Open letter to Ikea and Swedwood from Protect the Forest


Dear, Anders Hildeman (Global Forestry Manager at Ikea of Sweden), Mikael Ohlsson (CEO of Ikea Group Management), and Leif Hultman (CEO of Swedwood International)

We would like to invite you to a meeting about Swedwood’s forestry in Russian Karelia. Since Ikea owns Swedwood and is responsible for Swedwood’s activities, we welcome representatives from Ikea to the meeting. We also invite SPOK, a Karelian nature conservation organisation which has been working with Karelian forests since 1996. Furthermore, we also invite Friends of the Earth Sweden and Greenpeace Russia – both organizations have been working with Ikea/Swedwood’s forestry in Karelia.

We suppose that you have noticed our campaign which draws attention to the truth about Swedwood’s loggings in Russian Karelia. We do not accept that valuable old growth forests are being devastated so that Ikea can profit by means of cheap wood furniture. Furthermore, Ikea is greenwashing their forestry by using the environmental forestry certification FSC. We know from Sweden and other examples throughout the world that this certification is very weak when it comes to actual considerations for nature – but quite successful in making ”dirty” forestry appear responsible.

As part of our campaign, we address five demands to Ikea/Swedwood, where we outline what Ikea/Swedwood can do towards a more trustworthy forestry in Russian Karelia. Since the campaign was launched, it has grown both on a national and international level. The campaign has also gotten support from organizations such as Global Forest Coalition, Timber Watch Coalition in South Africa, SumOfUs, Fältbiologerna, Friends of the Earth Sweden and Rainforest Rescue.

We also suggest an agenda for the meeting:

1. Welcome and presentation of all participants

2. Overview and confirmation of the agenda

3. Presentation of each stakeholders view on Ikea/Swedwood’s forestry in Russian Karelia

4. The future of Ikea/Swedwood’s leased forests in Russian Karelia
a) Suggestions for change – five steps towards a more trustworthy Ikea, from Protect the Forest
b) Comments from the environmental organizations
c) Comments from Ikea and Swedwood

5. Next meeting?

We hope that you, as you claim, take the consequences of forestry seriously and therefore accept our invitation to this meeting. The meeting will be held if the principal concerned parties will be able to attend. Otherwise the meeting will be postponed to late October or early November.

Date: 2012-09-13

Time: 13.00

Place: Stockholm

Please respond by 2012-09-06 at the latest. Reply to linda.nordstrom (at) skyddaskogen.se

Best regards,

Viktor Säfve, Chair of Protect the Forest

Haddebo 2012-08-30