Wood is the material most commonly associated with IKEA furniture, and for good reasons. It’s renewable, recyclable, durable, ages beautifully and it is an important part of our Scandinavian design heritage. At IKEA we believe that sourced in a responsible way, wood is a key change driver for climate mitigation. In 2012, we set a goal that by 2020 our wood would be from more sustainable sources. We are happy to announce that we have reached this goal and today, more than 98% of the wood used for IKEA products is either FSC-certified or recycled.
For product developer Sara Åberg and her colleagues, it was never considered to just make a new kitchen front in a new color. They wanted to use new insights regarding both quality and sustainability. "Technology is constantly developing and now we are already seeing the next generation of foil made in recycled PET plastic, and it’s even more scratch-resistant," says Sara.
We have a strong belief that many small steps together form great leaps towards more sustainable products. One was that the team managed to reduce the amount of wood in the particle board of the front without compromising on quality – BODARP passes the same tough tests as all other IKEA fronts. "The fact that it’s 10-15% lighter than a standard front may not sound like a lot, but since we at IKEA manufacture so many kitchens, it means quite a decrease in the number of trees which are felled", Sara explains.
It was not just the material that the team returned to, even the supplier was the same – for several reasons. "They have extensive competence with kitchen fronts and only use electricity from renewable sources, such as solar, wind, water and wood scraps from production." To secure the production, one more supplier was needed, and now it was obvious to the team to have renewable electricity set as a standard for the entire production chain. Sara is pleased with all the important progress that the team succeeded in accomplishing – but adds: “It’s also a very nice kitchen front that you can personalize as you like. Classic or modern – it’s up to you."
Forests contribute to maintaining balance in the atmosphere, purify the air that we breathe and are part of the water cycle. They nourish wildlife biodiversity and provide homes for indigenous communities who depend on forests for their livelihoods. 90% of plant and animal species living on the planet need forests to survive. They provide sources of food, fuel, timber and many other ecosystem services that we rely upon. Sourcing approximately 19 million m3 of roundwood per year from some 50 countries, IKEA has a significant impact on the world’s forests and the timber industry and a huge responsibility to positively influence how wood is sourced. Responsible wood sourcing and forest management ensure that the needs of people dependent on forests are met, that businesses can work sustainably, that forest ecosystems are protected and biodiversity is enhanced.
At IKEA, we work with strict industry standards to promote responsible forestry. We don’t allow any wood in our supply chain from forest areas that are illegal or contain high conservation values or from forest areas with social conflict. Before starting to work with IKEA, suppliers must demonstrate that they meet IKEA critical requirements on wood sourcing. IKEA requires all suppliers to source wood from more sustainable sources (FSC-certified or recycled wood). All suppliers are audited regularly and non-compliant suppliers are required to implement immediate corrective actions. By working together with our suppliers, we are proud to announce that we have reached our more sustainable sources goal, which we set out to achieve by 2020. Today more than 98% of the wood used for IKEA products is either FSC-certified or recycled.
As pressure on the world’s forests and the surrounding eco-systems increases due to unsustainable agriculture, the expansion of infrastructure and illegal logging, it is time to take an even more holistic approach to protect and support these important resources for generations to come. The IKEA Forest Positive Agenda for 2030 set out to improve forest management, enhance biodiversity, mitigate climate change and support the rights and needs of people who depend on forests across the whole supply chain and drive innovation to use wood in even smarter ways. The agenda focuses on three key areas: • Making responsible forest management the norm across the world. • Halting deforestation and reforesting degraded landscapes. • Driving innovation to use wood in smarter ways by designing all products from the very beginning to be reused, refurbished, remanufactured, and eventually recycled.
For many years, IKEA has partnered with businesses, governments, social groups and non-governmental organisations to fight forest degradation and deforestation and increase the volume and availability of wood from responsibly managed forests both for our own supply chain and beyond. We are on a journey to improve global forest management and make responsible wood sourcing the industry standard, contributing to building resilient forest landscapes and improve biodiversity.