IKEA of Sweden and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) agreed to begin working together on a forestry certification initiative aimed at promoting the sustainable management of forest plantations and empowering forest-reliant communities in Viet Nam. This was reported by FAO in June 2015.
The two organisations will undertake an initial analysis to evaluate options for advancing forest certification schemes and sustainable forest management in Northern Viet Nam. Certification provides a mechanism for monitoring the sustainability of forest management and for tracing timber and other forest products through supply chains to ensure they were produced and handled responsibly and in compliance with the law. Good forest certification schemes also seek to monitor the social and economic well-being of forest workers and communities, promoting their equitable access to international markets.
To gain certification, products are evaluated according to an independent, third-party standard. Those that meet the standard earn a "stamp of approval" or "ecolabel" so that purchasers and consumers know they were produced in a legal, sustainable and socially responsible way. The planned IKEA-FAO study will look into options and barriers to effective forest certification in northern Viet Nam, including:
IKEA and Sustainability
In its Sustainability Report 2014, the IKEA-Group reported that 41 per cent of the timber it uses comes from more sustainable sources (meaning: Forest Stewardship Council® certified or recycled). The group considers itself to be on the best path towards ensuring that by the year 2020, 100 per cent of the timber used will originate from more sustainable sources.
Independent of this, all IKEA’s wood suppliers are obliged to satisfy the company’s own IWAY forest management standard.
IKEA’s aim is to incorporate sustainability in various areas and the company reports on its progress in its annual IKEA sustainability report. According to the Sustainability Report 2014, three third of the cotton used was obtained from more sustainable sources (meaning: Better Cotton; Cotton grown according to other sustainability standards in the USA, cultivated by farmers who cultivate cotton according to the standards of the Better Cotton Initiative.) The IKEA goal is for 100 % of its cotton to be sourced from sustainable suppliers by August 2015.
IKEA reports that in the business year 2014, 1.34 million Euro was invested in projects that allowed some 110,000 cotton farmers to achieve higher incomes and utilise less water and chemicals when growing crops.
Read more about the IWAY Forestry Standard and Forest Stewardship Council standards