A lot of young people don’t think their employers give a fig about sustainability

Ahead of World Earth Day, a new poll from  Zest, claims that workers across the UK are increasingly focused on sustainability and expect their employers to do more – particularly younger generations.  Half (51 percent) of employees are keen to see their company invest more in sustainability, rising to 61 percent of younger workers aged 18-34. The survey from Zest also reveals that over half (53 percent) would like to see their company investing in more sustainable benefits such as electric vehicles, similarly rising to two-thirds (66 percent) of 18–34 year olds – and these demands are not going unnoticed.

More than half (53 percent) of businesses say that they have noticed an increase in the employees who care about sustainability over the last year. Despite this, employees, particularly younger ones, believe that their company could be doing more. Although half (50 percent) of young workers now say that sustainable benefits are the most important perks to them, a third (33 percent) of this age group believe that their employers do not care about sustainability.

Moreover, the research claims to reveal a worrying impact of this disconnect, particularly as younger generations increasingly enter the workforce. Two in five (42 percent) aged 18-34, believe that poor sustainability initiatives have a detrimental impact on their morale at work. This not only leaves existing employees demotivated, but businesses at risk of failing to attract fresh talent.

Key findings:

  • Ahead of World Earth Day, new research reveals half (51%) of employees want their employer to invest more in sustainability, rising to 61% for younger workers aged 18-34.
  • Despite over half of businesses noticing a shift in employees who care more about sustainability, a third (33%) of younger workers (18-34) believe that their employers do not care about sustainability.
  • The data from Zest suggests a lack of such initiatives could be affecting employee productivity with two in five (42%) aged 18-34 saying poor sustainability initiatives impact their morale at work.

Matt Russell, CEO of Zest comments: “It’s been a difficult few years for businesses, and the reality is that many – often not by choice – have been forced to put their sustainability initiatives on hold. Yet with the next generation increasingly populating the workforce, many of whom are naturally engaged in sustainability initiatives that will support their future, businesses must adapt to these changing demands.”