Corporations buying forests to create sustainable supply chains

Ikea and Apple have both recently bought up large tracts of working forest land, in order to assure that their wood and paper products are coming from sustainably managed forests.  Ikea, which supposedly uses 1% of the world’s commercial wood supply, is aiming to scale back its use of wood by half, and to become net forest-positive (growing more trees than it uses) within five years. For its part, Apple is partnering with The Conservation Fund to manage its forests for both sustainable harvesting and habitat health; it hopes to see other companies doing the same in years to come.  On the one hand, this could be seen as a corporate land-grab, but at the same time it represents an attempt to take more corporate responsibility for their supply chains; Ikea, for example, has been criticized for the un-sustainable practices of a Russian supplier.  At the very least, in owning the tangible asset of the forest themselves companies will have clear incentives to assure that they remain healthy and productive for decades to come.

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