The Ingka Group, holding company of Ikea, just completed another major acquisition of U.S. forestland, this time in southeast Georgia.
Ingka paid an undisclosed sum to The Conservation Fund for 10,840 acres near the Altamaha River Basin. The company now owns and manages approximately 136,000 acres of forestland in five states.
In accordance to the terms of its latest acquisition, Ingka assumes all legally binding agreements previously enacted by the Conservation Fund. These include protecting the land from fragmentation, restoring the longleaf pine forest, safeguarding the habitat of the gopher tortoise and allowing public access.
“We are committed to managing our forests sustainably while at the same time meeting our business objectives,” said Krister Mattsson, managing director of Ingka Investments, the arm of the Inkgva Group that manages forests in the United States and Europe. “In all our properties, we pay special attention to ensuring environmental protection, so we are happy to see that our efforts in working with responsible forest management are being seen and trusted.” The company noted that its commitment to forest sustainability includes participation in Forest Stewardship Council certification programs for all of its forests and planting more than 600,000 seedlings in the United States and nearly 6 million seedlings worldwide.
“The transfer of these lands to Ingka Investments completes our Working Forest Fund process, through which we identify and buy important, at-risk private forests; develop sustainable harvest and restoration plans; secure permanent conservation protections to block fragmentation and development; and then resell the permanently conserved forest to a private or public buyer,” said Larry Selzer president and CEO of The Conservation Fund, a non-profit organization credited with protecting more than 8 million acres of land in the U.S. “We are honored to work with Ingka Group and applaud its dedication to preserve and enhance forest quality in the U.S. and Europe.”
Ingka Group began purchasing U.S. forests in 2018 with the acquisition of 25,000 acres in Alabama. In 2019, the company acquired 17,000 acres in South Carolina, 42,000 acres in East Texas and 18,000 acres in southeastern Oklahoma.
Investing in forest sustainability is part of Ikea’s commitment to being climate positive. The company has stated its objective to reduce more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire Ikea value chain emits by 2030 while continuing to grow its worldwide business. Ikea currently operates 380 retail stores in 31 countries.
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