Ikea has allegedly been sourcing timber for its products from Russian companies engaged in illegal logging of pine trees in Russia’s protected Siberian boreal forests, a new investigation has revealed. In a year-long probe by London-based investigative group Earthsight, the Swedish flatpack furniture manufacturer was the most well-known of several Western firms found to have sourced lumber for its products from ExportLes Group, a collection of companies owned by Evgeny Bakurov, one of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen-politicians. Bakurov reportedly once boasted that an Ikea representative said the company chose to do business with him because he sent Ikea “logs faster than we can transfer the money.” “Earthsight estimates that shoppers have been purchasing an Ikea product containing the suspect Russian lumber somewhere on earth every two minutes,” the group said. Ikea said it had ended purchases from ExportLes in June after Earthsight shared its findings with the company, though it maintained the timber was “legally harvested” and said it had dropped Bakurov’s firm from its list of suppliers over unspecified “practices of concern”. Evgeny Bakurov’s forest estate in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Credit: Dirk Wright for Earthsight Russia’s boreal forests, also known as the taiga, include a majority of the world’s conifers and store about half of the northern hemisphere’s terrestrial carbon, so play a vital role in regulating climate change. The country is one of the world’s largest timber exporters, shipping almost a quarter of all lumber traded globally in 2019. ExportLes had justified its logging of the trees in a…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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