IKEA buys extensive amount of forestland in the U.S.

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With two recent land acquisitions, including one in East Texas’ Piney Woods, IKEA’s parent company has almost doubled its U.S. forestland portfolio, reported The Dallas Morning News.

The most recent purchase of 42,000 acres included the Piney Woods land, following a separate deal for 18,000 acres of forest in Southeast Oklahoma. The 60,000 acres in total almost doubles the amount of U.S. land in the Swedish furniture company’s portfolio.

“We are pleased to continue our forestland acquisitions in the U.S, as we see a good match between what the market has to offer and our high standards related to responsible forest management," said a statement from Krister Mattsson, managing director of Ingka Investments. “The proximity to our current ownership also makes this an efficient addition to our current holdings.”

IKEA parent company Ingka Group previously owned 64,000 acres across multiple states in the southern U.S. It now owns more than half a million acres of forests in the U.S. and Europe.

IKEA began buying plots of forestland around 2015 at a time when timber prices were expected to rise worldwide. The intention has been for IKEA to develop a sustainable source of wood for its furniture for years to come. Though it had run into some controversy with conservationists in other countries, IKEA has promoted its practices as part of its effort to become self-sustaining and a responsible steward of the environment.

Majority of the state’s commercial wood processing is found in East Texas’ Piney Woods. An estimated 12 million acres of the forest is considered commercial forestland. It is also home to more than a dozen state parks and four National Forests.

IKEA and its parent company have committed to their “climate positive” goals, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. It even issued a statement recently to its employees saying it “remains committed” to the Paris Agreement, despite the U.S. issuing a formal request to withdraw.

IKEA has 374 stores in 30 countries across the globe.

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