Skip to main content

Bamboo and its many sustainability benefits

Bamboo has many uses. When produced and used in in the right way bamboo has many possible environmental benefits. We are increasingly using it as a raw material in IKEA products.

The hands of a weaver sitting down hand-weaving a bamboo lattice from long, thin strands of bamboo.

Why we love bamboo

Bamboo is renewable, recyclable and durable – it’s a great material for many well-used products. Its strength also means that structural elements and boards can be made thin, so we can use less material per product than with other materials, natural resources are saved, and transport costs can be reduced.

Hundreds of bamboo rods drying outdoors on shelves. The shelves on which they are drying are also made of bamboo.

That despite its size, bamboo is not a tree but actually a grass.

Green in every way

We believe that climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. Bamboo is a fast, naturally re-growing grass which rarely needs to be replanted once cut down. Young, green bamboo forests can help mitigate climate change since they bind CO₂ effectively as they grow.

An outdoor pile of recently sawn, green bamboo stalks viewed from their ends. One of them broken in half.
KNIXHULT table lamp with a woven bamboo shade, next to a small terracotta plant pot containing a seedling with three leaves.
    Science shows that bamboo can help control erosion, filter CO₂ out of the air and produce oxygen with its high growth rate.

    Aurora BossiSustainability Manager, IKEA

    Bamboo facts

    • Grows in a wide variety of environments and is adaptable and flexible
    • Generally doesn’t require fertilisers or irrigation
    • Grows extremely fast
    • Rarely needs replanting
    • Protects the land where it grows
    Two SINNERLIG lamps hanging above a selection of dark green, brown and grey tableware with a pine tree in the background.

    Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and as a young plant can grow up to one meter per day.

    How IKEA uses bamboo

    IKEA products that feature bamboo are mainly made from two parts of the plant - the bottom and the middle. Lamellae are used for panels in accessories and furniture, and wickers are used for handicraft techniques such as rolling and weaving. Below are some examples of IKEA products made from bamboo.

    NORDISKA small wardrobe containing some folded towels, some storage boxes and a couple of hanging garments.
    The hands of a person using APTITLIG bamboo chopping board and a large kitchen knife to slice a zucchini.
    Three DRAGAN boxes in different sizes on a bathroom shelf. In them are various toiletries and some toothbrushes.
    Two KNIXHULT pendant lamps in a dining room. In the background are a bunch of flowers and a shelving unit full of tableware.
    SALUDING laundry basket with a white towel hanging over the top. Beside it is a bamboo shelving unit.
    A FULLSPÄCKAD serving tray loaded with various biscuits and muffins as well as some napkins. In the background is a teapot.
    TENHULT step stool upon which is a glass of water and wooden bowl containing a book, a wooden ring and some dried leaves.
    A BULLIG box filled with LP’s on the floor in front of a shelving unit. The shelves are filled with more BULLIG boxes.
    KÅSEBERGA cool basket made in woven bamboo and a cotton inside holding different vegetables, placed on a sandy beach.

    There are 1,200 bamboo species in the world. But don’t worry, pandas don’t live where our bamboo is sourced.

    Claims made on this the page come from the paper Yannick Kuehl, Giles Henley and Lou Yiping: “The Climate Change Challenge and Bamboo: Mitigation and Adaption”, INBAR working paper no 65.

    Forest Positive Agenda 2030

    As pressure on the world’s forests is increasing, more remains to be done. To learn about our Forest Positive Agenda for 2030 – where we will work together with others to enhance biodiversity, support the livelihoods of people who depend on the forest and mitigate climate change.

    Learn more on the IKEA global brand site