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25 February 2014 | Will Green
A subsidiary of IKEA that supplies timber to the furniture maker has been stripped of its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation following an audit.
Swedwood Karelia had its FSC certificate suspended after an audit in Russia found a number of problems, including harvesting of “key biotopes”, or important wildlife habitats; the lack of a proper environmental impact assessment; and lack of protective equipment for workers.
A report by the Rainforest Alliance, which carries out audits for the FSC, said: “During the field inspections, auditors found key biotopes had not been identified before harvest and harvested. Harvests of key biotopes were found also at the harvest areas of previous years. That confirmed non conformance to the standard was systematic and lasting over several years.”
The suspension affects 295,348 hectares in the Russian Karelia region.
In a statement Swedwood, which is now known as Ikea Industry, said: “A majority of the deviations have already been corrected and our full focus is now on correcting the remaining deviations and reinstating the FSC certificate urgently.
“We take our responsibility for the forests and the people who work there very seriously and we appreciate that correcting the deviations will improve the way we manage the forest in Karelia.
“IKEA is committed to responsible forest management and to the principles of the FSC. Our lease in Karelia has been FSC certified since 2006 and we believe that a reinstated FSC certificate will continue to be the best protection for natural values in the logging areas.”