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 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.
When we want to move life to the garden or the balcony we shouldn’t have to worry about fixing up the outdoor furniture too much before we can relax and go ah… And it ought to be simple to fit the furniture back into crammed garages or under covers when the warm season is over. To get the care-free chairs and tables that most of us appreciate, we created SJÄLLAND. But, when David Wahl, the designer, started working with the collection, he didn’t realise that he and the development team were in for a hurdle-race of obstacles.
One of the first things David put in the design was an armrest on the chairs. It’s made of aluminium and bent two times to create an angle that makes it easier to sit down and get up, especially around a table. It’s also twisted to make the chair stackable. The bends and twists added function, but also created some headache for David’s colleague, Phuong Nguyen Thanh. Phuong was the technician on the team and his task was to make sure that the design and the materials work well together.
“When I first saw David’s design I said to myself ‘Oh no, that’s impossible! There isn’t a machine that can bend aluminium like that,’” remembers Phuong.
But, the team also felt the bends and twists were worth fighting for. And many people think armrests are really comfortable – so they decided to push on with the design anyway.
“Our suppliers adjusted the machines they had to get the armrest just right. The first prototype turned out quite ugly to be honest, but nearly 30 trials later we managed to nail it,” laughs David.
When the team finally had most things in place, David made one more discovery.
“It’s a bit embarrassing, but I assembled the table incorrectly,” he says.
“I took a picture of it, sent it to the team and said ‘Hey, I found a way to put it together the wrong way!’ I think they assumed that I had tested the construction, but I just wanted to see what it looked like with all pieces in place. The table is not hard to assemble, my mind must have been elsewhere, and to my defence I didn’t have the assembly instructions at hand,” confesses David.
The good part about the problems the team faced, is that they all led to improvements.
The chair became stackable, and the assembly instructions super-clear – so no one needs to experience what David did.
“It’s actually problems like this that we like. They make us better, and in the case of SJÄLLAND, they also make outdoor life easier”, says David.
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.