IKEA’s climate chief has said the company will not turn to offsets to meet its target of bringing its fuels to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The comments by Andreas Rangel Ahrens, head of climate for the Inter IKEA Group that links the furniture retailer with franchisers and suppliers, told the Global Maritime Forum’s annual summit that the goal is “drastic emissions reductions”.

“We will use no offsets,” he said, asked by moderator Nicholas Davies about IKEA’s reasons for its zero-carbon target.

The Swedish furniture giant’s zero-carbon fuels goal is part of a wider climate plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with capping global warming at 1.5C.

To reach that goal, it aims to cut its greenhouse gas footprint in half across its value chain by 2030.

In addition to being a part of the Getting to Zero Coalition, IKEA is a member of the Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (COZEV), an alliance of freight buyers who have signed onto an ambition for 100% zero-carbon fuels by 2040.

Ahrens acknowledged that for a company that sells furniture and Swedish meatballs, ocean transport is only a small portion of the overall carbon footprint.

“We need to address each and every part of our value chain,” he added, noting that reputation with customers is also important.

Setting so ambitious a goal, he said that now the hard part is figuring out how to get there, but he expressed optimism in the ability of people to work together to find problems, pointing to COZEV as an example.

The same day that he spoke, COZEV announced that it had added 10 new members, meaning 19 container shippers are on board with the coalition.

“I used to say that I’m a cynical person, but I’m an optimistic cynical person. I see all of the challenges that we have,” Ahrens said.

“But things like this is what keeps me optimistic, because in the challenges we find solutions, and COZEV is really one of those solutions.”