More and more, companies have begun to recognize major social issues and events as potential opportunities. Anheuser-Busch regained some lost public trust while providing relief to flood victims in The Bible Belt, and Facebook has started introducing new features to identify and address issues of mental health and suicide.

 

Now, it seems that even Ikea — a company known mostly for some assembly required furniture and Swedish meatballs — will get in on the action. Pledging $1 billion to the cause, the furniture giant has announced it will take major steps towards slowing the increasing rate of global climate change.

 

To start this process, the company will completely overhaul its primary sources of energy. By 2020, the company intends to run on completely renewable sources such as solar panels and wind farms, but the company refuses to stop there. For the construction of their furniture, Ikea will now opt to use recycled metals and plastics, rather than “virgin” materials, and all lights used in furniture will be energy efficient LED bulbs.

 

LED lights that Ikea are starting to use in their products.

Ikea is installing LED lights in all its light fixtures in order to stay environmental conscious. (fastcoexist.com)

In addition to altering the way the company conducts its own business, Ikea will also work towards bettering the lives of those already affected by climate change. According to The Huffington Post, Ikea will invest millions towards global communities with high susceptibility towards events such as droughts, floods, and dust bowl conditions.

 

 

The issue of climate change — while slow to gain traction with certain sects of the population — has become a very serious concern. Millennials especially will likely respond well to Ikea’s new policy; it shows that they not only want to sell furniture, but they wish to make the world a better place for those who populate it. Raising awareness can also generate new business as consumers become more and more willing to engage with a company based on that company’s philanthropic dealings.

 

While obviously a prudent business decision, that does not take away from the great things Ikea has set out to accomplish. More companies should take a good long look at this type of business and realize that spending more on these sorts of endeavors can go a long way towards increasing the longevity of our planet, as well as profit margins.

 

What do you think of Ikea’s new direction? Will it influence how you interact with the company? What other companies could learn from this? Comment below or tweet @connerws!