IKEA and the Vancouver Declaration

"Anyone can be a leader for change."

FSC Vancouver Declaration Ikea
FSC GD / Arturo Escobar

Having recently announced the Vancouver Declaration at our FSC 2017 General Assembly, where we met with a number of industry delegates from organizations already supporting the initiative, we wanted to take the opportunity to talk to some of them about why they have come on board, and what they would say to anybody thinking about it.

We spoke to Mikhail Tarasov, Global Forestry Manager at IKEA, about why he felt it’s important that we work together to support sustainable forestry and the Vancouver Declaration.

What does the declaration mean to you?

It’s a clear call, reaching out to stakeholders, including policymakers and everyone else. It’s a big step towards getting the whole industry to act responsibly to secure positive change in the world of forestry.

IKEA has already pledged its support. Why is this initiative important to the organization?

At IKEA, we passionately believe that only responsible business is sustainable long term, and that’s the way everybody should be thinking about how they operate.

Our customers, the many people whose lives we want to improve, want to see IKEA acting responsibly. And it’s also one of our core values – caring for people and the planet. We want to be an inspiration to other businesses. We’re happy to lead and to be at the forefront of development in commitments on forestry.

With this declaration, we want to make it absolutely clear where we stand regarding the future of our forests and doing business responsibly. And we want to send a joint message from leading businesses about our bold sustainability commitments. It’s a call to action aimed at those still considering and hesitating.

What would you say to those thinking of supporting the Vancouver Declaration?

The Vancouver Declaration is a way of inspiring people to make a genuine difference in sustainable forest management. At IKEA, we believe in togetherness and collaborative action. Inclusiveness and an open dialogue are perhaps the main values of FSC. By working together and providing tangible examples, we can make sustainable forestry the norm for everyone.

Businesses need to understand that they can be leaders for change by introducing this ambitious commitment to one of the world’s strictest and most credible certification systems.

Anyone can be a leader for change. Be bold in your sustainability goals, and don’t be afraid to go for it. That’s the message I’d like to send.