Future looks bright for those with foresight as IKEA and Apple are buying up whole forests.
IKEA bought 83,000 acres of forest last month. In April, Apple bought 36,000 acres. What’s the
reasoning behind these retail giants buying their own forests? To manage them.
Last year, we saw major technology and retail companies buying up wind and solar farms. Walmart,
Facebook, Apple, IKEA, Google — all decided to either build or buy renewable energy farms. Nearly
as many made pledges to start using fully renewable energy sources: IKEA said it would become
“energy independent”. Facebook is already using all-renewables-powered data centres to manage all
your likes. Now, some of them are going further down the supply chain to manage the provenance
of their materials — by buying up the forests that source their paper and wood.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that IKEA had bought up almost one hundred thousand
acres of forest in Romania and the Baltic — this, after the company had been accused of “brutal”
logging practices in Russia and cutting “old forests that have high conservation value,” according to
the WSJ. The company doesn’t log in Russia anymore, and instead will focus on farming its Romanian
forests, managing its purchase to create a renewable source for its operations. After all, IKEA uses
one per cent of the world’s wood supply, a number it’s trying to scale back by half. It’s all part of the
company’s plan to become “forest positive” in the next five years, growing more wood than it uses.
Similarly, Apple recently bought up a 36,000 acres of forest in Maine and North Carolina. These
areas are “working forests,” or regions that act as renewable sources of wood and paper pulp for
industry. Apple and the Conservation Fund, which is collaborating on the project, says that these
“working forests” are increasingly being developed. That’s not only bad news for them commercially,
but bad news for forests that were once outside the scope of industry — as Apple’s Lisa Jackson
explained in a post about the purchase:
We are in the midst of one of the greatest land transfers in history. In the last 15 years, we’ve
already lost 23 million acres of forestland that provided the pulp, paper, and solid wood material for
products we all use. That’s roughly an area the size of Maine. As land continues to be sold and
change hands at an alarming rate, an estimated 45 million more acres are currently in the crosshairs
The goal of the Conservation Fund’s work is to create limits on how those working forests can be
used beyond producing paper products. These are designed to “ensure sustainable harvests and
restrict the subdivision or conversion of land to non-forest uses,” the group writes.
Source:FridayOffcuts and Gizmodo