Sweden-headed global furniture major IKEA Group (Ingka Holding B.V. and its controlled entities) has announced that it has acquired its first forest property in the United States (US). Covering approximately 25 000 acres (≈ 10 117 hectares, ha) in Lowndes County, Alabama, the investment 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 such as wood and recycled materials.
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, said Krister Mattsson, Head of Financial Asset Management, IKEA Group.
According to the company, it has allocated over EUR 3 billion for “resource and energy independent” investments. These investments aim to 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.
IKEA Group also owns more than 250 000 acres (≈ 101 171 ha) of forest land in Europe, located in Romania and the Baltic States. At the end of FY17, the company owned 416 wind turbines around the world, including 104 in the US.
Furthering US expansion
The new timberland acquisition is in addition to several other “significant” investments IKEA Group has recently made in the United States, where it currently operates 47 stores and seven distribution centres. In 2017, the company opened four new stores (Columbus, OH, Fishers, IN, Jacksonville, FL and Grand Prairie, TX) and one new distribution and customer fulfilment centre (Baytown, TX).
The company 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 country, IKEA Group has partnered with Campbell Global, LLC, a US-headed full-service sustainable timberland and natural resource investment management company, to oversee and operate the property. Campell Global currently manages approximately 2.6 million acres (1.1 million ha) worldwide.
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, said John Gilleland, CEO and Chairman of Campbell Global.