WWF and IKEA partnership for change | WWF
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Making a difference

A long-term partnership between WWF and IKEA is transforming the global market for cotton and timber.
WWF and IKEA work together in partnership on timber and cotton to increase the amount of FSC-certified wood available on the market, combat illegal timber trade, identify and protect ancient forests, and support more sustainable cotton production.

“We have chosen to partner with WWF to help us on our journey towards being People and Planet Positive”, says Simon Henzell-Thomas, Sustainability Policy Manager & Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Inter IKEA Group. “IKEA and WWF share objectives on the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources. WWF has deep expertise in the timber and cotton markets, both important raw materials for IKEA, which makes them a natural partner to help support and challenge us towards our ambitious sustainability goals.”

Responsible Forest Management

Healthy, well-managed forests are essential for a living planet. And responsible forest management is at the heart of the WWF and IKEA partnership. Through joint field projects and advocacy, the partnership is calling on a number of governments around the world to implement stronger legislation to combat illegal logging and illegal timber trade and support responsible forest management.

Together, through responsible forest management, IKEA and WWF want to ensure that high conservation values are maintained or enhanced in forests. Beginning with just five forest projects in seven countries in 2002, today, they are collaborating in 13 countries on a variety of projects which benefit both people and the environment.

FSC-certified wood

IKEA has minimum requirements for all wood used in its products and collaborates with WWF and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to support responsible forest management. The long-term goal is that by 2020 all wood used in IKEA products is recycled or comes from forests that are responsibly managed (FSC-certified). In sensitive high-risk areas, requirements are higher and the aim is that these forests are certified by 2017.

“An FSC-certified forest means that forest managers follow rules for environmentally, socially and economically responsible forestry”, says Louise Carlsson, WWF and IKEA forest programme co-ordinator. “This includes identifying and excluding particularly valuable forests from logging. It also means taking into account the needs of local communities and the conservation of species that depend on the forest.”

Better Cotton

IKEA and WWF are two of the founders of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and more sustainable cotton production is a priority for the partnership. BCI's goal is to improve global cotton production through encouraging better practices such as using less water and fewer chemicals, and improving the livelihoods and working conditions of cotton farmers.

More than 44,000 cotton farmers in India and Pakistan have significantly reduced their use of chemical pesticides, fertilisers and water. Since 2015, all cotton used in IKEA’s product range has come from more sustainable sources.

“We are very proud to have reached our milestone of using 100 per cent cotton from more sustainable sources – but it’s only part of a much longer journey with an even bigger goal," says Simon Henzell-Thomas, Sustainability Policy Manager & Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Inter IKEA Group.

The partnership has delivered improved health and income levels for cotton farmers involved in joint WWF and IKEA projects, and reduced impacts on the environment. Co-operation with local authorities has also reduced child labour.

“Making cotton production more efficient and more profitable means more children go to school. Previously, many children had to work with their parents in the cotton fields to help their families make ends meet. Particularly important is the increase in the number of girls in schools”, says Marcus Albers, WWF partnership manager.

Ikea Progress

Certified timber in IKEA range
50%  of wood came from more sustainable sources in 2015

Better cotton in IKEA textiles
100% of cotton from more sustainable sources – August 2015

Energy efficiency
In FY15 IKEA committed to own and operate wind farms which, together with its existing wind farms, solar panels and biomass generators, will produce the equivalent of over 70% of the company´s consumption.


100% of IKEA’s sales value will come from home furnishing products classified as ‘more sustainable’.

100% renewable, recyclable or recycled materials in home furnishing products.

100% improved efficiency of energy and water consuming products (compared to 2008 market average).


"We want to help change the entire global cotton market. Our vision is to make ‘Better Cotton’ accessible to all buyers around the world and support all cotton farmers to grow more sustainably. It's a win for everyone, including the environment."

Simon Henzell-Thomas, Sustainability Policy Manager & Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Inter IKEA Group

No child labour

No Child Labour is a minimum requirement and IKEA firmly believes in taking responsibility for the elimination of child labour across our whole industry. IKEA’s own code of conduct, IWAY, was launched in 2000, and has contributed to many improvements, both small and large, in the company's supply chain.

WWF-IKEA Partnership

WWF and IKEA have worked together since 2002. Today the partnership runs projects in 13 countries with the objective of supporting responsible forest management and more sustainable cotton production.

 Responsible forest management objectives:
  1. Improved forest governance. We work to improve forest governance so that policies and land use decisions better integrate ecological, social and economic values of the standing forest.
  2. Responsible forest management. We support the development of responsible forest management. This includes improving the quality of forest certification systems and increasing the area of credibly certified or well-managed forests.
  3. Responsible & transparent trade. We work to strengthen legislation and policies to combat illegal logging and illegal timber trade, improve transparency along the entire value chain, and show the consequences of the irresponsible trade and consumption of forest products.
  4. Improved production efficiency. We look at ways to reduce the footprint of IKEA supply chains by designing products that get the most out of each log, and by using more recycled wood.

Cotton objectives:
  1. Build farmers’ capacity to produce Better Cotton. Through farmer field schools the partnership is educating and training cotton farmers in Better Management Practices.
  2. Reduce the use of pesticides, water and chemical fertilisers. Using Better Management Practices when growing cotton give big benefits for environment and people.
  3. Increase farmers’ gross margins. Increased gross margins give the cotton farmers more possibilities to improve
  4. Improve working conditions for farmers’ families and workers
  5. Improve soil quality in the cotton field
  6. Catalyse a shift to Better Cotton across the whole cotton commodity market
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Countries where WWF and IKEA are collaborating

  • Better cotton production
    India and Pakistan

    Sustainable timber production 
    Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukrania, Russia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, China, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Thailand

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