A cross section of a furniture panel showing an outer layer of masonite, a frame of particle board and a honeycomb core.

Is wood a sustainable material?

Well, it depends on how it’s produced. To begin with, wood is renewable and recyclable, which is great, but not enough. Forests should be responsibly harvested and trees should be replanted to regenerate the forest and capture carbon. Biodiversity should be protected and the welfare of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods should be supported. When all these conditions are met then we believe wood to be a sustainable material choice.

Wood is a circular material

At IKEA, we are on our way to transforming to a circular business. To do this we are transforming every  aspect of what we do, from the way we source energy and materials to how we design our products. As a material, wood fits perfectly into this ambition as it is both renewable and recyclable. We already use wood more than any other material in our products.

A man in a hard-hat and an orange high-visibility vest standing in front of a huge pile of wood chips.

Increasing our use of recycled wood

We continuously challenge ourselves to develop new ways of working with wood, to make sure we use the material as mindfully and efficiently as possible. This goes for virgin wood as well as recycled. As part of our commitment to becoming a circular business, we are working hard to increase the amount of recycled wood used in IKEA products. By 2030, at least one third of all wood used in IKEA products will be recycled.

Wood that was used in furniture, buildings or pallets can, and should, be used again.

In general, throwing away the material in wood-based products when they reach the end of their current purpose is a waste of resources. By reclaiming and using more recycled wood in our products we will help reduce unnecessary wood waste, keep storing carbon in the wood material for even longer and reduce pressure on the world’s forests.

At IKEA, we’re working together with different partners to raise awareness and support the need for more development of critical infrastructure to increase wood recycling. We also support research and development projects finding new ways to work with recycled material to make sure it is used as efficiently as possible.

A lake surrounded by mountains and tropical rainforest in the Thua Thien Hue province in Vietnam.

Can forestry and wood use help mitigate climate change?

Responsible forest management and reforesting degraded land provide some of the most impactful actions to mitigate and build forests’ resilience to climate change. To support in this, we are evaluating and developing ways to remove and store carbon within our wood supply chains. This can be achieved by applying responsible forest management, designing long-lasting wood-based products and increasing our use of recycled wood.

A single toadstool growing in a bed of lichens on the forest floor.

Protecting biodiversity

Biodiversity is vital for the health of the planet. By developing and enforcing responsible sourcing practices through the IKEA business we can help protect biodiversity. We are committed to using our size and reach to enhance biodiversity globally, going beyond our own business.