IKEA, a company famous for its affordable furniture, has recently focused on becoming more environmentally sustainable. Since the company primarily produces home goods and furniture, it tends to consume a significant amount of wood. To make sure they maintain their sustainability goals, one of IKEA’s priorities has been to use responsibly sourced timber.
Recently, IKEA took matters into their own hands and directly invested in forests. The company purchased a forest in the United States to sustain its furniture production. The land spans across 25,0000 acres in Lowndes County, which is right in the middle of Alabama.
While this is IKEA’s first forest purchase in the United States, the company already owns other forest lands. In fact, IKEA owns more than 250,000 acres of forests in European locations such as Romania and the Baltic States. Their latest purchase allows the company to meet their overarching environmental strategy goals and diversify their wood resources.
IKEA’s Head of Financial Asset Management, Krister Mattsson, said in IKEA’s press release, “As a responsible forest owner, we are interested in identifying and applying sustainable management methods that will allow us to preserve and even increase the quality of the forest over time. Entering the US market is a milestone for our investments in forests, and we believe we will learn a lot here while implementing our long-term approach to forest management and applying for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.”
While buying thousands of acres of forest around the world to maintain a company’s production might sound excessive, it makes sense considering just how massive IKEA is. IKEA currently has 355 large stores across 29 countries which receive 817 million visits a year. For perspective, that’s not even counting the 2.1 billion people that visit their website annually.
Although IKEA might be able to design a stellar coffee table, maintaining the delicate ecosystem of forests isn’t really their forte. To make sure their forests flourish and meet their sustainability standards, IKEA hires forest pros to help oversee the lands. For the United States, the company hired Campbell Global. The Oregon based company is a sustainable timberland and natural resource investment management firm. Campbell Global currently manages about 2.6 million acres of land around the world and focuses on transparency and sustainability.
CEO and Chairman of Campbell Global, John Gilleland, said in a recent press release, “We are proud to be working with IKEA to promote our shared values. Responsible stewardship is the cornerstone of our culture. We are committed to managing sustainable, working forests to foster optimal forest health and provide direct benefits to local communities.”
Apart from buying land to ensure sustainable forestry, IKEA has been working on building an environmentally-friendly company by investing in renewable energy and recycling. The company owns 416 wind turbines and creates 900 million kWh of renewable energy per year. Overall, the company has invested over 3 billion euros in an effort to create a positive environmental impact.
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