Our view on forestry
Wood is the material most associated with our IKEA brand and is an essential part of our design heritage. It is an excellent material from a design, quality and environmental perspective, provided that it comes from responsibly managed forests.
At IKEA we love wood and we love forests. In FY19 we used approximately 23 million cubic metres of roundwood, which is close to 1% of the world’s industrial roundwood production. Wood is a beautiful, renewable and recyclable material. With 60% of our sales connected to wood based products, we design our products to make smartest use of the material, using the wood in ways which minimises waste and optimises the material to make more products from less material. As a large user of wood, sourcing from over 50 countries, the IKEA business can have a significant impact on the world’s forests and the timber industry. Therefore, we have the ability – and responsibility – to influence not only how wood is sourced but also how forests are managed.
Forests are vital for life on Earth. If managed responsibly, they can supply wood and food, while regulating the climate and providing homes for diverse species. However, the world’s forests are experiencing increased pressure from the expansion of agriculture, unsustainable logging and the increasing development of infrastructure.
At IKEA, we place responsible forest management at the core of our business. We work to ensure that all wood used in our products comes from more sustainable sources. We also partner with other organisations on projects to help eliminate forest degradation and deforestation and promote the importance of responsible forest management beyond our own material needs. Working this way, this is what we call being Forest Positive.
For many years we have worked with others to increase the supply of wood from responsibly managed forests and our company is one of the founding members of the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™). By the end of 2020 we want all our wood to come from more sustainable sources, defined as FSC-certified or recycled wood. We are progressing positively towards our goal – at the end of FY19, 91% of our wood is from more sustainable sources. For the countries where there are challenges with responsible forest management or where there has been a history of bad forestry practice, we secured 100% of wood from more sustainable sources in 2017.
All of the wood used in IKEA products is sourced in compliance with the Forestry Section of the IKEA IWAY Standard, our Supplier Code of Conduct. It sets out the minimum environmental and social standards expected from our suppliers, including compliance with local and international laws. Wood Supply and Forestry teams working across the globe are responsible for ensuring that the wood used in IKEA products is sourced in the correct way. If a supplier does not meet the basic IKEA requirements, deliveries to IKEA will be suspended until compliance is reached. If compliance is not achieved, IKEA will terminate the business with the supplier as it is crucial we do not compromise our values.
At IKEA, we believe FSC is currently the most credible forest certification available. The certification covers much more than just logging practices – it also accounts for the social and economic well-being of workers and local communities depending on the forest, environmental matters, transparency and inclusivity in decision making. The FSC certification aims to ensure a balanced, equal voting, cooperation between social, environmental and economic stakeholders. The chain of custody system ensures that the wood meets the requirements of the certification from the forest to the final product. FSC requirements vary from country to country depending on the type of forest, local conditions and stakeholder interests. However, they are all based on internationally recognised principles for responsible forest management.
There are a number of wood certification systems on the market but the only one that is acknowledged by IKEA as a more sustainable source today is FSC. IKEA sees a few other certification organisations as valued partners, and wants to contribute to the development of these certification schemes. We believe that a few of them have great potential to further develop in order to gain sufficient stakeholder recognition, and to qualify for the IKEA criteria for more sustainable sources.
Being Forest Positive is about going beyond our needs for the wood we use in our products. Together with partners such as WWF, Rainforest Alliance, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and others, we work on projects which promote the importance of responsible forestry methods to make it an industry norm.
Working together with WWF, we are promoting responsible forest management, good governance, and transparency in the global timber trade. Together we have protected areas and improved forest management practices across Europe and Asia, resulting in an increased FSC-certified forest area equivalent to the size of Germany. To learn more about the ongoing work of the partnership, read our latest report called A Forest Partnership for Change.