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Nearly half of Gen Z and millennial workers have left a job, or plan to, because of climate concerns



Nearly half of Gen Z and millennial workers have left a job, or plan to, because of climate concerns

The era of “global boiling” is here, sending shivers down young worker’s spines. But instead of sitting with their anxiety, Gen Z and millennials are trying to save the planet by quitting jobs that aren’t eco-friendly. 

In fact, new research from Deloitte shows that around 45% of the two youngest generations of workers have already left a job, or plan to, over climate concerns.

The consultancy giant surveyed more than 22,800 Gen Z and millennials in 44 countries across most continents and found that climate change is anxiety-inducing for the majority of respondents: 62% of Gen Zs and 59% of millennials reported feeling anxious about the state of the planet in the past month alone. 

However, instead of waiting for government leaders to step in and act, they are taking matters into their own hands by refusing to work for employers who don’t prioritize the planet’s health.

More than 70% of those surveyed said that they consider prospective employers’ environmental policies when job hunting—and for a quarter of Gen Z and millennials this has impacted whether or not they accept the job. 

Meanwhile, a third of respondents said they’d investigate an organization’s sustainability measures thoroughly before accepting future jobs.

What eco-conscious employees want to see from businesses

Some of the environment initiatives that respondents said they’d like to see more of from employers include offering more sustainable products or services to customers and committing to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within the next decade, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Gen Z and millennial workers also said that a subsidy in exchange for making sustainable choices (for example, cycle-to-work schemes) wouldn’t go amiss and that they seek out green office locations. 

Perhaps surprisingly, the most popular thing an employer can do to attract environmentally conscious young employees is teach them how to be even better stewards of the earth: Nearly a third of respondents said they want sustainability training.

“Protecting the environment is the societal challenge where respondents feel businesses have the greatest opportunity and necessary influence to drive change,” the report notes. “Gen Z and millennials are pushing businesses to do so through their career decisions and their consumer behavior.”

Of course, not everyone is willing to quit environmentally unfriendly jobs, but even those who aren’t eyeing up the exit are embracing their inner Greta Thunberg and demanding their current employer changes for the better.

Around half of Gen Zs (54%) and millennials (48%) admitted that, with their colleagues, they are putting pressure on management to jump on the eco-bandwagon—a steady increase from 2022 when 48% of Gen Zs and 43% of millennials said the same. 

Other youngsters have given up on work because of the climate

While climate change fears have clearly inspired many young people to make the future of work more environmentally friendly, it’s also having the complete opposite effect on others: Some Gen Zers simply don’t see the point in working when they think the future of the planet is in tatters anyway. 

“It’s hard to stress too much over work as we can see the world crumbling in front of us,” Ayem Kpenkaan a Gen Z software engineer-turned-content creator previously told Fortune.

“Emails or even TikTok numbers seem pretty small compared to all the climate news we receive on a daily basis.”

Being old enough to understand what’s happening to the world, but too young to take up senior positions in the workplace and make a difference is adding to the youth of today’s apathy for work.

“It feels weird to be going into my job every day knowing that the looming future—or lack of a future—is just completely out of my control,” another Gen Zer concluded.

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