l really thought this product would’ve been rated higher before I wrote this review yet it has been clear that the environmental-friendly color that IKEA painted itself to be have chipped way to some extent. Even though the Linnmon/Adils table uses recyclable material and can be mostly recycled after use, its product design could be improve through using environmental friendly biodegradable paint. The corporation itself also need more work despite its 2030 goals. The timber sourcing scandal along with undisclosed labor practice really has raise my doubt in the company’s overall sustainability. Being a corporation at this large scale means that it has the power and the responsibility to take the lead but it is not fully doing it now.
Like most of other IKEA furnitures, Linnmon/Adils table need to be assembled after purchase. This feature to some extent minimizes the kinds of material used in the product. The table tops and legs can be mixed and matched for different color but in general, the top is made of fiberboard, particleboard, acrylic paints, and paper filling while the legs are made of steel coated in epoxy/polyyester powder coating along with polypropylene foot. IKEA claims that their honeycomb structure paper filling is made of at least 70% recycled material including recycled paper, sawmill leftover and scrap wood. The legs can be unassembled by the end the product life to be recycled if the option is available in the region. The wood that were not previously recycled comes from responsibly-managed forest. I would say I am fairly satisfied with this when more than 90% of the product can be recycled after use. Even though IKEA furniture tend to not last long, it is mostly used by people who tend to move after couple years instead of settling in the place for more than a decade. It would be somewhat inconsiderate to ask them to invest in a long-lasting table fully made of sustainable material that would be a major and somewhat unnecessary financial burden. This product is good in this case when it is better for people to recycle so they enjoy the fairly affordable price tag without dumping more trash into the landfill after use. However, the acrylic paints used is not the ideal for sustainability and there should be more environmental-friendly alternatives. Acrylic paints are made from a synthetic resin binder produced from a chemical process with intensive use of additives. They are not toxic to human body but “toxic” to the environment as they are not biodegradable and have the risk of leaching out into waterways if not properly disposed. I could not find how much paints are used for a single table therefore I can not quantify the total impact of the paint in this product. But knowing the potential threats and considering how popular IKEA furniture is, the company really should transition into using more sustainable paints
Manufacturing of IKEA furniture has mostly been outsourced to China and other Asian countries with cheap labor. However, the company has committed to promote sustainability across its value chain, which allows me to find information about its manufacturing practices from its sustainability report. Despite another ambitious corporate sustainability goal that aims to commit to 100% renewable energy for production by 2030, IKEA’s production carbon footprint from the last five years have not drastically decreased. It’s good that the company is making the move and their goal is by 2030, which is two decades earlier than all the other net-zero by 2050 pledge by every single corporation that had FOMO. However, it does not discuss its labor practice in detail, which is pretty suspicious. The company is a design and manufacturing corporation so it should have all the information and the governance power to ensure good labor practice. It does have gender-equal pay and responsible wage practices sections in its sustainability report, but the wordings are very vague and each takes half a page in a 84-page document. This really makes me doubt how much do they really care about their workers, especially the manufacturing and warehouse employees. Because IKEA is such a giant corporation, I choose to not give it the benefits of the doubt and give it only half a planet rating for this section.
IKEA has been perceived as one of the companies that are actually trying to address climate change, yet their great marketing work should’ve been matched up by their actual practices. After being under fire fore logging old-growth forest in 2012, IKEA became more conscious, or at least in the public’s eyes, for its wood sourcing. The high volume sale across the world made the corporation one of the most powerful home furnishing companies in the world so its commitment to sustainable logging and using s famous for its affordable could make a big impact. IKEA heavily relies on FSC (“Forest Stewardship Council”) label to identify supposedly sustainable timber source yet the label itself is currently heavily scrutinized for human rights abuses, illegal deforestation and illegal timber trade. IKEA was under fire again in summer 2020 when the unsustainably logged wood was found to be sold as "ethical" in the EU. This is unacceptable and the company is silent on the FSC scandal while still relying on the certification system to prove their sustainability. I do appreciate IKEA’s buy-back and general commitment to climate mitigation, but the company I hope to see more concert evidence on their actions toward sustainability.