February 23, 2019


Millennials Really Do Want To Work for Environmentally-Sustainable Companies,
According to a New Survey of Large Company Employees

Here we are in the new millennium, since 2000 or 2001 (the clear delineation has been debated) and the generation that straddles the 20th and 21st centuries has characteristics that may be quite different for employers (and as customers, investors, voters).

The Millennial Generation has been defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as those men and women born between 1981 and 1996, who are 23-to-38 years of age in 2019. (For sure, the exact definition of generations is not always in general agreement.)  This cohort succeeded the smaller-sized “Generation Xers” and the large Baby Boom generation (born 1946-1964, originally 77 million strong and two-thirds larger than the “Silents” before them).  The long-dominant Boomer population has been decreasing in size since 2012…so what comes next for the business sector and the financial sector?

Millennials – and then over time the Post-Millennials, those born 1997-to-the-present day. But today’s focus is on the many impacts, strong and subtle, of the Millennials.

The Pew Research Center sees some of the defining trends for the Millennials as including experiencing the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the aftermath; the 2008 financial crisis and the impacts of the Great Recession that followed; steadily escalating costs for higher education and housing…and other factors that created “slow starts” for their careers and “that will be a factor for American society for decades to come.”

This is also the generation that grew up surrounded with technology and for some, the experience of transition from land-line phones to cell and then on to iPhones; and for most, the internet became the center of life, observes the Pew researchers.

So what should business leaders expect as this maturing generation – in terms of attractive to potential job applicants and for retention of Millennials already under the roof?

Fast Company, the go-to magazine for many in the generation, says corporate sustainability is a priority and most Millennials would actually take a pay cut to work at an environmentally-responsible company; 40 percent have already done so because “company sustainability”. That is higher than the answers of respondents of prior generations (below 25% for Gen X and 17% for parents and grandparents in the post-WW II Boomer crowd).

Millennial survey respondents (40%) said they have chosen a job because the company performed better on sustainability than other choices…something only 17% of Boomers said they had done.  As for employee retention, 70% of Millennials said they would stay with a company if it had a strong sustainability plan.

Are these survey results a “blip”?  Fast Company tells us that in 2016 a similar survey reported 64% of Millennials said they would not take a job at a company that was not “socially responsible” -- and 75% said they would take a smaller salary to work at a company more in line with their “values”.

The 2019 survey was based on conversations with 1,000 employees at large U.S. companies.  More than 70% of respondents said they would choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda, and a sizable number said they would take a pay cut to do so. 

Today’s business leaders need to keep these attitudes in mind as this significant demographic shift is taking place.  As the huge generation of Baby Boomers continue to age out of the workplace (the oldest are 73 years of age, the youngest are 55), Millennials will make up three-out-of-every-four workers in the next six years, staff writer Adele Peters tells readers.(And the Census Bureau says they are one-out-of-four of the total US population today.)

The survey was commissioned by the blockchain-based clean energy platform Swytch – another sign of the times; this is a new platform organized to track and verify the impact of sustainability efforts and action on the global level of C02 emissions using blockchain technology. The company says that consumers reducing their energy use can win tokens.  Is this 21st Century approach to currency exchange a “blip”? Perhaps not – JPMorgan Chase recently announced its own crypto-currency and as we write this, Bitcoin values are at $4,000. 

Says Swytch co-founder Evan Caron of the survey:  “From my perspective, it’s a competitive advantage for large enterprises to really align themselves with employees’ ideas about creating more environmentally-sustainable choices.”

This Week's Top Story

Most millennials would take a pay cut to work at a environmentally responsible company
(Friday - February 15, 2019) Source: Fast Company - Nearly 40% of millennials have chosen a job because of company sustainability. Less than a quarter of gen X respondents said the same, and 17% of baby boomers.

Sustainability: Continuing Forward Momentum!

2019 could be sustainability's finest hour — here's what stands in the way
(Monday - February 11, 2019) Source: GreenBiz - Last year was a landmark one for corporate renewable energy adoption and sustainability initiatives. However, these aren’t new endeavors. Sustainability has been on a slow burn for decades. So, what’s the motivation behind this... 

