IKEA Parent Company Buys Georgia Forest With Pledges to Manage It Sustainably
But furniture giant IKEA is trying to reverse that assumption. The Ingka Group, the franchise's largest owner, just bought 10,840 acres of forest in southeast Georgia, Reuters reported. The purchase comes with legally-binding commitments to restore native trees and protect habitat for a unique species of tortoise.
"The acquisition strengthens Ingka Group's commitment to responsible forest management, as conservation measures are fully included in the forest management plans," the group wrote in a Jan. 14 press release announcing the deal.
Ingka bought the land from the Conservation Fund. This is a group that works to preserve working forests that would otherwise be fragmented and sold off in parcels, Fast Company explained. The organization buys forest land and puts in place requirements that it be kept intact, that native species be restored and preserved and that the public have access to hike on the land. Then it resells the forests to owners who promise to abide by these requirements.
In the case of the Georgia forest, the press release explained, the Ingka Group has legally pledged to restore longleaf pine forest and protect habitat for the gopher tortoise, the only species of land tortoise native to the southeastern U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A partnership with IngkaGroup & @IKEA will complete our efforts to conserve & responsibly manage 10K+ acres of work… https://t.co/pQZfTwOSZv— The Conservation Fund (@The Conservation Fund)1610632420.0
"We are honored to work with Ingka Group and applaud its dedication to preserve and enhance forest quality in the U.S. and Europe," Conservation Fund President and CEO Larry Selzer said in the press release. "Well-managed forests provide essential benefits, including clean water and important wildlife habitat, as well as mitigating climate change."
The purchase of the Georgia forest is part of IKEA's wider goal to be climate positive by 2030, Fast Company explained. This means the company will draw down more carbon dioxide than it emits.
The Ingka Group also owns other forested land in the U.S. and Europe. With the Georgia forest, it now owns 136,000 acres in the U.S. and 613,000 acres total, according to the press release.
An Ingka spokesperson told Fast Company that "no significant amount" of its U.S. forest holdings go towards making IKEA furniture. The group works to ensure that tree growth in its forests exceeds harvesting every year.
"We are committed to managing our forests sustainably while at the same time meeting our business objectives. In all our properties, we pay special attention to ensuring environmental protection, so we are happy to see that our efforts in working with responsible forest management are being seen and trusted," Krister Mattsson, the managing director of Ingka Investments, said in the press release.
Also this month, IKEA announced that it had reached a goal of ensuring that 98 percent of its wood was either recycled or came from sources certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being responsibly managed. The company launched a new Forest Positive Agenda for 2030 that includes commitments to making sure one-third of its wood is recycled and promote responsible forest management beyond its own supply chains.
By working together with our suppliers and partners, we reached our 2020 forestry goal – more than 98% of the wood… https://t.co/L9vKq9eWc8— IKEA (@IKEA)1611586711.0
"At IKEA, we want to make responsible forest management the norm, to stop deforestation, enhance biodiversity and support people who depend on forests for their livelihood," Inter IKEA Group CEO Jon Abrahamsson Ring said in the announcement. "Responsibly managed forests also play a vital role in climate change mitigation. By enforcing strict requirements, and partnering with different organisations across the world, we have contributed to moving the forestry sector forward. Still the pressure on the world's forests and the surrounding eco-systems is increasing. Now it is time to take an even more holistic approach to protect and support these important resources for generations to come."
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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