Celebrating ten years of action
IKEA and WWF have worked successfully together as partners since 2002. Today, we run joint projects in 13 countries to promote sustainable use of resources with a special focus on the forest and cotton markets. The partnership also strives to inspire other companies and networks to address environmental challenges and create a better and more sustainable everyday life for the many people.
The WWF and IKEA Partnership will be celebrating its 10th anniversary all of this year, through both internal and external channels. This newsletter has a special focus on cotton, while our September issue will focus on forest. In December, we intend to summarise the partnership´s many achievements of the past decade.
"We should be really proud"
To mark the partnership´s 10th anniversary, we asked Simon Henzell-Thomas, IKEA Sustainability Policy & Partnerships Manager, and Marcus Albers, Manager Corporate Partnerships WWF Sweden to reflect on the significance of the partnership till date.
"An important success factor is that both organisations have such engaged and hard-working co-workers, not least in the field. They make great efforts," says Marcus Albers.
Simon Henzell-Thomas agrees:
"We should be really proud of what we´ve achieved on forestry and cotton. The impact has been tremendous."
Since 2002, the partnership has contributed to increasing the FSC-certified forest area with millions of hectares in Russia, China, Bulgaria and Romania. And some 45,000 project farmers in India and Pakistan are now growing cotton in a more sustainable manner thanks to the joint efforts started in 2005.
COTTON: WWF and IKEA prepare for sustainable cotton production beyond projects
Eight years into the cotton partnership, and with some very impressive results to show for it, WWF and IKEA want to support sustainable cotton production beyond the joint projects on the ground in India and Pakistan. The goal is to help transform the global cotton market and make Better Cotton an affordable, mainstream commodity that is better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector´s future.
"When we first started the projects, neither IKEA nor WWF really knew what needed to be done to tackle the challenges with cotton farming. The first phase was experimental, with lots of innovation. We have learned a lot and achieved a lot," says Murli Dhar, Associate Director Sustainable Agriculture Program WWF India.
COTTON: Great 2012 results for cotton projects in India and Pakistan
The partnership´s joint cotton projects in India and Pakistan clearly show that not only the environment benefits from more sustainable farming practices – in 2012, project farmers´ earnings in India were around 70 percent higher compared to those using conventional cultivation methods, according to fresh data from WWF.
COTTON: "Our yields have improved."
The once lush Godavari river basin in central India now experiences regular droughts due to climate change and decades of poor water management.
But farmers, like Swarupchand Maher, have improved their livelihood despite the difficult circumstances.
"Before it was hard to make enough money from selling our cotton and vegetables. With the new techniques, our yields have improved. We don’t have to spend so much time on weeding and watering and we´re using less pesticide", says Swarupchand Maher.
Income from cotton and vegetables on Swarupchand´s 28 acre farm used to barely support his household of 11 people. But since getting involved in an IKEA and WWF project to promote more sustainable farming practices, his income has improved and his family enjoys a better quality of life.
COTTON: IKEA secures 50% cotton from
preferred sources for 2013
The IKEA supply chain has now secured enough cotton produced from preferred sources* to cover half of the predicted total need for IKEA products in the current financial year 2013 (FY13).
"It is exciting that we have crossed the 50% goal and this has been a significant achievement. There is still a way to go to meet our 2015 goal and I am sure with the continued collaboration we will secure this," says Pramit Chanda, IKEA Material Development Leader Textiles.
"I have greatly benefitted from the path shown by the project."
"I am a farmer under WWF project and I have greatly benefitted from the path shown by the project," says Vasant Madhavrao Shinde living in Pirkalyan village, Jalna district, Maharashtra, India.
Vasant Madhavrao Shinde, whose yield has doubled and costs halved with very basic methods, feels deeply indebted to the project for the techniques he was taught and lessons that he learnt through participation.
"We are illiterate but now we can use modern technology and select what is best for our cotton field," adds the confident farmer.
He has also become aware of the risks associated with traditional practices and is now very cautious and follows all the safety recommendations made under the project.
"I have greatly benefitted from the path shown by the project", says Vasant Madhavrao Shinde´
COTTON: Better Cotton could be
mainstream commodity before 2020
The availability of Better Cotton - cotton produced and licensed according to the social and environmental criteria set by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI - is increasing rapidly, and production could be large enough to make it a mainstream global commodity before 2020.
"Only 2% or 670,000 metric tonnes of the cotton lint produced globally in 2012 were Better Cotton. But a lot of people in the industry now feel we could have a significant ratio on the market before 2020," says Hammad Naqi Khan, Global Cotton Leader at WWF International´s Market Transformation Initiative.
COTTON: Premium prices for
Better Cotton a challenge
Cotton cultivated with practices that require less chemicals in the form of fertilisers and pesticides is better for the environment and often cheaper for the farmer to produce because he saves money by not having to buy as much chemicals. This win-win perspective is part of the reasoning why Better Cotton should not be allowed to become a premium-prices commodity.
"Still, we have a challenge here," says Arif Makhdum, Director Sustainable Agriculture WWF Pakistan and part of the team that started the joint cotton projects in Pakistan in 2005. "Some supply chain actors feel they do something special that they don’t get anything extra for."
