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Press release from Protect the Forest and Nature and Youth Sweden 2012-04-29

Large protest in eight Swedish IKEA stores

Yesterday, on Saturday the 28th, the environmental organizations Protect the Forest and Nature and Youth Sweden protested at eight different IKEA stores around Sweden. The customers were told about IKEA's logging of old-growth forest in Russia by a flashmob where activists were felled like trees, and through the substitution of around 2000 of IKEA's price tags with other, more truthful, ones. 

"Billboards outside IKEA urged the customers to carefully read the product information on the price tag, and I really hope people do that," says Linda Ellegaard Nordström, a Protect the Forest board member who took part in the protest in Sundsvall. "If they do, they will learn that IKEA cuts down old-growth forest in Russia to make their wood products, and they will learn the consequences IKEA's forestry has for forest biodiversity."

Protect the Forest and Nature and Youth Sweden held protests yesterday at IKEA's Swedish stores in Sundsvall, Gävle, Uppsala, Stockholm, Linköping, Örebro, Karlstad and Malmö. As part of the protest, IKEA's characteristic price tags were replaced by flyers with the same layout, with information about IKEA's clear-cutting of old-growth forest in Russian Karelia, and about the campaign Protect the Forest has launched.

"Eleven members of Protect the Forest and Nature and Youth Sweden lay symbolically felled to the ground outside the entrance of IKEA's Stockholm store, while the chainsaw roared," says Robert Svensson, board member of Protect the Forest. In the IKEA store in Malmö, 18 "trees" met the same fate.

"We wanted to show what it looks like when Russian old-growth forests are cut down by Swedwood, which is a forestry company owned by IKEA," says Salomon Abresparr, chairman of Nature and Youth Sweden. "IKEA makes glued laminated furniture out of pines and spruces which are up to 500 years old. They shouldn't get away with that!"

Media coverage has been large, which helps spread the word about Protect the Forest's campaign. The goal is to show the public that IKEA's fine words about forest conservation is nothing but greenwash, and to pressure IKEA to actually live up to their professed standards.

Press contacts:

Robert Svensson, board member of Protect the Forest +46-76-13 57 600 (were in Karelia 2011) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Salomon Abresparr, chairman of Nature and Youth Sweden +46-70-81 420 82 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Linda Ellegaard Nordström, board member of Protect the Forest +46-70-25 411 48 (were in Karelia 2008) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Free press photos from IKEA  "Kungens Kurva" in Stockholm. Photo: Robert Svensson, Protect the Forest, Sweden.

IKEA Stockholm 1

IKEA Stockholm 2

"Destroyed old-growth forest about 500 years old"

IKEA Stockholm 3

IKEA Stockholm 4
"Hello, our furnitures are made of old-growth forests. At IKEA you get low prices at any cost"

 

More photos from all eight protests can be found at  

http://www.protecttheforest.se/ikea/sv/aktionen

along with a petition with five demands for change, aimed at the management of IKEA and it's wholly-owned subsidiary Swedwood, which manages IKEA's forestry in Russian Karelia.