Apple buying 36,000 acres of forest land for sustainable harvesting of packaging

In partnership with an environmental nonprofit, Apple plans to purchase roughly 36,000 acres of private forestland, which would be sustainably harvested for Apple's packaging.

The two tracts of land in Maine and North Carolina roughly add up to an area equivalent to two and a half times the size of Manhattan.

The land, which formed part of an estimated 45 million acres of private forest in the US that was in danger of being lost to development, would be managed by The Conservation Fund.

Larry Selzer, The Conservation Fund's president, told the media Apple wanted to work with an organisation that had the ability to acquire and manage these forests, and the fund was thrilled about the partnership.''

Though Apple would harvest pulp from the forests, other companies too would be able to buy fibre from them. Selzer's organisation would manage the forests under the ''working forest'' model. The model allows trees to be  harvested with ''an eye toward the long-term economic well-being of the forest'',  according to Daniel Brindis, a senior forests campaigner with Greenpeace, BuzzFeed News reported.

According to Brindis, working forests were generally, an improvement over clear-cutting - but that did not mean they were a panacea.

Meanwhile, Apple has not said how much paper it used each year to make boxes for its products, but that about 80 per cent of the paper it uses is sourced from sustainable forests or recycled sources.

According to a Fortune report, Apple had not indicated how much paper it used each year to make boxes for iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs, but it did say that about 80 per cent of the paper it used came from certified sustainable forests or recycled sources.

Reports say Apple was striving to supply 100 per cent of the virgin fibres used in its paper and packaging from sustainably managed forests or controlled wood sources.

To that end, Apple had decided that it would be using paper more efficiently, increasing recycled paper content, sourcing paper sustainably, and conserving acreage of working forests around the world equivalent to its virgin paper footprint.

The two working forests Apple purchased and gave to the Conservation Fund to manage was equivalent of 50 per cent of the virgin paper the company used in 2014.