Having recently announced the Vancouver Declaration at our 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 join together to support sustainable forestry and the Vancouver Declaration.

 What does the declaration mean to you?

For me it’s a clear call reaching out to stakeholders including policy makers 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 it’s only responsible business that 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 make better, want to see IKEA acting responsibly. And it’s also one of our core values – caring for people and the planet. And 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 for action to 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, don’t be afraid to go all for it, that’s the message I’d like to send.