Steve Howard

Chief Sustainability Officer

IKEA Group

Steve Howard is Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group and a member of its Executive Management Committee, a role he has held since January, 2011. He is responsible for the Company's sustainability strategy, environmental and social performance, the impact of its products.  Steve believes that sustainability will be one of the mega-trends that shape society and the business landscape this century. He is committed to developing innovative ways to make sustainability attractive and affordable for everyone.

Prior to IKEA, Steve was the founder and CEO of The Climate Group, an independent non-profit organisation working internationally with government and business leaders to cut global emissions and build a low carbon economy. He currently sits on the organisation's International Leadership Council. He is a member of Vantage Point Venture Partners Advisory Board, an Advisor to the Planetary Skin Institute and also, until recently, was Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Climate Change and a judge of the Virgin Earth Challenge.

Prior to The Climate Group, Steve spent 15 years advising major corporations, NGOs and UN bodies on the environment. He was a Partner at ERM where he led on Corporate Social Responsibility. Previously, Steve was the founding Director of the Global Forest and Trade Network for WWF International, where he led an international team advising 700 companies on forest and supply chain issues. He is also former chair of the UK Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) where he helped achieve far-reaching consensus on a national forest certification standard and was also founding chair of the Tropical Forest Trust.

Describing himself as a "professional optimist", Steve is a leading authority on sustainability and climate change and believes politicians and business leaders must tackle urgent environmental and economic challenges together to create new jobs and build a prosperous and clean economy.
Steve has a first-class honours degree in ecology and a PhD in environmental physics. Steve's achievements have been endorsed by Time Magazine and Scientific American. He was listed in the Independent on Sunday's top 100 UK environmentalists in 2008 and won Social Entrepreneur UK at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2009. In 2013 he became a TED speaker after taking the stage at the TEDGlobal opening session “Moments of Truth”. He is married with a son and is an occasional tri-athlete.