Bridging the Generational Gap on Climate Change
Recent research reveals a disconnect between companies and next-generation talent on sustainability efforts. Here’s how to align priorities through cross-generational collaboration.
A 2023 Deloitte survey of over 22,000 millennials and Gen Zs worldwide uncovered a stark gap in perceptions:
75% of executives said sustainability investments increased
But only 24% of young talent saw employer climate actions as genuine
Notably, The NextGen Project's Purpose Gap research with Cognizant had similar findings - just 24% of respondents felt their employer’s environmental stance was authentic.
With climate change shaping their worldview, younger generations now assess employers through an environmental lens. The Deloitte survey further found:
42% have or plan to change jobs due to climate concerns
50% are pushing employers to drive environmental change
Yet only 15% feel able to influence company sustainability
This data signals a pressing need for greater transparency and dialogue. While eco-investments are important, clearly communicating initiatives to employees is equally critical.
Bridging this generational divide enables businesses to:
Attract and retain in-demand young talent
Tap into diverse perspectives to drive innovation
Build trust and unity around shared climate goals
Here are four tips for executives seeking to align with the next generation on climate action:
1. Increase Transparency Around Sustainability
Clear and consistent communication is vital. Regularly update employees on eco-initiatives and investments. Foster open discussions to spur engagement.
2. Incorporate Sustainability Into Strategic Planning
Walk the talk by embedding sustainability into company objectives. Make sustainability central to strategic planning. Back it up with resources and funding.
3. Engage Younger Generations Directly
Leverage their passion for impact. Involve millennials and Gen Zs directly in sustainability projects. Recognize their vital contributions.
4. Facilitate Cross-Generational Dialogues
Bring together diverse perspectives. Encourage collaboration between generations to share ideas and find common ground.
The bottom line? Embracing diverse voices strengthens climate strategies and future workforce retention. By valuing younger generations today, businesses build resilient futures.