Sign the petition: Ikea chairs aren't worth the destruction of our natural forests

08.08.2020

A new SumOfUs campaign is mobilising public support to bring about change at Ikea

Ikea chairs linked to illegal Ukrainian timber in Earthsight's Flatpacked Forests report. Photo: Jeremy Bristow

A petition launched today by SumOfUs, in partnership with Earthsight, adds yet more pressure on Ikea and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to implement serious change following our recent investigation.

SumOfUs, the global advocacy non-profit, created the petition in response to Flatpacked Forests, our June report which uncovered how illegal timber logged from Ukraine’s Carpathian forests, home to some of Europe’s last bears and lynx, was being used in Ikea chairs and furniture sold worldwide.

The investigation garnered widespread media attention, including a major report by Channel 4 News in the UK, and while Ikea has since promised to investigate our findings and the Ukraine Prime Minister pledged a national crackdown on illegal logging, we believe Ikea can, and must go further.

The SumOfUs campaign, Ikea: Cheap chairs aren't worth the destruction of our natural forests, urges the Swedish retail giant to commit to truly independent investigations of its supply chains, calls on it to help reform the FSC and seeks for Ikea to remove all virgin wood from its production. To sustain its enormous growth, Ikea currently uses one tree every second to make its flatpacked products, making it the largest consumer of wood on the planet.

“It's not sustainable -- it's rampant corporate greed. In the short term, Ikea must conduct a 100 percent independent investigation of all of its timber suppliers in high-risk countries such as Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, and demand reform of the FSC to ensure its certified wood is truly sustainable,” the campaign reads.

“In the long term, it must set ambitious targets for phasing out wood from natural forests -- and eventually, for eliminating the use of virgin wood altogether.”

For its part, FSC – the global timber sustainability scheme relied upon by Ikea and others for their green credentials – has so far issued nothing but smokescreens and denials. We hope this new public campaign will help to instigate constructive dialogue and ultimately drive structural reform within the organisation.

Tara Ganesh, Earthsight’s head of timber investigations, said: “We are delighted that SumOfUs is mobilising their supporters, many of whom are no doubt also Ikea consumers, to help bring real change at the world’s largest furniture company and best-known consumer label for wood.

“The environmental destruction we found in Ikea’s supply chain is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg. But by taking these large strides now, Ikea can become a leader in the battle against the global illegal logging epidemic. The future of forests depends on it.”

Sign the petition here.

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