In southeast Georgia, a forest featuring almost 11,000 acres was about to be split for development. Yet a conservation organisation attained the land to preserve it—and Ikea’s parent company, Ingka Group, purchased it under the auspices of a contract that will shield the regional ecosystem.

For Ikea, this move is a component of a strategy to become “climate positive” by 2030, meaning that the firm will reduce more greenhouse gas emissions than it releases by way of its value chain. As Ikea cuts emissions through the use of renewable energy, employing electric delivery vehicles, reconsidering materials, and even accepting returns of aged furnishings and fixing it up for resale, it’s also relying on trees to drain CO2 from the atmosphere.

In Georgia, Ikea attained the forest from a nonprofit association known as the Conservation Fund. The organisation purchases working forests—sites where wood is harvested—and installs permanent easements that assure that land parcels never can be broken in impending sales and the native forest will be preserved and restored as a home for regional species. (This woodland, near Georgia’s Altamaha River Basin, is a habitat for the gopher tortoise, a turtle that acts as a primary species for conservation.) The public also may hike across the land, which they could not do in working forests.

Brian Dangler, vice president and director of the Working Forest Fund at the Conservation Fund, said that his organisation purchases at risk forests, in an attempt to prevent their development and keep them whole. After establishing permanent legal protections, the organisation resells the land.

For the Ingka Group, the acquisition stands among a growing group of reclaimed forests. In the United States, the group now owns about 136,000 acres of forest in five states. A company spokesperson says that no substantial quantity of wood from the forests is applied to the building of Ikea products; the main objective of the investments is to guarantee that the land is managed in a sustainable manner. The yearly growth of the trees exceeds the quantity of timber harvested.

Source: Fast Company