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Ikea’s Russian wood not good

Ikea is facing heavy criticism for the logging and clear-cutting of old-growth forests in the north of Russian Karelia by its wholly owned subsidiary Swedwood. Source: The Guardian

According to environmental organizations the logging is destroying ancient and unique forests that have a high conservation value.

Roughly 60 percent of the products stocked in Ikea’s 300 department stores around the world contain wood.

For years, the company has used the “We Love Wood” slogan to promote the fact that Ikea only uses wood obtained in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.

Recent reports and studies are casting doubt on this. An investigative report released last month by Swedish public service television found that Swedwood cuts down about 1400 acres of forest a year.

While Swedwood is certified by the international forestry organisation Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which claims to ensure “responsibly managed forests” there are some gaps in regulation, according to Andrei Ptichnikov, general manager of FSC in Russia.

“You can’t say that FSC can protect all forests. If we (claimed) to protect every tree, no company would (register) with FSC. It is not realistic. It is always a compromise,” he told Swedish TV journalists recently.

Anders Hildeman, forest manager at Ikea said that FSC certification is a good basis for responsible forest management.