A third of 18- to 24-year-olds have rejected a job offer based on the prospective employers’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance in favor of more environmentally friendly roles — fueling a growing trend dubbed “climate quitting” by KPMG.
The consultancy giant published the results of a survey of 6,000 U.K. adult office workers, students, apprentices and those who have left higher education in the past six months, which found that almost half — 46 percent — of those quizzed want the company they work for to demonstrate green credentials.
KMPG found that “climate quitting” is being driven by millennial and Gen Z job seekers who are attaching increased weight to the environmental performance of potential employers when considering new roles.
Overall, one-in five-respondents to the survey revealed they had turned down an offer from a firm whose ESG commitments were not consistent with their values, but the share of those rejecting jobs from companies with weak ESG credentials rose to one-in-three for 18- to 24-year-olds.
However, the survey revealed significant numbers of employees are assessing employers’ ESG performance when considering new roles, regardless of age.
It is the younger generations that will see the greater impacts if we fail to reach [global climate] targets, so it is unsurprising that this, and other interrelated ESG considerations, are front of mind for many.
Over half of 18- to 24-year-olds and 25- to 34-year-olds said they valued ESG commitments from their employer, while 48 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds said the same.
Moreover, 30 percent of respondents said they had researched a company’s ESG credentials when job hunting, rising to 45 percent among 18- to 24-year-olds.
A company’s environmental impact and living wage policies were key areas researched by over 45 percent of job seekers. Younger workers tended to be most interested in fair pay commitments, while those ages 35 to 44 were more likely to be interested in the environmental impact of a potential employer.
John McCalla-Leacy, head of ESG at KPMG, said it was little surprise that younger workers were prioritizing firms’ climate credentials.
“It is the younger generations that will see the greater impacts if we fail to reach [global climate] targets, so it is unsurprising that this, and other interrelated ESG considerations, are front of mind for many when choosing who they will work for,” he said.
“For businesses the direction of travel is clear. By 2025, 75 percent of the working population will be millennials, meaning they will need to have credible plans to address ESG if they want to continue to attract and retain this growing pool of talent.”
The results are likely to be welcomed by green businesses, which are facing significant recruitment challenges as they look to hire more people with sustainability and clean tech skills to support the delivery of their net zero targets.
The recent Salary and Recruiting Trends guide from recruitment consultancy firm Hays found that almost two-thirds of young jobseekers are on the hunt for roles in a sustainability sector that is crying out for new talent.
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