Swedish furniture retailing firm Ikea has acquired nearly 25,000 acres of forest property in Lowndes County, Alabama, US.
The acquisition is reported to be the first forest property acquired by the company in the US, and part of the strategy to invest in sustainable resource production.
Ikea currently owns more than 250,000 acres of forest land in Europe, located in Romania and the Baltic States.
Ikea financial asset management head Krister Mattsson said: “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.”
Ikea is reported to have invested significantly in the US market, where it currently operates 47 stores and seven distribution centres.
Last year, Ikea opened new stores in Ohio, Indiana, Florida and Texas.
It also opened a new distribution and customer fulfilment centre in Baytown, Texas.
The company has partnered with Campbell Global, a sustainable timberland and natural resource investment firm, to manage its newly acquired forest area.
Campbell Global chairman and CEO John Gilleland said: “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.”