- A staggering 90% of Gen Zs and millennials are actively striving to minimize their carbon footprint and positively impact the environment.
- Young workers are increasingly concerned about climate change in the workplace and are seeking employers who share their values and commitment to addressing environmental issues.
- This shift in priorities highlights the importance of businesses adopting sustainable practices and demonstrating their commitment to combating climate change to attract and retain young talent.
According to a recent Deloitte survey, climate change has emerged as a pressing issue for Gen Z and millennials, compelling them to demand action from their employers to tackle this global threat.
A staggering 90% of Gen Zs and millennials are actively striving to minimize their carbon footprint and positively impact the environment. However, their faith in businesses and governments sharing the same level of commitment remains dubious. As a result, these forward-thinking individuals are urging their employers to adopt sustainable practices, thus paving the way for a greener future.
With regulators, investors, stakeholders and their own workers breathing down their necks, companies are feeling the heat to adopt environmentally sustainable practices.
Climate change has become a significant concern for young workers in the workplace
One study revealed that around 70% of people aged 16-25 are extremely worried or very worried about the climate, with the percentage being even higher in many developing countries that are expected to face the worst consequences of climate change.
This concern is also reflected in their employment decisions. Millennials and younger workers are driving the growing trend of “climate quitting” — which is when workers seek out more environmentally friendly jobs.
Young workers are not only concerned about the direct impacts of climate change on their health and well-being but also about how their employers address this global issue.
This new generation of passionate workers is demanding that their employers take action on the pressing issue of climate change. If the numbers are any indication, these young professionals seem determined to make a difference by seeking out companies that share their dedication to sustainability.
According to KPMG UK’s survey, 46% of respondents want the company they work for to demonstrate a commitment to ESG, while 20% have turned down a job offer when the company’s ESG commitments were not in line with their values. This number rises to one in three for 18–24-year-olds.
For businesses looking to attract and retain top talent, embracing eco-friendly practices may not be optional in the near future. Many employers are now showing their commitment to the planet, and proving to their employees that they are part of the solution.
In fact, more than 5,200 companies have committed to reaching the ambitious goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and a whopping 450 financial institutions (accounting for 40% of the globe’s private capital) have pledged to transform their portfolios to become environmentally friendly by the same deadline.
Climate concerns in the workplace are growing for several reasons:
- Increased awareness: As more people become aware of the impacts of climate change, there is a natural inclination to address these issues in various aspects of life, including the workplace.
- Corporate social responsibility: Companies are increasingly recognizing their role in contributing to environmental sustainability and are making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, minimize waste, and implement eco-friendly practices.
- Employee engagement: Employees are becoming more environmentally conscious and are seeking employers who share their values. Addressing climate concerns in the workplace can help attract and retain talent, as well as improve employee morale and productivity.
- Cost savings: Implementing energy-efficient measures and sustainable practices can lead to cost savings for businesses, as they often result in reduced energy consumption and waste disposal expenses.
- Regulatory compliance: Governments around the world are implementing stricter regulations related to emissions, waste management, and energy efficiency. Companies need to adapt their operations to comply with these regulations, which may involve addressing climate concerns in the workplace.
- Reputation and brand image: Companies that actively address climate concerns in the workplace can enhance their reputation and brand image, demonstrating to customers, investors, and other stakeholders that they are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices.
- Competitive advantage: By addressing climate concerns in the workplace, companies can differentiate themselves from competitors and potentially gain a competitive edge in the market.
There are some solutions to worker’s concerns, including a hybrid schedule
Research from IWG has revealed that embracing hybrid working models can lead to a staggering 80% reduction in carbon emissions within U.K. cities. By getting rid of the five-day commute, urban areas can experience a significantly cleaner, greener future.
IWG CEO Mark Dixon said employers should offer hybrid working wherever possible.
“Not only does hybrid working create a happier and more productive workforce but now we have the data to show how much of an impact it can have on the environment,” Dixon told HR Magazine.
Overall, the growing focus on climate concerns in the workplace reflects a broader societal shift toward recognizing the importance of sustainability, and the role that businesses can play.