To reduce the climate footprint of board production, IKEA is switching from fossil-based to bio-based glues. Today, 5 percent of the climate footprint of the total IKEA value chain is connected to the use of glue in board materials. With this change, the goal is to reduce fossil-based glue use by 40 percent and greenhouse gas emissions from glue by 30 percent by FY30.
Finding new glue solutions is one of the main approaches to reducing the IKEA climate footprint, and most glue consumption is used in board production. As a result of innovation and several years of trials, IKEA is now switching to bio-based alternatives to reduce fossil-based glue usage by 40 percent and the climate footprint from glue by 30 percent.
“This is a big and important movement for IKEA, which we have been working to enable for more than 10 years. This confirms the need for more glues with a much lower climate footprints and that small changes can have big impacts. We hope this will inspire others to follow,” says Venla Hemmilä, Material and Technology Engineer at IKEA of Sweden.
Switching from fossil-based to bio-based glue solutions will be a stepwise approach, and the goal is to have most board-producing factories in the IKEA supply chain using glues that have a lower climate by FY30. In Kazlu Ruda, Lithuania, the first IKEA Industry factory is now using a glue system made of technical starch from corn* in large-scale production. This results from 10 years of efforts to find alternatives to fossil-based glues. In parallel, multiple trials with other glue systems are being conducted.
“As glue in board materials stands for 5 percent of the climate footprint of the IKEA value chain, this makes a big impact and a key step towards contributing to limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Together with increasing recycled wood use and striving towards 100 percent renewable energy in production, this is a milestone in our journey of making our wood-based products more sustainable,” says Andreas Rangel Ahrens, Head of Climate at Inter IKEA Group.
Finding new glue solutions is one of the main approaches to further reduce the climate footprint linked to particle board production, together with striving towards 100 percent renewable energy consumption. This movement aligns with the overall IKEA ambition to only use renewable and recyclable materials by FY30. To enable a transition to 100 percent bio-based glue use, IKEA has recently launched an accelerator programme to pilot new glue solutions with external partners.
*Technical starch is made from industrially grown plants that are separated from the food chain.