Climate change and environmental sustainability will become increasingly vital factors for companies’ ability to recruit and retain employees, according to a new survey released by global professional services firm Deloitte, which found that more than 40% of Gen Z and Millennials have changed jobs or sectors due to climate concerns, or plan to do so in the future.
For the report, the 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, Deloitte surveyed nearly 23,000 Gen Z (born 1995 – 2004) and Millennial (born 1983 – 1994) respondents across 44 countries, in addition to conducting qualitative interviews, with topics ranging from financial concerns, work/life balance, mental health and climate action.
One of the key areas explored by the survey was attitudes and behaviors of the respondents towards climate and environmental sustainability concerns, and the implications of these issues for businesses. The report found that climate change is a major concern for Gen Z and Millennials, with approximately 60% of respondents reporting feeling anxious about the environment over the past month, and more than 70% saying that they are actively trying to minimize their impact on the environment.
These concerns are likely to impact business’ recruitment and retention efforts, with around 55% of respondents reporting that they research brands’ environmental impact and policies before accepting a job, and more than 40% reporting that they already have, or plan to, change jobs due to climate concerns.
Climate-related factors are also driving employee expectations, according to the survey, with 50% of Gen Zs and 46% of millennials reporting that they are pressuring businesses to take action on climate change. While more than half of respondents agreed that their employers are working to address climate change, 53% of Gen Z and 48% of Millennial respondents said that sustainability has been deprioritized by their companies in recent years due to external factors such as COVID. This contrasts with the responses of C-suite executives in Deloitte’s recent ‘2023 CxO Sustainability Report,’ in which 75% said that their businesses have increased sustainability investments over the past year.
Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Chief People and Purpose Officer, said:
“They’re looking for employers who can help empower them to make a difference. Organizations that actively listen and help address their needs and concerns will improve business resiliency and implement actionable change in our world.”
In addition to employment issues, the survey also highlighted respondents’ consumption and lifestyle-related attitudes which will also have significant implications for businesses. Around 60% of respondents reported that they would be willing to pay more for sustainable products and services, for example, although over half are concerned that they won’t be able to do so without an improvement in the economic situation. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that they consider companies’ sustainability claims and certifications before purchasing goods or services, or plan to in the future.
“It is crucial for employers to understand these generations and continue to drive progress on the challenges that matter most to them. This will not only help boost productivity and retain talent—it will ultimately build trust and value for business in society more broadly.”
Click here to access the report.