IKEA acquires 25,000 acre forest in Alabama
By IKEA Group
Feb. 1, 2018 - IKEA Group has acquired its first U.S. forest property, covering approximately 25,000 acres in Lowndes County, Alabama. The investment in forestry is part of a broader strategy to invest in the sustainable production of resources that IKEA Group consumes directly, such as energy, or indirectly through its products (wood raw material, recycled materials, etc.). IKEA Group also owns more than 250,000 acres of forest land in Europe, located in Romania and the Baltic States.
"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," says Krister Mattsson, head of financial asset management at IKEA Group. "Entering the U.S. 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."
IKEA Group is committed to having a positive impact on people and the planet and has allocated over EUR 3 billion for resource and energy independent investments. Those investments support the long-term supply of sustainable materials by investing in forestry, as well as in companies that are active in recycling, renewable energy development and biomaterial developments. At the end of FY17*, IKEA Group owned 416 wind turbines around the world, including 104 in the U.S., which produce about 900 million kWh of renewable energy per year.
This new acquisition is in addition to several other significant investments IKEA Group has recently made in the U.S., where they currently operate 47 stores and seven distribution centres. In 2017, the company opened four new stores (Columbus, Ohio, Fishers, Ind., Jacksonville, Fla., and Grand Prairie, Texas) and one new distribution and customer fulfilment centre (Baytown, Texas). IKEA Group also acquired San-Francisco-based TaskRabbit, an innovative on-demand services platform company, to provide IKEA customers with additional ways to access flexible and affordable service solutions. Additionally, the company made minority investments in XL Hybrids and AeroFarms, who share the brand's ongoing commitment to supporting sustainable resources.
For its forest management in the U.S., IKEA Group has partnered with Campbell Global, a leader in sustainable timberland and natural resource investment, to oversee and operate the property.
"We are proud to be working with IKEA to promote our shared values," said John Gilleland, chief executive officer and chairman of Campbell Global. "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."