Ikea, the furniture giant, which has taught millions of people around the world to love decor inspired by nature and natural materials, wouldn’t be as environmentally conscious as it seems. Indeed the Swedish brand, involved for several years in environmental protection programs, is one of the biggest consumers of wood in the world, and would have sold for years children’s furniture made from bound wood. to illegal logging in Russia. This is what a new report from the London association reveals Earsight, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group.
The looting of the Russian forest, an attack on the environment and the protection of the planet
Heavily popular Ikea items like Sundvik beds or Flisat dollhouses are said to be made from pine wood likely came from Russian forestry companies in Siberia, which repeatedly violated Russian environmental laws designed to protect the vast boreal forests, according to the NGO report. The boreal or taiga forests of Russia, along with the Brazilian Amazon, act as the lungs of the planet, absorbing carbon dioxide and generating the oxygen that humans breathe. Over the past decade, illegal logging companies have cut down 2.16 million cubic meters of timber in protected forests, according to satellite images obtained by the NGO. Illegal logging makes forests more vulnerable to fires, which destroy large areas of forest and release record levels of greenhouse gases. According to the report, these protected forest areas were being exploited under the false pretext that the trees were diseased.
A mistake in the supply chain: Ikea cut ties with illegal logging companies
Ikea said the timber had been “legally harvested” and denied any wrongdoing. Three months before the report was submitted, Ikea nevertheless said it had ended its work with the Bakurov companies in question, as a precaution. The company cited “worrying practices” without giving details. After the report’s publication, Ikea temporarily suspended the use of timber from logging in the Russian Far East and Siberia, and said it wants to improve its oversight of supply chains.
Are our Ikea children’s furniture contributing to illegal deforestation in Siberia?
On the issue of removing products that may contain wood from illegal logging in Siberia from its shelves, the furniture company has not commented. Indeed, Ikea’s range of children’s furniture accounts for 6-8% of its overall sales in some Western markets and a much higher share in emerging markets, such as India. The company’s total sales of children’s products amounted to more than $ 3.8 billion last year, according to Ikea’s annual report. In addition, products containing wood from illegal logging would not be limited to children’s furniture: the report also notes that wood from Bukurov companies could end up in other Ikea products and those of other Western retailers. ” Bakurov companies continue to send large volumes of timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to China, which is home to some of Ikea’s largest suppliers, ”the report said. This case could disappoint consumers, disturbed by the ambivalence of the brand’s environmental commitment: on the battery side, it is trying to show its commitment to the planet by generalizing access to solar energy and reducing the meat of its customers. canteens, but face down, it seems to participate in savage deforestation.