During FY21, IKEA suppliers sourced approximately 21 million cubic metres of round wood equivalent. “With those volumes in mind it is easy to understand that wood is an essential part of the IKEA identity. Being such a large actor in the timber industry carries enormous responsibility, but it is also a great opportunity to influence forest management around the world positively,” says Mikhail Tarasov, Global Forestry Manager at IKEA.
The journey within IKEA towards becoming ‘Forest Positive’ began nearly three decades ago. And for more than 20 years, IKEA has tried to use its size strategically to improve global responsible forest management and fight deforestation and forest depletion all over the world. As one of the biggest users of wood in the world, IKEA has a huge impact on the world’s forests and forest industry. This entails a great responsibility to work for sustainable, responsible forestry, including tracing where the wood comes from. Nowadays there are rules and procedures for this at IKEA, and in 2020 the company achieved its goal of only using wood certified by the, or recycled wood.
Today, IKEA employs approximately 45 people in a global wood supply and forestry team that has developed a strict control system for tracing where the wood comes from. Misconduct still sometimes surfaces, mostly during IKEA checks and audits. In 2020, for instance, a wood supply and forestry specialist at IKEA discovered that a supplier had falsified documents showing the wood’s origin. On the rare occasion that suppliers fall short, they are often given a second chance along with support from IKEA to get their systems in order. However, in this case all deliveries and sales of products from the supplier were stopped, and the collaboration was ended. IKEA never accepts wood that does not meet its critical requirements.