As a global retailer, we recognise that IKEA is in a unique position to drive change for the better. Innovations and research provide new opportunities to always improve. 25 years ago, IKEA took a big step by phasing out PVC (polyvinyl chloride) from most products. Today, PVC remains only in a few electrical products, and work continues to find replacements. In 2000, brominated flame retardants were completely phased out from IKEA furniture production.
Five years ago, IKEA banned the use of chrome in leather production. In 2016, IKEA phased out PFAS (water and stain repellant) chemicals from all IKEA textile products. Through a stepwise approach, IKEA now aims to reach formaldehyde emission levels from wood-based materials equal to the low levels emitted by natural wood.
And with the onset of COVID-19, more attention has been placed on the effectiveness and impact of using antimicrobials for products in the home, including furniture, to minimise the spread of diseases. Research has not been able to demonstrate a link between use of antimicrobials on furniture in homes and a reduced spread of diseases and overuse of these chemicals can have harmful effects on humans and the environment.
Because of this, IKEA has adopted a strict policy to avoid the use of biocides, as a general rule. While we make some exceptions, our first choice is always to avoid the use of biocides through careful material choice.
We are always searching for new and innovative approaches to strengthen our product range. While we don’t yet have all the answers, we are confident that we will get there soon.