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Why IKEA’s Rising Profits Might Be Good News for the Globe

Why IKEA’s Rising Profits Might Be Good News for the Globe

Angela Colley

Photo by Michael Lehent via Flickr 

Photo by Michael Lehent via Flickr 

Things are looking good for self-assembly furniture and meatball purveyor IKEA. The company reported a 20 percent rise in full-year net profit and sales growth in 27 of its 28 markets, according to MarketWatch. And with things looking up, IKEA plans to continue expanding its affordable furniture empire into new markets.

That is certainly good news for IKEA, but it might also be good news for everyone else, too. The planned expansions will create job growth in both new markets and existing markets. For instance, in the U.K., IKEA plans to add 1,200 jobs in London, Sheffield, and Exeter, according to e4s, a U.K.-based student employment site. Most of the company’s U.K. employees will be paid under the National Living Wage standards—which hover around £9.75 in London and £8.45 in the rest of the U.K.  

IKEA also doesn’t seem to suck when it comes to ‘co-worker’ (IKEA slang for employee) benefits. In the U.S., this week IKEA announced a plan to expand parental leave for all employees, including most hourly workers. Under the new plan, employees who have been with the company for a year or more are eligible for up to three months leave, while employees at three years or more can take up to four months—and that includes both expecting mothers and fathers.

But the potential upsides to the revenue boost doesn’t stop at ‘co-workers’ (or meatballs). Late last year, IKEA pledged to invest €600m to renewable energy projects—including investments to support areas more vulnerable to climate change, according to The Guardian. The company plans to be a net exporter of renewable energy by 2020. The Guardian’s Emma Howard says:

“The world’s biggest furniture retailer says it’s going “all in” to have a net positive impact on the climate through renewable energy investment, energy-efficiency measures, cutting supply chain emissions, and product changes designed to achieve behaviour change. It has already helped its suppliers become 18 percent more energy efficient over the past four years – through the introduction of a sustainability assessment tool and by bringing suppliers together to share sustainability best practice.”

And with more money to burn, IKEA might be able to more quickly meet their goals to burn less of everything else. 

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