A lush, green, blurry forest in the background and a horisontal tree trunk with three ants in the foreground.

Our view on biodiversity

IKEA recognises that the world is experiencing a biodiversity crisis. Dramatic loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is human-induced and represents, together with climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our time. Biodiversity is vital for a healthy and resilient world, and for human health and wellbeing.

IKEA is dependent on biodiversity for the success of our business, now and in the future. The IKEA business is already today experiencing business implications influenced by biodiversity loss.

We also recognise that biodiversity loss is a complex challenge. As with climate change, IKEA has a unique opportunity and responsibility to take action to both reduce our impact and contribute to positive outcomes. We don’t have all the answers and will work collaboratively together with others to support the large global movements needed to reverse nature loss in this decade.

Our impact

The work to set a global standard for businesses to assess their full value chain impact on biodiversity, across a multitude of materials and local contexts, is ongoing. IKEA is supporting the development of science-based targets for nature as an important step for the private sector to be able to urgently take the lead on this issue.

The IKEA business is impacting on biodiversity, in different ways throughout the value chain – primarily through the direct and indirect use of land and sea.

We directly use land, for example, for our buildings and wind parks, and for the infrastructure around it. In these cases, much of the vegetation and soil is removed.

Our indirect land use is connected to raw materials and ingredients used in our home furnishing and food product offers, coming from plants and animals in the forestry, agricultural and aquacultural sectors. IKEA is a large global user of wood and cotton sources, as well as one of the larger food chains in the world. The materials we use are in turn dependent on the ecosystems in the landscapes that surround them.

The impact depends very much on under which conditions, so-called management practices, these raw materials and ingredients are extracted or cultivated. That is why IKEA uses certifications systems, as they stand for a set of management practices that are considered better for both people and the planet. Our ability to trace raw materials to the source, and continually develop our responsible sourcing standards, is essential to our ability to deliver to our biodiversity, as well as our climate, commitment.

Taking action across the IKEA value chain – and beyond

For over 20 years, IKEA has worked with responsible forest management practices, where biodiversity considerations have been an integral part. IKEA has provided support to FSC in developing global principles, criteria and indicators to address preserving nature as part of responsible forest management practices. The IKEA business has now reached the more sustainable sources goal that was set out to be achieved by 2020, and today more than 98% of the wood used for IKEA products is either FSC-certified or recycled. All wood used in IKEA products is sourced from responsibly managed forests which do not contribute to deforestation.

In the IKEA 2030 Forest Positive Agenda, we commit to further ramping up the work to enhance biodiversity globally, going beyond our own business. Special focus is given to how our biodiversity efforts can be monitored and made even more efficient and meaningful. As part of our work, we are in our partnership with WWF developing ways to measure on-site impact on biodiversity.

For the sourcing of agricultural and aquacultural commodities, we need to ensure that IKEA sourcing does not contribute to deforestation. For cotton and palm oil, IKEA uses trusted certification schemes with management practices that are considered better for people and the planet. We also have to ensure that agricultural practices themselves do not impact negatively on biodiversity and then move to a situation where we can have positive outcomes through better practices, such as regenerative agriculture – in line with a global movement to this effect. Several IKEA pilots are planned for FY22, and we are increasingly collaborating with others on this topic.

In FY21, we included biodiversity considerations in the updated IKEA supplier code of conduct, IWAY 6. Through this, we restrict business activities in areas of high conservation value and also encourage IKEA suppliers to include biodiversity considerations in their work.

During FY22, we will begin mapping our impact on biodiversity in detail across the IKEA value chain, and explore, together with partners, how we can use our size and scope to both protect and improve biodiversity where we operate.

In FY21, IKEA engaged with various stakeholders to support the development of a Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and the EU Biodiversity strategy for 2030. We also joined Business for Nature’s Call to Action, together with many other businesses, urging governments to adopt policies now to reverse nature loss in this decade.

Improving biodiversity interlinked with other IKEA sustainability commitments

Biodiversity considerations are also an integral part of other large IKEA movements. We aim to only use recycled or renewable materials by FY30. Especially recycled materials reduce the need for extraction of new raw materials, reducing our impact on biodiversity while securing that the remaining renewable materials are responsibly sourced, taking biodiversity into account.

In addition, IKEA is committed to becoming climate positive by 2030 and doing our part to limit climate change to 1.5°C. As climate change is one of the main drivers behind current biodiversity loss, it is critical for us to do our utmost to limit our contribution to climate change and champion biodiversity as an important ally in global mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Our agenda forward

Going forward, we will work within the following focus areas to realise our commitment to regenerating resources, protecting ecosystems, and improving biodiversity.

  • Responsibly use land and waters: Continually evaluate and act on the used quantity as well the quality of the land/seascape used or not used in connection to the IKEA business, and how this should be used responsibly with respect for biodiversity.
  • Responsibly use species and genetic variations: Consciously select species or genetic variations used or not used in our product offers and solutions, making sure the choices do not have a negative impact on biodiversity.
  • Securing biodiversity and adaptation in climate actions: Secure that the actions taken to reduce the climate footprint of the IKEA business do not negatively impact biodiversity in the short or long term. The result of climate solutions should be adaptation and resilience.
  • Reduce, restore and protect: Continue to understand and reduce pollution of any kind in home furnishing, food and service offers, production processes and use of substances anywhere throughout the value chain. Transform into a circular business that will reduce the need for virgin resources.
  • Use our size and scope to advocate for strong action: We will do by this supporting policymakers, transparently sharing our progress and challenges and collaborating with others to drive change.

What is biodiversity?

Biological diversity, or biodiversity, means the variety of life on earth and includes all types of living organisms, from micro-organisms to entire ecosystems and the non-living environment on which they depend. It creates the foundation for all life on earth as it provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and most of the raw materials that we humans use, such as wood and cotton. The biodiversity of our planet also has a critical role in limiting climate change and helping us adapt to its effects.

A note on ‘nature’ and ‘ecosystems’

‘Nature’ is a term often used interchangeably with biodiversity. It includes both living and non-living things, such as minerals, metals, water, and air. ‘Ecosystems’  means a complex of plant, animal and micro-organisms and the non-living environment on which they depend. ‘Nature’ is more and more widely used globally as it is seen as more relatable for the general public. The IKEA focus is on biodiversity, while we still support broader initiatives where the term nature is used, such as science-based targets for nature.