1 in 4 young people won’t work for unsustainable organisations

One quarter of UK adults aged between 18 and 24 will not work for an employer with poor green practices, a new study has shown. 

Research by the digital product studio and incubator PLAY backs up wider reports that young people are increasingly turning their backs on jobs that would see them working for firms that fail to tackle their environmental impact. 

Overall, 24% of Gen Z respondents in the survey said they would not consider working for organisations that don’t have sustainable practices in place. The work took in the opinions of 1,000 individuals, comprising 750 employees and 250 business leaders and chief sustainability officers. 

Removing age from the results, more broadly speaking 68% of those that took part in the study said it was important that their employer was committed to acting sustainably. Meanwhile, 44% want businesses to demonstrate initiatives and goals that make the entire operation more sustainable, not individual departments. 

Elsewhere, 54% stating they would be more likely to apply to work for a company that gives them the tools and resources to be more sustainable. This figure rose to 62% for those aged between 25 and 34, 67% for people working with SMEs, and 84% for those in IT and telecommunications. Nevertheless, when asked what aspects of a new job appeal to them, the most common response – 65% – was a good salary, followed by benefits. 

‘Amidst The Great Resignation, employers are under pressure to engage and retain their best people through improved pay and benefits, but also other human aspects of work, such as sustainability practices and acting ethically, and it’s clear there’s an employee demand for this,’ said Marcus Thornley, CEO and founder of PLAY. ‘Businesses need to create clear, transparent sustainability goals and initiatives to be accountable to, but must also be looking at how they can help staff act more sustainably in their own lives and possibly even reward them for that.’

In related news, low pay at environment watchdog Natural England could threaten the ability for net-zero targets to be met. 

Image credit: Fumiaki Hayashi





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