Climate change is significantly impacting countries and people across the globe.
Sustainability is increasingly a priority for consumers when evaluating where to shop and what goods to buy. Sustainability-focused initiatives, products, and experiences are becoming highly prevalent among retailers and independent boutiques as alarm bells continue to ring knowing that the industry must do the right thing to meet consumer demands, but also the right thing to help our environment and enable better experiences for today’s shoppers for generations to come.
In a recent report done by Adecco, sustainability has taken center stage for both consumers and employees in various industries.
Consumers have been changing their behavior from actions including;
Buying fewer products with plastic packaging
Paying more money for sustainable products
Choosing products made from recycled or sustainable materials
Supporting local businesses and purchasing locally sourced products
Opting for energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly technologies
Switching to renewable energy sources for homes and transportation
Researching companies' environmental commitment before making purchases
What does the data say about consumer attitudes toward sustainability?
There has been 71% increase in online searches for sustainable goods
66% of people consider sustainability when making a luxury purchase
Over 50% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products
What does this mean for employers?
Research reveals that people’s employment preferences may mimic consumer sustainability trends.
70% of workers and candidates say a sustainability program makes an employer more attractive.
44% of leaders believe their organization’s climate initiatives benefit their recruitment and retention efforts.
Gen Zers and Millennials
Gen Z and millennial workers are prioritizing sustainability and climate change.
17% of Gen Z respondents have already switched jobs and sectors, to focus their experience in companies that favor careers aligned with more sustainable values, with 25% claiming they plan on making this switch in the future. The numbers for millennials weren’t far behind, with 16% having already switched jobs and 23% prepared to do so.
Gen Zers and millennials are spending more time engaging in social media with sustainability and climate change issues, pushing them to be more active in working towards solutions. According to Pew Research, 69% of Gen Z social media users said they felt “anxious about the future” when exposed to content related to climate change, with 59% of millennial social media users reporting the same.
And they’re doing something about it—69% of Gen Zers and 73% of millennials are actively trying to decrease their environmental impact, and 32% of Gen Zers and 28% of millennials reported having previously engaged in a political action related to addressing climate change issues, such as donating money, contacting elected officials, volunteering or attending a rally.
Photo credit by GreenMatch
IBM reported the main benefits of sustainability in business include:
55% of consumers say environmental responsibility is very or extremely important when choosing a brand.5 Being known as a sustainable business can improve your brand awareness and help you attract consumers that are favorably predisposed to companies actively engaged in sustainable practices.
4 out of 5 personal investors plan to act on sustainability or social responsibility factors in the next 12 months.
Compliance with regulatory requirements
Governments will continue to expand regulations and corporate sustainable development goals (SDGs). Stay ahead of the curve by implementing sustainable solutions early on to meet these new regulatory requirements and continually capture, measure, benchmark and report on ESG performance.
Increased longevity of transformation investments
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in most companies. If that transformation is sustainable, you’re building a more resilient business that is ready for disruption and new opportunities.
Employees seeking purpose-driven employment want to work for sustainable and socially responsible companies. By building a reputation as a sustainable business, you can attract and retain the right employees for your company.
By implementing sustainable practices that reduce resource consumption and optimize operational efficiencies, today's change agents become tomorrow’s winners as they improve their bottom line. While efforts that have greater overall impact may be more costly to implement at the outset, the long-term gains will justify the investment.
Think about how your company can become more sustainable in business.