Almost two-thirds (65%) of Gen Z students are more likely to apply for a job that is committed to sustainable practices, and three out of five (60%) admit they actively avoid employers they perceive to have a negative impact on the environment, according to study.
The study, carried out by Handshake, a US-based job site, analysed over 1.8 million full-time job postings and 1800 Gen Z-aged users to better understand how students are planning their coursework and career paths to prioritise sustainability in their career.
“I would like to work for a company that is looking to build a better future for the next generation, especially since I want to work in the tech industry,” said one survey respondent “I feel like in my generation, we are the make or break for climate issues we are facing, and I want to say I’m part of the right cause.”
With the rise of natural disasters and increasing concerns related to climate change, many young people are feeling the effects. A 2021 study from Blue Shield of California found that more than eight out of 10 (83 %) Gen Z are concerned about the health of the planet.
With an increasing number of the younger generation entering the labour market, it is important for employers to have a positive sustainability impact, enabling employees to feel as though they are benefiting society. It should be no surprise that LinkedIn has listed sustainability manager as one of its fastest growing job roles in the UK.
As the World Economic Forum (WEF) puts it, purpose is “the most powerful tool companies have at their disposal to meet the intrinsic needs of new talent. For this new generation, it is not enough for their employers to simply have a compelling purpose. They want to see purpose lived out authentically through bold actions.”
The study also noted that when it comes to hybrid working, Gen Z views the benefits of remote work as going beyond flexibility, work-life balance, and even productivity. Over half (54%) of respondents said the motivation to work remotely was influenced by sustainability, due to a reduction in transport emissions.
A 2020 report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggested that a hybrid work schedule could reduce global CO2 emissions, but that “impacts on private transport and residential energy demand” would increase proportionally if employees work more from home.
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