IKEA sustainability commitment

IKEA Ups Its Sustainability Commitment With a New Forest Agenda

The furniture giant met its goal of using nearly 98% either FSC-certified or recycled wood. Next target? Becoming the leader in responsible forest management.

Announcing a new 2030 forest agenda on Monday, Swedish flat-pack furniture giant IKEA says it intends to stretch its sustainability targets and broaden climate efforts.

Lena Pripp-Kovac, IKEA Group’s chief sustainability officer, explains how:

“One way is to go beyond our own supply chain, working with suppliers to ensure they offer renewable production to all of our customers.We need a really smart mix of solutions around, not only for forestry but sustainability as well. We see that we can have a bigger sustainability impact if we work that way, rather than just securing our own.”

Good wood

Another key target is ensuring that at least one-third of the IKEA wood range is made from recycled timber. However, this calls for clear legislation and building relations with organisations that work with suppliers of high standards.

IKEA says it will take a village. 

“We don’t sit on all the solutions ourselves,” stresses Ulf Johansson, global wood supply and forestry manager. “We need partnership, for governments to build infrastructure and cater for that, and we want to play a role in that but we want to do it together.”

IKEA’s ambitions also include working to enhance biodiversity to mitigate climate change and drive innovation. Again, the end goal is clear “make more furniture from every cubic meter that we use.”

Seeing the wood for trees

Who hasn’t spent a Saturday afternoon wrestling with an IKEA Billy shelf? Launched in 1943, the Swedish business has grown to become the world’s biggest furniture company. Over 655 million people flocked to its stores last year, of which it currently owns over 300 in 26 countries.

IKEA is deeply indebted to wood. In fact, it uses almost 1% of all commercial wood around the world. However, the company isn’t starting from ground zero with its latest sustainability effort. Yet this new strategy represents a huge scaling up of its ethical business practices.

Efforts to reduce its carbon footprint are already apparent. Famed for its meatballs, IKEA now sells a plant-based alternative. This boasts only 4% of the climate footprint of the traditional meat version. A budget of 200 million Euros has been set aside for reforestation projects and to restore degraded land. Furthermore, to counter their ‘disposable’ reputation, IKEA now sells spare parts to prolong products’ lifespan.

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