Our view on forestry

Forests are critical for life on Earth. They contribute to maintaining balance in the atmosphere, purify the air that we breathe and nourish wildlife biodiversity. They provide sources of food, fuel, timber and many other ecosystem services that we rely upon. Wood is an essential part of the IKEA design heritage. For several decades, we have put responsible wood sourcing at the heart of our business, using our size and reach to improve forest management across the world.

Being Forest Positive

Wood is an excellent material from a design, quality and climate perspective provided that it comes from responsibly managed forests. As a large user of wood, sourcing from approximately 50 countries around the world, we consciously use our scale and global reach to drive a positive change within the forestry sector. For many years, IKEA has partnered with businesses, governments, social groups and non-governmental organisations to increase the volume and availability of wood from responsibly managed forests both for our own supply chain and beyond. This is what we call being Forest Positive. We are on a journey to improve global forest management and make responsible wood sourcing the industry standard.

We see leadership as an action, not a position. In 2012, IKEA set a goal that our wood would be from more sustainable sources, which currently includes FSC®-certified and recycled wood, by 2020. By working together with others, we are happy to have met our goal. In FY20, more than 98%* of the wood used for IKEA products is FSC-certified or recycled. 

Still, pressure on the world’s forests and surrounding eco-systems is increasing due to unsustainable agriculture, the expansion of infrastructure and illegal logging. In a step to take an even more holistic approach to protect and support these precious resources for generations to come, IKEA will lead a new Forest Positive Agenda for 2030. As part of our plan for the next decade we will develop projects to enhance biodiversity, 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. For more information on our 2030 agenda click here.

 

Responsible Wood Sourcing

In FY20, IKEA home furnishing suppliers sourced approximately 19 Million m3 of roundwood equivalent for home furnishing products and packaging. Approximately 12% of our total wood consumption was recycled and we plan to increase this share to at least a third of our total wood use by 2030.

IKEA requires all suppliers to source wood that meets our more sustainable sources requirements (FSC-certified or recycled wood). However, we do not rely on FSC alone. We enforce strict requirements on all suppliers to ensure that wood which enters the IKEA supply chain is responsibly sourced. The IKEA supplier code of conduct, IWAY, outlines critical criteria for suppliers using forestry applicable materials. These materials must, for example:

  • Only come from forests that have been legally harvested.
  • Not come from forestry operations engaged in forest-related social conflicts.
  • Not be harvested in geographically identified intact natural forests (INF) or high conservation value forests, unless they are certified as responsibly managed and there is an approval from IKEA.

Through our comprehensive Due Diligence System, IKEA takes very conscious decisions to secure our supply chain – especially for areas where risks exist. We believe that our presence in such areas can contribute to the development of local forest management and have a positive impact to strengthen biodiversity, enable efficient production and support local communities. 

All suppliers must be able to track the origin of the wood used in IKEA products. We require all suppliers to provide reports on their wood use three times a year and be able to provide more information, upon request, within 48 hours. To ensure legality and that the wood meets our critical requirements, IKEA actively implements multiple safeguards though our Due Diligence System:

  • As an initial measure, IKEA requires suppliers to annually submit their wood procurement plans, which helps to identify and proactively mitigate any potential risks. The first safeguard put in place is through our suppliers who must put procedures in place to implement our requirements throughout their supply chains.
  • The second safeguard is managed through our specialist, global Wood Supply & Forestry team, who perform approximately 200 global audits annually. The purpose of these audits is to verify the compliance of the wood entering our supply chain against IKEA requirements.
  • As a third safeguard, we request random and targeted third party audits to verify compliance. IKEA adopts a risk-based approach which means a higher amount of audits are performed in high risk countries than in low risk countries. 
  • FSC is an additional safeguard auditing all links in all of our supply chain annually.

IKEA always strives for long-term cooperation and partnership with our suppliers. We build our business relations on shared values and place high trust in them. However, under no circumstance do we accept wood that does not meet our critical requirements. If we discover irregularities, we take immediate action. 

 

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC)

IKEA was one of the founders of FSC in 1994, which spearheaded the effort to bring key stakeholders together from around the world to improve forest management on a global and national level.

At IKEA, we believe FSC is currently the most credible global forest certification available as it covers far more than just logging practices. FSC forest certification also accounts for the social and economic well-being of workers and local communities depending on the forest, environmental matters, transparency and inclusion in decision-making. It continuously aims to ensure a balanced, equal cooperation between social, environmental and economic stakeholders. The chain of custody system ensures that the wood meets the requirements of the certification from the forest to the final product. 

IKEA works in collaboration with FSC and other stakeholders to constantly improve and develop the system to make it relevant for all.

 

Forest Partnerships

At IKEA, we believe we can accomplish more by working together with others than by working alone. For many years, we have been committed to working together with different stakeholders to protect and strengthen the world’s forests.

Our eighteen year forest partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one example. Covering approximately nineteen countries over the years, the partnership has been instrumental in increasing transparency across supply chains to fight illegal logging. Together, WWF and IKEA take action to promote responsible forest management of forests and landscapes, to lead by example, demonstrating that it is possible to produce efficiently at scale, while conserving nature, enhancing biodiversity and fairly benefiting local communities. For the latest information please visit our partnership site.

For more information on other partnership work, please review the Forestry section of the latest IKEA sustainability report.

*We consider a goal to be fully reached when we achieve more than 98% fulfilment overall. Due to disruptions or new suppliers/business partners, we cannot guarantee a 100% fulfilment at every given point in time. 

 

Related links

A Forest Partnership for Change

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