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Have you heard the huge news about IKEA? Get ready!
IKEA Group has acquired 25,000 acres of forest property in Alabama. The land, which is located in Lowndes County, is the first U.S. forest property purchased by the company. (The company also owns over 250,000 acres of forest land in Europe.)
Now, before you get overly excited and start imagining how you will decorate your new home entirely in IKEA everything, the land is supposedly not being used for a new store location. Bummer!
So if they don’t have plans to build a store in Alabama, what are their intentions?
According to IKEA, the investment in forestry is part of the company’s broader strategy to invest in sustainable production of resources that IKEA consumes.
“Entering the U.S. market is a milestone for our investment in forests,” said Krister Mattsson, head of financial assessment management for IKEA Group. “… we will learn a lot here while implementing our long-term approach to forest management and applying for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.”
Mattsson went on to say,
“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.”
To manage the forest property, IKEA Group has partnered with Campbell Global, a leader in sustainable timberland and natural resource investment. The firm currently manages approximately 2.6 million acres worldwide.
IKEA Group is committed to having a positive impact on people and the planet, allocating over EUR 3 billion for resource and energy-independent investments. These 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.
According to ikea.com, at the end of FY17, IKEA Group owned 416 wind turbines around the world, including 104 in the U.S. – a production of about 900 million kWh of renewable energy.
“We are proud to be working with IKEA to promote our shared values,” said John Gilleland, CEO 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.”
How do locals of Lowndes County feel about IKEA’s property investment?
Those of us in Lowndes County who fought off the landfills are delighted with the idea of IKEA honoring our beautiful, diverse County,” said Barbara Evans, resident of Lowndes County. “We always wanted Lowndes to be saved for outdoor recreation, birding, fishing and other environmentally healthy family activities. We are thrilled that IKEA shares our vision.”