Success story – IKEA case study

Project partners were very pleased to report substantial results after engagement with Ikea.

In Italy

In the first round of shop visits in December 2013 a number of partners visited IKEA stores as well as the online shop. This included Italian partner, Legambiente, in Padova. While the website performance was good, the store showed either format or placement issues with ovens, fridges and TVs. Following these visits, the results were sent to all IKEA national stores that were visited, including the manager at the Padova store. In December 2014, Legambiente were happy to report that following the second round of shop visits, the same store in Padova showed a complete compliance on all products available for sale. Following a letter to IKEA congratulating them on this improved compliance, Lagembiente were sent an internal guidance document by IKEA International, dating back to March 2014 (a few months after our first round of visits), stating that thanks to a renewed policy of attention to this topic and a round of internal training, IKEA Italy was now substantially compliant.

In Poland

Poland experienced a similar situation in the first round of inspections IKEA in Poland had only 11% of products labelled correctly. The MarketWatch partner FEWE wrote to the Coordinator for Sustainable Development at IKEA to explain where there were problems and how to rectify them.

FEWE was pleased to report in the 3rd round of inspections, that IKEA had 70% of products labelled correctly.

 

Compliance testing success story

  • The project tested a digital radio from Roberts Radio, a UK brand, which was found to consume higher than the 1.0W limit in standby. EST wrote to Roberts to report our findings. Roberts welcomed this information from the project and explained they were previously unaware of the issue. Roberts addressed this issue by making an “over the airwaves” update to the product, amending the internal software to reduce the standby power to below 1.0W. In addition, Roberts Radio reported that they were looking into making further improvements to the product’s AC adaptor to reduce power consumption to around 0.8W.
  • Compliance testing of an AEG fridge-freezer that measured the energy consumption to be 12% higher than the figure claimed on the label. AEG engaged strongly with the project and liaised with MarketWatch’s test lab to examine the test data. AEG requested to receive MarketWatch’s test samples and looked into the matter with their manufacturing facility. A thorough investigation was launched, and production and delivery were stopped while this took place. Customers were informed of the extra energy consumption and AEG informed the project they were looking into agreeing solutions with individual consumers over this issue. Where other products already manufactured were identified as affected by the issue causing higher consumption, AEG reported making corrective amendments to the energy labels of these appliances.

 

Collaboration with MSAs success story

9 out of the 10 partners established contact and a working relationship with the market surveillance authority within their countries. With some demonstrating great success:

  • Before the MarketWatch project began, the Danish Ecological Council and Danish Consumer Council were already in contact with the MSA, Danish Energy Agency. During the project, further regular exchanges led to discussions of different parameters for checking ecodesign and energy labelling, discussion of the results of shop visits, the presentation by the MSA of their upcoming shop checks, and discussion on future collaboration. The Danish partners’ sanctions of free riders proved to be a good supplementary measure to the MSAs’ enforcement work against those who do not comply with the regulations. The partners and the MSA had an agreement of a goal of a maximum of 10% non-compliance in all shops in Denmark in 2016, which resulted in the formation of a working group consisting of MSAs, NGOs, industry and retailers. There are planned future efforts to ensure it is coordinated to get the maximum amount of effect.
  • During the project the relationship between EST and the UK MSA, the NMRO, developed and dialogue was strengthened through regular meetings and exchanges. NMRO gave useful insight into how the MarketWatch project might fit in best with their existing work. NMRO were also very interested in the MarketWatch results from the in-store and online shop inspections for energy label display compliance. NMRO advised EST on some key principles to abide by when conducting market surveillance work, and helped to make sure that the product testing selection process was coordinated between them. Overall, EST disseminated a large volume of results and intelligence to NMRO during the project and the relationship developed is planned to continue in future collaboration between the two organisations.
  • The Czech partner SEVEn has turned the long term communication with their MSA into a concrete cooperation in the case of the Retailer Guidance – which was issued in the Czech language as a joint publication with the Czech MSA, SEI, under the agreement that the MSA inspectors would carry the guide with themselves during their shop monitoring visits and leave it with the retailer managers. It was guaranteed that the guide will be distributed to shops which are concerned with the proper energy label display issues. This cooperation was on top of the regular communication and exchange of activities concerning the product labelling in shops and product testing in laboratories.