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News from Global Partnership Projects

WWF and IKEA discuss the partnership’s future

WWF and IKEA have started discussions around a possible fifth three-year agreement to cooperate on forestry issues and other potential areas of mutual interest. The current phase four agreement ends in June 2014.

“Great conservation impacts have been achieved and looking ahead WWF wants to take the partnership to an even higher level. IKEA has their agenda and we have ours, but we want to meet where our interests overlap. We would like to see us as the challenging partner,” says Marcus Albers, Manager Corporate Partnerships WWF Sweden.

“We are pleased with the way the current forest projects are going, and look forward to really strong proposals for phase five,” says Simon Henzell-Thomas, IKEA Sustainability Policy & Partnerships Manager.

I think we’ll continue to partner with WWF on forestry. We have very ambitious targets around driving FSC certification in critical areas such as Russia, China, south east Asia and south east Europe and I am sure we can work together with WWF in some of these areas” says Simon Henzell-Thomas.
One of the targets in the IKEA People and Planet Positive sustainability strategy is to become "forest positive" by 2020. IKEA sees a continued high demand for timber, but is committed to safeguarding forest biodiversity at landscape level and to ensuring a long term balance between harvest of wood and forest re-growth.

"Some people think that forest conservation and logging are always in opposition. WWF disagrees; often the best forest stewards are those with a commercial interest in keeping forests healthy.  IKEA’s forest positive strategy reflects this idea, and through our partnership, we can show what this means in practice,” says WWF Forest Director Rod Taylor.

Both organisations want to make sure the partnership continues for the right reasons and with the right expectations, especially if it takes on new challenges beyond today’s cotton and forest projects.

 “We need to be clear what our needs are, where we IKEA can make a difference, and then establish which areas WWF has the desire, capacity and skills to partner with us.  We need to work together on areas that drive our respective organisational strategies. We shouldn’t partner just for the sake of it,” says Simon Henzell-Thomas. “And we want a partner to be more than just a delivery agent, but also to challenge and push us.”


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