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Ikea Forest Stewardship Council Certification Suspended

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February 27, 2014

Swedish home furniture chain Ikea has been accused of cutting down trees that are up to 600 years old in protected Russian woodlands, according to a report in The Sunday Times (U.K.).

Consequently, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit that promotes the responsible management of the world’s woodlands, has suspended Swedwood, Ikea’s forestry subsidiary, of its certification, according to the report.

The FSC certification is a confirmation that wood cut from Russian forests is sustainably harvested. However, during a recent audit of the company’s operations in Karelia revealed numerous “major deviations” from the rules, including the harvesting of “key biotopes,” or older trees, according to the report.

Swedwood has leases to log 700,000 acres in the Russian forest as long as it avoids old trees and does not clear tress on steep slopes, which increases erosion. Karelia, near the Finnish border, is home to Europe’s last great forests.

An Ikea spokeswoman told The Sunday Times: “We see the suspension of the certificate as highly temporary. The deviations mainly cover issues related to facilities and equipment for our co-workers, forestry management as well as training of our forestry co-workers,” noting that it has already corrected most of the violations.

 

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