IKEA Adopts Bio-Based Glue to Cut Climate Impact
To decrease the climate impact of board production, IKEA is making the transition from fossil-based to bio-based glues.
Currently, the use of glue in board materials accounts for 5% of IKEA's total value chain's climate footprint. Through this transition, IKEA aims to cut fossil-based glue usage by 40% and greenhouse gas emissions from glue by 30% by fiscal year 2030.
One of the primary strategies for reducing IKEA's climate impact is to explore new adhesive options, with the majority of glue consumption taking place during board production. Following years of experimentation and innovation, IKEA has developed and implemented bio-based alternatives, leading to a 40% reduction in fossil-based glue usage and a 30% reduction in the climate impact of glue.
“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 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.
The transition from fossil-based to bio-based glues will be a gradual process, to have the majority of board-producing factories in the IKEA supply chain use lower carbon footprint glues by FY30. The first factory in Lithuania is now using a glue system made from corn-based technical starch, following 10 years of research into alternatives. Meanwhile, other glue systems are undergoing multiple trials.
”As glue in board materials stands for 5% 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% 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.
One of the main strategies to decrease the climate impact associated with particle board production is to explore new glue solutions and shift towards 100% renewable energy use.
This aligns with IKEA's objective to rely solely on renewable and recyclable materials by FY30. To achieve this, IKEA has initiated an accelerator programme with external partners to pilot new bio-based glue solutions.
Technical starch derived from industrially grown plants, separated from the food value chain, is used in the glue system currently employed by the first IKEA Industry factory in Lithuania.