Determined force to empower climate battle
In a world where the urgency of sustainable development is becoming increasingly evident, leaders are emerging from various sectors to champion transformative change. Simon Henzell-Thomas has taken on a new role that underlines his commitment to driving impactful change. We are pleased to introduce Simon Henzell-Thomas as a newly appointed Board Member of the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands.
Simon Henzell-Thomas is no stranger to the forefront of sustainable action. With a robust background at IKEA, the globally renowned Swedish home furnishing company, he is now playing an important role in shaping the company’s climate and nature agenda. At IKEA, the vision is clear: to create a better everyday life for people around the world. Simon’s role at Ingka Group, the largest IKEA franchisee, places him at the centre of the climate and nature agenda, driving ambitious goals for 2030 and 2050.
Collaboration for global influence
The motivation behind IKEA’s engagement with the UN Global Compact stems from a recognition of the complex challenges facing the world today. Simon Henzell-Thomas acknowledges the necessity of collaboration across sectors to effect rapid and meaningful change. Multinational businesses like IKEA recognize the potential of working alongside governments and the private sector to accelerate action toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Challenges such as climate change, nature loss and inequality require all businesses to step up and also to collaborate across complex systems to make change happen fast.”
Aligning with the SDGs at every turn
IKEA’s commitment to making a positive impact aligns seamlessly with many of the SDGs. Simon Henzell-Thomas highlights the resonating connection between IKEA’s sustainability strategy, “People & Planet Positive,” and key SDGs. Notably, Goal 13 (Climate Action) and Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) stand out due to IKEA’s immense responsibility to combat climate change and its dedication to becoming climate-positive by 2030.
Simon emphasizes that a just transition is vital to IKEA’s approach, ensuring that climate action goes hand in hand with addressing inequality and supporting communities. IKEA continues to pioneer innovative ways to achieve these goals within its operations.
Personal commitment, collective change
Simon Henzell-Thomas’ dedication extends beyond the professional realm. He practices what he preaches, making conscious choices in his personal life that reflect his commitment to the SDGs. His adoption of a flexitarian diet, prioritizing plant-based meals and sustainable protein sources, and his preference for eco-friendly transportation are testament to his belief that individual actions ripple into collective impact.
“We are in a situation where we need to spend less time on the ‘why’ and more time on the ‘how.’ Businesses need less evangelists and more solutionists.”
Steering towards a brighter future
Simon Henzell-Thomas’ decision to join the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands’ board was driven by his unwavering passion for the organization’s mission and values. As a seasoned leader, he brings a wealth of experience in public affairs and partnerships to the table. His approach is rooted in listening, understanding challenges, and fostering collaborations that drive positive change.
A message of guidance and hope
For organizations and young professionals seeking to integrate the SDGs into their business and personal lives, Simon Henzell-Thomas offers invaluable advice. He emphasizes the need to shift focus from “why” to “how,” channelling energy into actionable solutions. He advocates for a collaborative approach that bridges differences and avoids negativity, reminding us that the power to shape the future lies within our grasp.
In the journey toward a sustainable world, Simon Henzell-Thomas emerges as a beacon of hope and action. His role as a Board Member of the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands promises to catalyze transformative change, both within organizations and at the individual level. Through his leadership, commitment, and forward-thinking approach, Simon paves the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for all.
Global Director Climate & Nature, IKEA (Ingka Group)