In news that really shouldn’t surprise anyone, it’s been revealed that garden gnome hating Swedish retailer IKEA uses a staggering 1 percent of the global commercial wood supply to manufacture its disposable particleboard trendy flat-pack home furnishings beloved by college students, budget-conscious decorators, and nattily attired monkeys alike. That’s about 17.8 million cubic yards of lumber being used to make over 100 million products including hackable end tables and non-book-friendly bookcases. Roughly 60 percent of products sold at IKEA are made from wood in some shape or heavily engineered form (meatballs not included). 

This rather sobering figure has been thrown around a lot over the past few days after popping up last week on the Pacific Standard website.

Looking further back, the Guardian also threw out the 1 percent figure in an Dec. 2012 article detailing the lumber-centric portions of the tax-avoiding cinammon bun and duvet cover peddler's impressive People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy. Amongst many positive steps in the right direction, People & Planet Positive aims to source half of the company's wood supply from FSC-certified forests by 2017 (a bit of a controversial area to be sure following the company’s old-growth Russian logging scandal) and become completely "forest-positive" by 2020. In 2012, Roughly 23 percent of IKEA’s wood originated from FSC-certified forests.

Writes Annie Kelly for the Guardian:

Ikea is deeply indebted to wood. This year it used 13.56 million cubic metres of solid wood and wood-based board materials, not including paper and packaging, meaning Ikea alone uses almost 1% of all wood used commercially around the world.

Already the company says that all wood used in its products is sourced from suppliers complying with its own Iway code of conduct. Now, the company says it is going step further. It will become "forest positive" by 2020, meaning that, despite its continuing high demand for timber, it intends its business to have an overall positive effect on the world's forests. Integral to this approach is the commitment that it will be growing at least as many trees as it uses to make products by 2020.

Crucially, it says it also intends to become one of, if not the biggest, user of certified wood and recycled wood products in the world. It will quadruple the use of wood from certified sources, translating into around 10 million cubic metres of wood by 2020. This constitutes roughly half of all the wood used by Ikea across all its operations.

Again, this is rather astonishing stuff no matter where the 1 percent figure originated. Does knowing how much wood IKEA consumes to make its products make you look at your you look at your old pal BILLY (pretty much all particleboard, by the way) in a different light?

Via [Pacific Standard] via [Gizmodo], [The Guardian]

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