The Green New Deal: Is it sustainable?
(Monday - February 11, 2019) Source: The Hill - The Green New Deal legislation introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has already won endorsements from multiple Democrats seeking the presidential nomination. 

Companies Look To Supply Chains For Sustainability Gains
(Tuesday - February 12, 2019) Source: Forbes - Companies that look to become more sustainable start with their own operations, but pretty soon they realise that many of their impacts are in their supply chains rather than in-house, so they start pressuring their suppliers to..

The good news on pensions: sustainable equals profitable
(Tuesday - February 12, 2019) Source: World Economic Forum - Would you be interested in investing in companies that produce nuclear weapons? Or companies that damage the environment, pollute our seas or violate human rights? Or companies that have been related to corruption scandals? If... 

ESG/Sustainability: Anticipating 2019 On The Heels Of 2018 Developments
(Wednesday - February 13, 2019) Source: Pamela Styles,Next Level Investor Relations LLC - Among many astounding developments pertaining to ESG/Sustainability in the past year, the ISS launch of its Environmental & Social Quality Score appears to have captured the attention of most remaining corporate boards on the... 

Raising the bar on sustainability strategies
(Wednesday - February 13, 2019) Source: GreenBiz - A lot of companies want to make their operations more sustainable, but in their efforts to do so, many overlook the importance of developing a strategy and setting measurable goals. It’s therefore noteworthy when a company... 

Sustainable Business: Zero Waste Ambitions Become Reality
(Thursday - February 14, 2019) Source: Forbes - Unbearable heat is sadly becoming the new norm. In fact, I heard 2018 became the fourth-hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

3 Reasons Companies Turn to ‘as a Service’ Models to Achieve Sustainability
(Thursday - February 14, 2019) Source: BizTech - The study found that 39 percent of the 200 executives polled believe revenue growth was the No. 1 factor behind sustainability initiatives, and 48 percent noted that sustainability is, at the very least, influencing growth...

Sustainable electronics manufacturing breakthrough
(Friday - February 15, 2019) Source: Science Daily - Researchers are developing an eco-friendly, 3D printable solution for producing wireless Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors that can be used and disposed of without contaminating the environment

Does Corporate Sustainability Pay Dividends? '83% Do,' Says Barron's
(Friday - February 15, 2019) Source: Seeking Alpha - Barron's February 11 issue presented The 100 Most Sustainable Companies from an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ranking prepared by the Calvert Research unit of EatonVance. 

Sponsored Message

ESG Topics & Issues Headlines

Doomsday prediction for surging tides was WRONG: Study claims ice-cliffs of Antarctica will be responsible for just a 6-inch boost in sea levels - SEVEN times less than previously thought (but it will still cause 'climate chaos')
(Monday - February 11, 2019) Source: Daily Mail 

This Scary Map Shows How Climate Change Will Transform Your City
(Wednesday - February 13, 2019) Source: Wired 

Climate experts say we must transform the world economy to mitigate climate change. Here's how - video
(Thursday - February 14, 2019) Source: Mashable 

Headlines From the Corporate Sector

FDA accuses Juul of undermining efforts to prevent teen vaping
(Monday - February 11, 2019) Source: Engaget

Tesla Model 3 = #1 Best Selling Electric Car in World, 7% of Global EV Market in 2018
(Monday - February 11, 2019) Source: Clean Technica

Common weed killer glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%, study says
(Friday - February 15, 2019) Source: CNN

News & Opinion: Asset Managers, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Pension Funds

Qatar Investment Authority aims to reach $45 bn in US investments: CEO
(Friday - February 15, 2019)  Source: The Peninsula

Joe DeLong: Pensions will sink Connecticut
(Monday - February 11, 2019)  Source: The News-Times

Commentary of Interest...

Seven Fixes for American Capitalism

(Monday - February 11, 2019) Source: Bloomberg - That makes this a good time to look at some of the ideas for fixing American capitalism that will be debated in the 2020 presidential campaign. Here, we identify potential remedies, name their advocates, and explain the schools... 

Commentary: Are we ready for the next major financial crisis? 
(Thursday - February 14, 2019) Source: Channel News Asis - A decade on from the 2008 global financial crisis, policymakers constantly assure us that the system is much safer today. The giant banks at the core of the meltdown have scaled back their risky bets, and everyone ...

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