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Ikea timber claims refuted by newspaper

Ikea is failing to tell customers about the low level of sustainable wood used in its furniture, according to a report by The Times.

The Swedish retailer is one of the world's biggest buyers of timber, but has failed to achieve its 2006 target of having 30% of its solid wood certified by 2009, said the report.

This is a relatively low figure in comparison with other retailers such as B&Q, who says it can now ensure that 100% of timber used in its products can be traced back to well-managed sources, and Focus DIY, which achieved 65% certification last year.

When a Times journalist visited Ikea stores in Southampton and Edmonton, North London, and asked questions about the origin and sustainability of wood in items including tables, chairs and beds, six members of staff, including a manager, claimed all Ikea's wood was certified as sustainable.

Yet the newspaper claims Ikea will report within weeks that less than a quarter of the 5.3m cu m of solid wood used in its products last year was certified. It says Ikea is aware that some of its suppliers take wood from uncertified forests, including areas plagued by illegal logging, in countries such as Russia and China.

Ikea's global forestry manager Anders Hildeman told The Times that the retailer required suppliers to meet "minimum criteria", including not accepting illegally harvested wood or wood from "high conservation value forests".

When asked about the company's failure to reach its 30% target for certified wood, he said: "It wasn't achieved because of the lack of availability of certified material combined with the exponential growth of the company."

In January, Ikea reported net profit growth of 6.1% to €2.7bn for the year to August 31, 2010.

Source : DIY Week.net

15 March 2011
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