The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. This includes doing what we can to help create a world where we take better care of the environment, the earth’s resources, and each other. We know this continuous improvement is a never-ending job, and that we are sometimes part of the problem. But we work hard to be part of the solution.
IKEA’s position on sustainable wood sourcing
IKEA only accepts wood from high conservation value forest or intact natural forest if they are verified as responsibly managed.
As the world’s largest home furnishing retailer, we have a long-term perspective. Our aim is to supply affordable well-designed home furnishing products to our customers. For that reason we source globally. When you are sourcing globally, there is a lower amount of certified wood available. To put this into perspective, today only around 7% of the world’s managed forest areas are FSC certified so availability is an issue. This is why have decided to address the challenges as opposed to working around them.
Since IKEA is big and operate in many countries, we, through our demands, can influence the global timber trade in the countries where we source. Our long-term aim is to contribute to better forestry worldwide.
We have set up our own forestry organisation within IKEA that works with sourcing across 48 different countries. We have special projects in challenging areas such as China and Russia to help increase the amount of certified forests and improve the standards of forest management. In fact we partner with WWF, the global conservation organisation to combat illegal logging in these areas. Our partnership started in 2002 and of the 1.7 million hectares that are certified in China, 1.4 million have been achieved with technical support provided by WWF, funded by IKEA. It has also helped increase the certified forest areas in Russia from 3.2 million to over 25 million hectares in September 2010, making it the world’s second largest country by certified forest areas after Canada.
In a short space of time, we have come a long way with increasing the availability of FSC accredited wood. Over the last three years, we have increased our use of FSC accredited wood by 16% (so trebled the proportion). Currently 24% of the wood used in IKEA solid wood products comes from FSC-certified forests, and we expect to reach 35% in 2012.
IKEA UK has invested in a 12.3 Megawatt (MW) wind farm in Huntly, Aberdeenshire in North Scotland. The wind farm consists of seven turbines, each generating 1.75MW, producing a combined 24,700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. This is equivalent to the electricity consumption of five IKEA stores, or 30% of the company’s total electricity consumption in the UK.
This investment is IKEA UK’s first step in this area, and marks a further move to secure access to renewable energy production for the IKEA Group. The acquisition has increased the total number of wind turbines owned by the IKEA Group to 67.
John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK said: “The new IKEA wind farm is transforming words into action in a powerful way. It’s part of IKEA’s 100% renewable electricity plan that should be a beacon for other companies to follow. IKEA are providing a powerful voice to those who believe a better energy future for the world will come through energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. Together, governments, organizations and individuals can change the way the world generates and uses energy.”
We have also invested close to £4 million in fitting over 39,000 photovoltaic (solar) panels to the rooftops of 10 IKEA stores3 to turn sunshine into electricity. This will provide on average 5% of each store’s electricity needs, or almost enough energy to power around half of one of the company’s 18 UK based stores with solar energy alone.
Everything we do makes a difference
A home furnishing product goes through many stages from the time a product is designed to the day it’s no longer wanted by a customer. We call this the life cycle of a product. At IKEA we are making improvements at every stage, and adding them to a list – a never-ending list.
If every IKEA customer replaced an ordinary 60-watt bulb with an energy-saving bulb, it would be like taking 750,000 cars off the road in terms of CO2 emissions. Imagine all the good we could do together with more actions like this.
We can accomplish so much more on social and environmental improvements when we work with experienced partners than when we work alone. That’s why we cooperate with WWF, Save the Children, UNICEF and many others.