We don't accept illegally felled wood, or wood harvested from intact natural forests. We're working with suppliers to improve their ability to trace the origin of the wood they use - a requirement for all suppliers of solid wood.
Our long-term goal is to source all wood for IKEA products from forests certified as responsibly managed. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is so far the only forest certification standard supported by IKEA. We also have our own forest specialists working in the field. They inform, share knowledge and trace timber back to its origins at suppliers. IKEA work together with WWF to promote responsible forestry and to
fight illegal logging.
NORDEN birch tables are a great example of how IKEA tries to get the best possible return from every tree trunk. Introduced in 1998, it was probably the first time anyone had thought of making furniture also from the knotty top part of the birch tree instead of burning it as firewood or grinding it for chipboard production.
The cotton in DVALA bed linen, called ”Better Cotton” is grown in a more environmentally-friendly way, using substantially less water, chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Not only that, the fabric is woven using 15% less cotton but still feels just as good as comparable bed linen.
Together with WWF, we are running Farmer Field Schools in Pakistan and India. Cotton farmers learn how to use water more efficiently and how to handle essential pesticides and artificial fertilisers in ways that are safer for both people and the environment. The Schools have generated positive results for sustainable cotton production – in Pakistan the average use of pesticides has dropped 48%, the use of fertilisers by 32% and the water use went down 40%. At the same time earnings for farmers have increased by 87%.
Our food is really tasty, but it does happen once in a while that some of it ends up as left-overs on a customer's plate. That doesn't mean it's thrown away. At some of our stores in Sweden, Norway and Denmark we grind up food leftovers in a mill and store them in a special tank. The food waste finds its way to a special treatment centre where it gets reused, as biogas to run buses on.
Though the use of centralized management systems IKEA France tries to reduce its use of fossil fuels each year – lights are turned off automatically by the system through extensive use of sensors. In addition, 10 IKEA France stores have solar panels supplying between 60 to 80% of warm water needs; six stores have heat pump systems covering all their heat and air conditioning needs. The store at Tourville-la-Riviére (Seine-Maritime) uses half the electricity of the average IKEA store using renewable energy, like geothermal pump, and energy-saving techniques.
IKEA and WWF work together to combat illegal logging and to increase the availability of wood from forests certified as responsibly managed. The co-operation, started in 2002, has contributed to doubling the certified forest areas in China. It has helped increase the certified forest areas in Russia from 3.3 million to 20 million hectares – making it the world’s second largest country by certified forest areas.
Versatile NÄSUM baskets are made from what most people would consider waste: remnants from banana trees after the harvest. Once a banana tree has produced its golden fruit, the trunk slowly dies. Instead of being thrown away, the trunk is cut into strips and left in the sun to dry. Once woven, NÄSUM is made durable with water-based lacquer.
Chestnut trees in Poland are gravely endangered due to the insect “Cameraria ohridella”, which destroys the trees. IKEA joined the “Poland Chestnut Tree Rescue Project”, two years ago, to help coordinate collection of fallen chestnuts by children, schools, kindergartens, IKEA customers and co-workers every autumn. The collected chestnuts are sold to a pharmaceutical company and the profit is used to purchase insecticide injections for the trees. Thanks to the IKEA involvement, the project became extremely popular and in 2008 almost 40 tons of chestnuts were collected. 372 trees have been covered by injections and thousands of trees have been treated without injections, through manual work like burning sick leaves.
All coffee sold and served at IKEA is UTZ Certified. That means that you can trace the bean all the way back to the plantations through a code on the packaging. UTZ Certified is an independent non-profit organisation that sets social and environmental standards for sustainable coffee growing and distribution.
IKEA Canada has partnered with Tree Canada (the largest nation-wide not-for-profit tree-planting organisation in Canada) since 1998, to plant 14,000 trees through the ”Pick a Tree, Plant a Tree” program. IKEA Canada makes a donation to Tree Canada based on our Christmas tree sales, and then in the spring each store market has a tree-planting event with their co-workers. These trees offset the same amount carbon dioxide as created by heating approximately 1,300 homes with electricity for the year.
IKEA Italy donates 3 Euro to national park-forestation activities for every Christmas tree that customers return to IKEA after the holidays. The trees are composted, and eventually return back to the earth.
Working together with ONF (Office national des forêt) IKEA France supports a project at the regional Nature Park du Pilat in the Loire for forest restoration. For each Christmas tree returned to the store for recycling, IKEA donates € 1 – over five years, € 1,250,000 have been invested in 30 local projects to improve forested areas or raise public awareness of the forests.