Pia Cook – Former Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA

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Former CSO at IKEA shares learnings and experiences from doing a sustainability related transformation across the IKEA value chain.

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Pia Heidenmark Cook divides her time between senior advisor and non-executive director
assignments across Europe and the US. She sits on boards in international companies operating in the healthcare, sports retail, sustainable materials and restaurants sectors.

She is also Senior Advisor tohe private equity company Eurazeo’s Planetary Boundaries Impact Fund, and to Teneo (CEO Advisory Firm), where she works with the Sustainability team to advise clients on how to develop and operationalise sustainability strategies.

Prior, Pia worked at IKEA/Ingka Group for 13 years. The last five years (2017-2021) as Chief
Sustainability Officer (CSO). At IKEA she led the development and implementation of the IKEA People and Planet Positive strategy. During this time, IKEA ranked in the top three most sustainable brands and managed to decouple carbon dioxide emissions from its commercial growth across the value
chain. Pia has worked with sustainability topics since 1996, across academia, consulting, and business.

Pia has been recognised as one of the world’s top female leaders in sustainability and one of the
world’s leasing influences on climate change. In 2023, she was named Top 20 Sustainability Voices by
the CEO Magazine and received the Global 50 Women in Sustainability Awards by SustainabilityX®

An international speaker, Pia was also globally recognised for her TED talk, titled “How IKEA is Growing Business Whilst Shrinking Emissions” and in 2024, a survey by Sustainability Speaker’s Agency named her the most sought-after speaker on sustainability. Her first book, “Embedding
Sustainability” is released in July 2024. She is also mentoring young professional women in the sustainability space.

Pia Heidenmark Cook was named top 10 female leaders in sustainability by WBCSD in 2018, and top 5 influencers on climate change agenda by the Climate Group, as well as top 100 climate influencers on Twitter in 2020.

Pia Heidenmark Cook today enjoys a portfolio career, dividing her time between board, advisory and keynote speaking roles mainly across Europe and North America.

She is serving as non-executive director on boards across for-profit and non-profit organizations in healthcare, materials innovation, restaurants, and hospitality sectors.

She advises a few professional services and private equity firms on sustainability, and she is also a frequent keynote speaker/lecturer on sustainability and business transformation at e.g., Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership, INSEAD, Boards Impact Forum and ESG/Climate Competent Boards’ Executive Training in addition to a wide variety of corporate events.

Pia held the position of Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) at IKEA/Ingka Group between 2017-2021, and served as senior advisor post leaving the company.

Pia Heindenmark Keynote Speaker

Pia joined IKEA in 2008 and held several senior sustainability positions at the company, and for the last 8 years she was member of the Executive Retail Management Team, the largest business division.

During her time as CSO, Pia led a team of sustainability professionals in the global office, as well as sustainability experts integrated across the Retail, Shopping Centre and Customer Fulfilment business across 30 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America.

IKEA is the world’s largest home furnishing retailer aiming to become a people and planet positive business.

In 2021, the total IKEA climate footprint decreased by almost 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents, in absolute terms compared to baseline FY16, a reduction of 5.8%, while IKEA sales surpassed previous highs.

This was the 3d consecutive year of climate footprint reductions despite increasing sales, meaning IKEA is on track to meet its 2030 climate positive goals.

For several years, ending in 2017, Pia served as co-chair of REAP, Retailers Environmental Action Programme, together with the EU Commission.

Prior to IKEA, Pia worked as Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility at the Rezidor Hotel Group, operator of hotel brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn (300+ hotels in 50+ countries).

During this period, Pia chaired the tourism branch of Prince of Wales Business Leader’s Forum, a membership organization for all major international hotel brands.

Pia holds both a Technical Licentiate degree and a M.Sc. in Environmental Management, from the University of Lund, Sweden, and a M.Sc. in International Business Administration and Economics from Uppsala University, Sweden. More recently a degree from the International Directors Programme at INSEAD.

Pia has worked with, lectured and studied CSR/sustainability related topics since 1996, across academia, consultancy and business.