Young workforce protesting
Employer, People + Culture

What’s important to a young workforce?

The young workforce is more likely to lead climate initiatives, partake in rallies, start social actions that support the cause, or participate in sit-ins.

By 2025, millennials and gen z will account for 75 per cent of the nation’s workforce.

To attract talent from this group, you’ll need to understand what’s important to a young workforce.

Climate matters to a young workforce

What always holds true is that a person will accept a job offer from a company that aligns with their values. In the young workforce, their values are increasingly green.

The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020 revealed that millennials are still hopeful there is time to protect the planet from climate change. In fact, climate change and protecting the environment were voted their top concerns pre-pandemic.

They aren’t silent on the matter, either.

According to the survey, the young workforce is more likely to lead climate initiatives, partake in rallies, start social actions that support the cause, or participate in sit-ins.

Their vocalism has the power to shift business – and smart businesses have started to adapt. In this instance, that’s listening to the demands of their stakeholders—the young workforce—and realigning their business with greener values.

The young workforce care about the environment

3 green actions for businesses

  1. Transparency on carbon footprint

Many businesses don’t measure their carbon footprint, so this is a good place to start.

Calculate your business’s carbon footprint by collecting the following measures over a 12-month period:

  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Water
  • Water treatment
  • Petrol (company-owned vehicles)
  • Travel (by plane, road)
  • Tonnes of waste sent to landfill

Use a carbon calculator to check your emission totals, like one from The Carbon Trust.

Based on your figures, set reasonable goals over five to 10 years to reduce your emissions. Communicate this message to the market and to your employees. As a by-product, you’ll also save money.

The young workforce care about climate change

  1. Choose sustainable suppliers

A company has a responsibility to choose partners that adhere to their own environmental and social standards. Doing so is an important step to create a cascade of sustainable and environmentally friendly practices that will flow through the supply chain.

If the suppliers you use currently cannot or will not modify their practices, this is an opportunity to practice green procurement. Green procurement refers to purchasing products and services that cause minimal adverse environmental impacts. This might include items that:

  • Can be recycled.
  • Are from local suppliers in your community.
  • Don’t have excessive packaging.
  • Are not single-use.
  1. Reduce landfill

Lots of small changes amount to big action. Things you can do immediately in your office include:

  • Recycling electronics.
  • Reduce paper use.
  • Switch to refillable printer ink.
  • Centralise supply orders to reduce the number of shipments.
  • Send digital invoices.
  • Upcycle furniture in the office.
  • Add office plants.
  • Use dry-erase boards instead of notepads.
  • Use food waste compost.

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