How are millennials driving sustainability

Author Chris Baker Read bio
Tags: millenials sustainability
Date: September 21, 2020

It’s becoming more clear that younger employees (the millennial generation) have become increasingly aware and committed to making sustainable impacts on the industry, pushing companies looking for talented employees to keep up with those standards.

Almost half of the millennial generation is attracted to making a positive impact than starting a family and having children, according to Deloitte’s survey from 2019.

Another survey from Fast Company has shown that about 70% of the millennial generation prefers to work in a company with a strong sustainability agenda and ¾ of them are even willing to take smaller salaries just to work in an environmentally responsible company. 

Considering the millennials are now the largest demographic in the workforce, their concerns have caused seismic shifts. Sustainability is a key concern of young employees and companies have to adapt their processes and practices to meet sustainable standards and seize the opportunity this rapidly growing generation creates.

Millennials are more socially conscious 

A substantial percentage of millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable products. Coffee cups and single-use plastics are recent products to face public discussion, which have left businesses both the sustainability and the environmental impact and recyclability of their products. 

With their spending power increasing, the pressures for sustainability are also growing, so companies also have to become more sustainable to stay competitive and attractive.

Sustainability consciousness is a social media conversation

The access the millennial generation has to public platforms is unparalleled. They actively use social media platforms and participate in sustainability conversations and concerns. 

Companies that show dedication and commitment to sustainability will benefit from a positive social reach. Recognizing the true importance of it, our Sustainability team led by Yuliya is actively participating in this trend and trying to spread awareness. 

What can companies do to keep up?

Companies that want to keep up with these swift changes must acknowledge the impact they have and what they can improve to be more than sustainable, which is a growing concern of the millennial generation. Companies need to adapt their processes and production practices to meet sustainable standards. 

87% [of millennials] would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. (source)

Sustainable investing

Sustainable consumer behavior and employee engagement have started to influence the investment space. Besides seeking greater purpose and involvement in the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility, millennials are also very interested in sustainable investing. It appears that millennials have a strong mindset that their investments can have a positive impact on climate change and stimulate economic growth. 

Many investors agreed that companies with high Environmental, social, and governance performances are perceived as more innovative and stable.

Putting sustainability on corporate agendas

Millennials have not only caused seismic shifts in the fashion industry and hospitality but have also greatly impacted the workplace.

Modern companies that are looking to hire the best and the brightest are looking to sustainable workplaces to enhance their sense purpose. The good thing is that companies are becoming more aware of the issues and workplace solutions available for them to become (more) sustainable. 

This often means that old(er) offices get redesigned to meet sustainability goals and standards, or just starting from the beginning, from the ground up with Environmentally Sustainable Design methods. Like the installation and usage of solar panels. 

And for cases when building space from the beginning is not an option, companies can incorporate smaller, but no less meaningful features, such as furniture from sustainable sources and not using single-use products. 

By adapting to the behavior of the millennial generation, the industry can take advantage of today’s opportunity to monetize the sustainable aspirations of the largest proportion of the working force.