The Ingka Group, which owns and operates most of Ikea’s retail stores, this week announced the acquisition of 10,840 acres of land in Georgia, USA.
The land had previously been the property of non-profit conservation organisation The Conservation Fund, which protects more than eight million acres of land in the US. This additional 10,840 acres brings Ikea’s total land ownership up to 613,000 acres in the US and Europe, all of which the Swedish multinational conglomerate has pledged to look after and protect.
“We are committed to managing our forests sustainably while at the same time meeting our business objectives. 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,” says Krister Mattsson, Managing Director Ingka Investments.
The latest land acquisition in Georgia is located near the Altamaha River Basin and is home to more than 350 plant and wildlife species, including the endangered longleaf pine, which can live for more than 300 years but now covers less than three per cent of it’s original range, after disappearing by the 1920s. The Georgia forest is also home to the gopher tortoise, which is at risk from habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation.
Although in past years, Ikea had drawn some criticism for fuelling deforestation, due to the huge amounts of raw materials, including lumber, it uses in its fast-fashion style of furniture manufacturing. However, in recent times, Ikea has focused more on its sustainable practises, committing to invest more than $700 million this year to lowering its emissions, creating a circular supply chain and becoming “climate positive” by 2030.