To that end IKEA uses wood materials from more sustainable sources: More than 98% of the wood used for IKEA products is either FSC-certified or recycled. Taking care of the climate is a key part of IKEA's corporate responsibility.
Choosing more sustainable materials
We are continuing our journey towards only sourcing renewable or recycled materials by 2030. We aim to use only renewable or recycled materials and to provide new solutions for our customers to prolong the life of products and materials.
The wood certification scheme IKEA uses, Forest Stewardship Council, was described in an investigative report by NGO Earthsight as an organisation that greenwashes the timber industry. It was accused of failing to catch IKEA's sourcing of conflict wood, and act on it.
IKEA is an organization that, in conclusion, has proven its dedication to social responsibility by its environmental sustainability measures, ethical labor practices, and community involvement activities.
It is clear that IKEA does not permit child labour or forced labour within its supply chain and mandates breaks and time off for workers. IKEA operates a risk-based approach to its large supply chain, which makes sense given its size, and it audits a number of its direct suppliers.
From rugs made from leftover textiles, batteries that can be recharged and used over and over again, and storage boxes and baskets, IKEA has so many products that are zero waste and greener. Here are 12 of my favorite IKEA zero waste green products that are available from IKEA stores everywhere.
In 2021, the NGO Earthsight alleged the use of illegally logged wood from protected forests in Russia by IKEA and others, with the source forests being owned by millionaire politician Evgeny Bakurov. Bakurov's pine was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
On the topic of power, it's a good thing that IKEA's sustainability goal is to produce as much renewable energy as it uses – stores this size are fossil-fuel hungry and since they have over 400 of them, the combined carbon footprint of all its stores is astronomical and completely unsustainable.
In June 2020 the non-profit organisation Earthsight published a report stating that IKEA was selling products made from wood illegally felled in the forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians which is home to endangered lynx and bear.
We are committed to living up to our responsibility to respect human rights in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Human rights abuses have no place in our business operations, business decisions or across our value chain.
All wood used in IKEA products is sourced from responsibly managed forests which do not contribute to deforestation. We aim by the end of 2025 to ensure that our deforestation risk raw materials (soy, palm oil, beef, leather, coffee, cocoa, rubber and sugarcane) are deforestation-free.
The cultural difference, the lack of experienced staff with market specific knowledge, but also the IKEA showrooms were just some factors that made IKEA destined to fail. In 1986, due to these reasons but also outside factors such as inflation, IKEA decided to withdraw their stores.
However, the furniture retailer faced accusations of greenwashing after a nonprofit organization, Earthsight, launched an investigation into its supply chain. Earthsight released a report in 2021 that suggested Ikea sold wood that suppliers illegally sourced from Russia.
Over the years, Ikea products have been criticized for their poor quality and shoddy craftsmanship, which have resulted in allergic reactions, malfunctions, and in some cases, even tragic injuries.
Is Ikea ethical Our research highlights several ethical issues with IKEA including: age discrimination, violation of the right to unionise, and other serious workers' rights issues in their supply chain.
Tests showed that some IKEA products emitted more formaldehyde than allowed by legislation which was harmful not to only people, but also the environment. The negative perception of the company caused sales to drop by 20% in Denmark. The company explored techniques to combat this problem.
Some of the major ethical issues faced by IKEA have been spying on their employees, choosing suppliers that use child labor to develop products as well as selling food items that contained horsemeat.
To keep pace with consumer demand, furniture is created from cheap and harmful materials, or illegally felled timber, and processed using wasteful and polluting factory techniques. It not built to last, is hard to recycle, is not desirable enough to resell, and ends up in landfill.
However, the vast differences in culture, lifestyle and behaviour was what made IKEA's first expansion a big failure. In 1986, Ikea had to retrieve their store out of Japan because of massive difficulties, only to reenter the Japanese market 20 years later, this time successfully.
The pandemic limited growth in FY21, and IKEA retail sales benefited as the world re-opened. On the other hand, inflation and supply chain issues impacted FY22 sales, and lead to rising costs and higher prices. That means sales have grown in money, but sales quantities have not kept up.
The lawsuit (pdf)was filed in a New York federal court by Chelsea Commodore, a resident of New York state who purchased several items H&M sold under the label “conscious choice.” According to the retailer's marketing materials, those products are made with “at least 50% of more sustainable materials.”
The brand's low-cost, high-volume, trend-driven business model is not conducive to green business practices. H&M's business model involves creating clothes cheaply and in high volumes, as is typical for fast fashion companies. Frequent and large-scale production of clothing is not sustainable or eco-friendly.
Despite its claims, H&M ranked C (mediocre) on the just published Impakter Sustainability Index and is currently not sustainable; the Index analysts concluded that if the retail brand genuinely pursues the goals it has set for itself and reports transparently, it could become “greener”
Zara claim that in 2022 more than 50% of their collection was made according to the Join Life requirements. This means more than 50% of their collection is 'more' sustainable.
All materials have an impact on climate, nature and people – from production, use and end of life. To reduce this impact, we aim for 100% of our materials to be either recycled or sourced in a more sustainable way by 2030, and 30% recycled materials by 2025.