If you are reading this, I am pretty sure that you are aware that millennials are the largest living generation – and you may actually be part of that generation. You may also know that they prefer to patronize organizations that are eco-friendly and socially conscious both internally and with the products and services they offer. Likewise, the generation following the millennials, most commonly referred to as ‘Generation Z’ or the ‘Change Generation’, also has this as a high priority. According to some studies, Gen Zers see climate change as the number one issue of our time. Gen Z-ers are defined as those born between 1996 and 2010 and make up about a quarter of the population.
You may be wondering if this subject has been beaten to death. You are aware that millennials and Gen Zers care about the environment, that they shop with their values, etc… You’ve read the articles, watched the YouTube videos, read the Tweets. However, if your organization isn’t taking heed and taking action, then this issue is very pertinent and bears paying attention to.
If you are a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or you work in a small business, even if your product or service isn’t directly related to supporting the community or the planet, taking action NOW to go green can significantly impact your bottom line.
In past posts, I have written about how sustainability, or going green, strengthens your business operations, why small businesses are ideally suited for going green, and basically why sustainability is a must for small and medium sized businesses, among other topics.
Today, I’d like to focus specifically on these two generations and what their expectations are of YOUR organization.
Regardless of whether you are an IT provider, a nonprofit, a law firm, coffee shop, government contractor, landscaper or widget maker, your current and future customers will most likely be researching what you are doing to positively impact the planet and the community(ies) in which you operate.
Here are some stats – you may be familiar with some of them but they bear repeating, because they are important to your organization’s future financial growth and viability. This may sound dramatic, but believe me, it is not overstated:
Close to 90 percent of millennials would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own, according to an Entrepreneur article.
A Nielsen poll found that 73 percent of millennials worldwide are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
Among Gen Zers, 94 percent believe companies should address urgent social and environmental issues, compared to 87 percent of millennials and 86 percent of the general population, according to a Cone Communications 2017 study.
According to a WeSpire 2018 survey, Gen Z is the first generation to prioritize purpose over money.
Gen Z is also far more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases than the generations before them according to a CSG study.
A volunteer day once a year is a good start, but that won’t check the box with the younger generations. Both the millennials and the Gen Zers want a job that has a social impact versus this just being an extracurricular action. And according to Brookings, by 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials.
Clearly, going green and environmental sustainability are good for:
Your bottom line!!
Operationalizing green and sustainability is where your organization will see the financial benefits. What actions is your organization taking to ‘go green’ and be more eco-friendly?
Check out some of the other Eco-Coach blogs to help you get started, and be sure to download our free sustainability checklist and sign up for free tips and trainings.