Swiss Post’s Forest Purchase for Carbon Offset Angers Lawmakers

(Bloomberg) -- Switzerland’s parliament is summoning the board of the state-owned postal service to testify after it purchased a forest in Germany to become climate neutral.

Most Read from Bloomberg

It’s not the attempt at carbon offsetting itself that’s angering politicians, but the purchase price. Swiss media are reporting that the 2,400 hectare (9.3 square miles) woodland — estimated to be worth about €10 million ($11 million) — is being acquired for more than six times that amount.

Representatives of Schweizerische Post AG have to answer questions in the lower house’s transport and telecommunications committee in the final quarter of this year, Social-democratic lawmaker Jon Pult, who heads the body, told Blick newspaper on Thursday. The postal service has previously said it is obliged to keep the purchase price confidential.

“The postal service has too much money and is increasingly investing in areas that have nothing to do with its mission,” fellow committee member Christian Wasserfallen of the Free Democrats told Aargauer Zeitung.

The postal service said in a statement to Blick that the purchase amount was in line with market prices.

The fact that a Swiss company is buying a forest some 400 kilometers north of Switzerland, in the state of Thuringia, is less controversial. The postal service wants its operations to be climate neutral by 2030 and has argued that the purchase helps that endeavor.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.