Tallo Data Insights: Sustainability & green initiatives are imperative for engaging Gen Z at work – here’s why

As natural disasters, “green” policies, and sustainability initiatives continue to dominate our news cycles, it’s no surprise that Generation Z is becoming more and more vocal about their environmental concerns. Members of Generation Z are taking to their social media feeds and schools to share their opinions about climate change, so we wanted to know: How is Gen Z’s commitment to the environment impacting their future career plans? We surveyed over 1,050 members of Generation Z from October 1, 2021 to October 17, 2021 to learn more.


Environmental Issues Impact Gen Zs’ lives

Well over half (68%) of Gen Z survey respondents reported that they feel anxiety about climate change. Only 17% reported that they do not feel anxiety about climate change, while 15% were unsure. Environmental issues are having an effect on Gen Z’s long-term planning as well: 67% reported that climate change is impacting where they want to live. Twenty-one percent reported that climate change is not impacting where they want to live, and 12% were unsure. 


When Selecting a Job, Gen Z Expects Green Commitments 

Climate change and environmental sustainability are clearly top-of-mind for many members of Generation Z, but do those issues impact how they’re thinking about their future careers? According to Tallo’s data, yes. Last year, Gen Z reported that politics and presidential elections were a big deal for them, and this year, the vast majority of Gen Z respondents (80%) reported that they believe that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or preventing climate change is the responsibility of both individual companies and politicians. Fifty-nine percent of Gen Z respondents prioritize the planet-friendliness of companies when weighing job offers (15% do not, and 26% are unsure), and 79% would be more likely to accept a job with a company that has made a public commitment to fighting climate change.


Gen Z Workers Want Companies to Take Social Impact Strategies Seriously

Companies and corporate recruiters may see these responses and think, “Well, that’s great, but CSR is such a broad term. Where should my company begin?” To answer that question, check out Gen Z’s rankings of CSR commitments below! Minimizing negative impact on the environment and combating climate change took the top spot, while initiatives like purchasing fair trade products fell towards the bottom of the list: 

  1. Minimizing negative impact on the environment/combating climate change – 23%
  2. Fair and ethical labor practices – 21%
  3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion training – 18%
  4. Donating money to nonprofits and charities – 13%
  5. Volunteering opportunities – 11%
  6. Hosting/funding events to benefit local communities – 10%
  7. Other – 3%
  8. Purchasing fair trade products – 1%

Making a Difference vs. Making Money: Which Is More Important for Gen Z?

In past Tallo Data Insight surveys, we’ve heard directly from Gen Z that finding personal fulfillment in a job is important to them and has become even more important during the turbulence of 2020 and 2021. Knowing this information, we wanted to learn more about how Gen Z talent acts upon that desire when making early career decisions. We asked our survey respondents if they feel that they must choose between making money and making a difference in the world when considering their future profession. The audience was completely split down the middle: 44% responded that they do feel that way, 44% responded that they do not, and 12% were unsure. Taking it one step further, we asked members of Gen Z to tell us which option they would choose if they did have to make a choice between making money or making a difference in the world. The response is in alignment with our previous findings of this generation’s commitment to positive change, sustainability, alignment of values, and determination to leave a mark on their communities: 79% would choose to make a difference in the world.

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