IKEA has cut 55,000 cubic meters of the forests bought in Romania

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The Swedish group IKEA, controlled by billionaire Ingvar Kamprad, has cut 55,000 cubic meters of wood from Romanian forests, in the first year after the acquisition of 33,600 hectares of forest, which is less than half the amount permitted by law to be exploited in a year, a statement the company managing local forests reads, quoted by capital.ro..

The largest investment made so far by the Swedish group in Romania was the acquisition, last summer, of 33,600 hectares of forest for which it paid EUR 56 million. IKEA has made the transaction through IRI Investment, company that oversees the forestry businesses of the group.

In Romania some 27 million cubic meters of wood are cut annually, of which nearly a third are cut illegally, according to environmental organizations.

IKEA started the logging with external contractors. IRI Forest Management Company, which manages the Swedes local forest fund, has 52 employees working at the moment for forestry operations in Romania, including foresters, chiefs of district and administrative staff.

In February 2016, eight months after taking over the portfolio, IRI Forest Management started the first campaign of reforestation, during which over one million saplings were planted in ten counties: Suceava, Botosani, Iasi, Vaslui, Prahova, Vrancea, Buzau Galati, Covasna and Dolj.

IKEA has invested more than EUR 150 million in Romania in the six years since entering the market and is preparing other investments of EUR 55 million until 2017. The second store of the furniture retailer will cost about EUR 60 million, according to capital.ro estimates.

Ikea bought 33,600 hectares of wood in Romania in July 2015, being the first such acquisition in the world of the Swedish furniture retailer. “Ikea Group decided to invest in wood operations. This acquisition enables the access to the timber working material (…) By this acquisition Romania becomes the first country where Ikea Group will manage its own wood operations. We pledged to be a first example of sustainable management of the woods,” said Frederik de Jong, Chairman of the Board Ikea Romania.

The property that Ikea bought is located in central and north-eastern Romania, with a small part in the north-western part of the country.

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