Tracing some of Ikea’s most iconic products from shelves to their forest source, Flatpacked Forests unpacks Ikea's illegal timber problem and the flawed green label behind it. Continue reading
A source of cheap, flat-packed products to suit every taste, Ikea revolutionised the way furniture is made, and forever changed the way we furnish our homes. But the Swedish giant’s ‘fast furniture’ model has long put enormous pressure on forests globally. Ikea is the largest buyer of wood and the largest retailer of wood furniture on the planet.
Over 18 months, Earthsight has gone on the trail to investigate Ikea’s Ukrainian timber purchases. Using official files, on-the-ground reporting, satellite imagery and whistleblower accounts, Earthsight researchers followed supplies of suspect wood from Ukraine’s precious Carpathian forests to Ikea stores in the UK, US, Germany and elsewhere.
Flatpacked Forests: Ikea's illegal timber problem and the flawed green label behind it has uncovered how the Carpathian Mountains, home to some of Europe’s last remaining lynx and brown bears, are being illegally deforested by firms supplying timber for many of Ikea’s most popular chairs and cheap furniture.
It details how Ikea has failed to prevent illegal, unsustainable wood being used for its products. Behind this failure is the Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s largest green label for wood.
A multimedia version of the report can be read below (also available in Ukrainian and as a pdf in English and Ukrainian), along with an accompanying press release and updates following publication. Official responses from Ikea, FSC and other companies named in the investigation can be found in the report. The following video offers a snapshot of our research findings (Ukrainian and German language versions available).
The report was covered by more than 80 media outlets around the world, including an extensive report by Channel 4 News, The Guardian, Reuters, The Times, Die Zeit, BBC Ukraine, New York Times and OCCRP.
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