IKEA - People & Planet Positive

Blog, 14 February 2017

Tomas Lundin, Category Area Sustainability Manager at IKEA.

IKEA is a major global retailer in furniture and home living. IKEA has a well-established sustainability strategy - People and Planet Positive - and sees significant overlap between its own objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. IKEA is committed to ensuring that the palm oil used in its products is grown and processed in a responsible and sustainable way.

IKEA fully supports the RSPO, and we believe that the standard is currently the best tool available to achieve change in the palm oil sector. IKEA does not source palm oil directly, so we work closely with our suppliers to make sure the palm oil used in our products is sourced according to our requirements. Although we are a relatively small industry user, we are committed to working with RSPO certification.

However, the challenges with palm oil remain immense. Deforestation, peatland development, and human rights issues are urgent concerns that are not covered to the necessary extent at present.

This is why IKEA’s Position on Palm Oil, released in 2014, included additional requirements for suppliers to go beyond RSPO certification, ensuring no deforestation and no planting on peat.

Another challenge is that, sometimes, certification schemes and industry requirements, can risk excluding smallholders. This is something that we want to avoid. We therefore welcome that

the RSPO is taking extra steps to develop a comprehensive smallholder strategy, in addition to RSPO NEXT.

Within the next two years, we hope to see the RSPO further improving its chain of custody requirements. For IKEA, being able to verify as far down the chain as needed is crucial, and we try to do this for all our materials. We need to be able to say we are doing everything we can to verify our supply (beyond desktop verification). For palm oil, this means going all the way to mill or plantation level.