the Ikea operator announced today.

After 13 years at the furniture retail group, where she has helped drive the corporate sustainability agenda worldwide, Cook has decided to pursue a non-executive career, helping support multiple businesses in their sustainability work.

She will continue to support Ingka Group’s activities around the COP26 UN climate change summit in an advisory role until December 2021. In doing so, she will also be around as her successor – Karen Pflug – joins the business.

Pflug will arrive at Ingka Group from Ikano Insight in the UK, where she has been the CEO since September 2019. Prior to that, she was global quality manager of Inter Ikea Group’s Range & Supply division.

The departing CSO said: “The challenges we face as humans and society, on topics such as climate change and inequality, have never been more important.

“I’m humbled to have been part of this fantastic group of enthusiastic doers over the last 13 years. If Ikea cannot transform into a people and planet positive brand, who can?”

She added: “I’m confident that Ikea is on the right track and I look forward to taking my next step, working with companies and organisations ready to make a conscious shift towards a people and planet positive mindset.”

Pflug commented: “The Ikea vision has been close to my heart since I began my Ikea adventure in 2014, so I am thrilled to once more be part of bringing it to life.

“To truly fulfil that vision, we must come together and look much further than the homes we live in, we must protect the planet we all share and those we share it with. The challenges are many, but the opportunities are even greater.”

Ingka Group announced last week that it is accelerating its investment in renewable energy by an additional €4 billion. Read the full story on Green Retail World.

[Image credit: Ingka Group]

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