FOREST: Threatened forests along the
Danube river saved in Bulgaria
A legislative amendment in Bulgaria in October 2012 opened up for clear-cutting in the riparian forest areas along the Danube river, despite the risk of negative environmental impact and despite the fact that some of the areas have been identified as protected areas by the EU´s Natura 2000 network. Six months of hard policy work from WWF and other NGOs has paid off - the amendment was dropped and 4,500 hectares of forest are now safe and cannot be felled.
FOREST: More FSC certified rattan
on its way to Europe
The export of FSC certified rattan from Laos to Europe is picking up speed thanks to growing demand in Switzerland, UK, US and Sweden. A large batch of products is currently on its way to the Coop in Switzerland.
FOREST: WWF Living Forest Report sees tripled demand for wood by 2050
The amount of wood felled in forests and plantations every year could triple by 2050 due to rising population and demand. This is a conclusion found in the fourth and latest instalment of WWF´s Living Forests Report, produced with support from IKEA.
"A scenario of tripling the amount of wood society takes from forests and plantations needs to motivate good stewardship that safeguards forests - otherwise we could destroy the very places where wood grows," 2 says Rod Taylor, Director of WWF’s Global Forest Programme.
FOREST: WWF continues its fight against legislation threatening Romanian forest
WWF Romania has again managed to block a suggested new Forest Act that would legalise exploitation of the country´s virgin forests - since the suggested amendments to legislation was first initiated in October 2011, WWF and its 120.000 supporters have managed to prevent it from being voted through four times!
FOREST: GFTN helps clarify new EU regulations to prevent illegal logging
The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) took effect on March 3, an important milestone in global efforts to combat illegal logging. WWF´s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) is helping companies understand and meet the requirements of the new regulation, as well as encouraging the industry to move beyond legality and take bolder steps toward contributing to responsible forest management.
FOREST: Russian forest rangers, police and NGOs in joint actions against illegal logging
Illegal logging of valuable hardwoods has reached crisis proportions in the Russian Far East, and WWF estimates that twice as much oak was logged for export than was authorized for harvest by the government in 2010 alone. This is why WWF specialists, forest rangers and the police recently joined forces in a joint action against illegal logging in the Southern Khabarovsky Province.
CLIMATE: Final report from joint climate projects: Sustainable life at home - Ecoration
The joint climate project Sustainable life at home ended late 2012 as the last of the six joint climate projects, and the final project brief, is now available. Over a six-month period, WWF and IKEA supported nine families - Ecoration families - in Kalmar, Sweden, to test out a wide variety of solutions to save energy and water and to minimise waste. The outcome clearly shows that the solutions combined with changed behaviours in fact do enable customers to live a more sustainable life at home.
IKEA is going for gold with WWF UK Marathon team
To celebrate 10 years of action in the partnership, five IKEA co-workers joined the WWF UK team in the Virgin London Marathon on April 21st to help raise funds for WWF´s conservation work. WWF has given IKEA five of their guaranteed charity spots in the marathon, and IKEA has donated £1,000 to each runner to help them along the way to hitting their fundraising target of £2,000 each.
Training has been in full swing and special fundraising events have been planned at IKEA stores from bucket collections, cake sales and treadmill runs.
Click on the runner’s names to visit their respective fundraising page on the web.
Tony Pearson Kyle Binks Holly Stuart Cormac McGann
Norwegian students collects more than 7.5 million empty tealight cups.
For the second consecutive year, the Tealight Hunt competition was a great success in Norway. Arranged by WWF and IKEA in collaboration with two recycling companies and aluminium producer Hydro, the recycling competition engaged more than 29,000 primary school students and received tremendous attention in various local media across the country.
WWF Belgium recruits supporters in IKEA stores
WWF Belgium has recruited many new supports thanks to the support from IKEA. During the latest four-day recruitment drive in IKEA stores, WWF representatives recruited twice as many as would normally be achieved in the same period of time. Supporters like to know what they are paying for and the positive results of the partnership between WWF and IKEA is a strong and concrete story that convinced a lot of people to start donating for WWF. We hope to repeat the experience soon.
2013 Earth Hour activities
IKEA arranged a number of activities to mark Earth Hour on March 23rd and to show its support to WWF’s fight against climate change. These are just some examples from around the world:
IKEA Belgium raised awareness about the need to take action on climate change through communication directed at its co-workers and customers as well as to the general public. The message was conveyed via TV screens in staff canteens, through in-house radio morning messages, Intranet, info sessions, table talkers, etc. IKEA Belgium also raised funds by donating 1€ to WWF for each SOLVINDEN outdoor LED light sold between March 14 and 27.
All IKEA stores in Canada turned off its non-essential lights between 8:30 and 9:30 pm Saturday March 23rd, and communicated the Earth Hour message in stores and on the web via Facebook, Twitter and www.IKEA.ca.
IKEA Sweden´s activity "We like Earth Hour!" was a call to IKEA co-workers and customers to go beyond the hour by living a more sustainable life at home every day to save energy and water, reduce waste and recycle more. In the stores customers were offered a special price on two different lamps with the latest LED-technology. Stores also turned off non-essential lights during the hour.