CONSHOKEN, PA -- IKEA is introducing a new line of solid wood furniture with its Nornas collection, which is made of blonde arctic pine from Northern Sweden.

IKEA Design Director Marcus Engman says the company went back to its roots with this collection. "We started off by selecting trees from well-managed forests and cutting and sawing the logs in a way to minimize waste," he says.

An advantage of using wood from Northern Sweden is that the cold climate allows the pine trees to grow slowly, creating dense growth rates for strength and durability.

"The strength of pine enables larger and slimmer designs only possible with nautral wood," Engman adds. And combined with IKEA's modular system, Nornas is flexible enough to offer a variety of design options.

Nornas was designed by the brother and sister team of Marianne and Knut Heberg who wanted to combine the traditional aesthetic of pine with modern contemporary design.

"To do this we designed each piece in a craftsmanlike way with details like bevelled edges and sturdy traditional construction techniques," they said. "By using this natural material we were able to intentionally  make use of variations in the grain as well as knots and markings so that each piece is completely unique."

Sustainability on track for IKEA

The launch of the solid wood Nornas collection is also in  line with IKEA's commitment to sustainability. In a recently released report, the company says that its People & Planet Positive strategy is on goal and delivering positive results.

IKEA Group President and CEO Peter Agnefjäll notes that sustainability is a key driver of its business strategy. "We see it as a great opportunity to improve our business," he says.

As a result, the company has set goals to transform its supply chain, aiming for sustainable sourcing of key materials. IKEA says it is now one of the "world’s largest buyers of FSC-certified wood in the retail sector, and 41% of its wood was FSC certified or recycled last year."

IKEA has more than 315 stores in 27 countries with approximately 40 stores in the U.S.

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