Sure, Gen Z and Millennials have their differences: sides parts, skinny jeans and Facebook, to name a few. But one thing they have in common is a passion for sustainability and the environment. Why do Millennials and Gen Z care so much about going green? And what are they doing about it?
“Generation Green” feels responsible
Sometimes called “Generation Green,” Millennials and Gen Z are products of their time: They grew up in the digital age with unlimited access to information. These two generations are self-critical and believe that they have the capacity to do more than their predecessors.
Millennials feel a sense of personal responsibility for change. There has been a huge push for consumers to eliminate single-use products such as plastic straws and packaging. U.N. sustainability expert Tolu Olubunmi said, “Every action matters, whether big or small.” While this is absolutely true, it’s not enough for Gen Z.
Gen Z is increasingly looking for brands and corporations “to create change with them, not just for them.” Gen Zers demand environmental and social responsibility from corporations rather than just consumers.
Recognizing the power of the dollar
Millennials and Gen Z value being conscious consumers. They use their digital know-how and growing spending power to make environmentally-friendly purchases. The majority of Millennials say that they would rather buy eco-friendly products over well-known brands, compared to only 34% of Baby Boomers. Also, ethical and eco-friendly choices are becoming a form of identity expression and even a new status symbol.
Sustainability matters to employees
Young people desire meaningful work. Nearly 40% of Millennials say they chose an employer based on their environmental performance and sustainability strategies. This makes sustainability a key factor in talent acquisition and retention for companies.
“Gen Zers are not willing to check their values at the workplace door,” expert Alison DaSilva said. “Companies need to clearly communicate how they are making an impact to appeal to the driven but discerning generation.”
Holding corporations accountable
Studies show that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. Millennials and Gen Zers have learned that they can use their purchasing power to hold corporations accountable.
Major corporations are responding with pledges and campaigns to prove themselves environmentally conscious and worthy of that cash. As a result, sustainable corporations actually perform better financially.
Is sustainability important to you? Let us know in the comments! For more on this topic, check this out.