IKEA: No sustainability without transparency

Furniture giant refuses to provide precise information on the origin of wood from high-risk countries

With a large-scale advertising campaign, IKEA is currently trying to position itself as a particularly sustainable company. The advertising promises contradict the furniture store's intransparency regarding the origin of wood from high-risk countries.

IKEA refuses to provide precise geographical information on its timber concessions and FSC certification in high-risk countries such as Romania and Ukraine, where illegal logging and corruption are commonplace. As a result, this information is not verifiable. IKEA is also keeping internal and external investigations under wraps, even though IKEA claims that these investigations show that no illegal Ukrainian timber enters the IKEA supply chain. The Bruno Manser Fonds had requested this information from IKEA Switzerland CEO Jessica Anderen, but to no avail.

"We demand full transparency and verifiable information from IKEA on wood procurement in Eastern Europe," said Jonas Schälle of the Bruno Manser Fonds. "The well-founded allegations of involvement of IKEA suppliers in illegal and unsustainable logging cannot otherwise be dispelled.

In September 2020, the Swiss Federal Department of Economics, Education and Research (WBF) opened administrative criminal proceedings against IKEA. The Bruno Manser Fonds had brought charges against the furniture store for systematic violations of the statutory wood declaration obligation. The WBF proceedings are still pending.

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