It should come as no surprise that a strong environmental ethos within an organisation is a driving factor for many…


It should come as no surprise that a strong environmental ethos within an organisation is a driving factor for many jobseekers when choosing where to apply for work. 

However, a recent report has detailed just how important sustainability aligned with social responsibility really is in terms of recruitment. 

When we think about sustainable brands in 2020, Innocent Drinks is never too far from our consideration. Incorporating recycled plastic into their packaging for the past 17 years, Innocent is not only a manufacturer of delicious drinks, they are a sustainable giant, continually giving back to the planet that they take from. 

The fruit used for their drinks are purchased through the Rainforest Alliance, a scheme which works in conjunction with farmers, protecting their rights and preserving their land, and 10 per cent of their profits are devoted to charitable causes. Unsurprisingly, staff are more than keen to shout about their business’ efforts. According to Glassdoor, 92 per cent of staff would recommend the business to a friend.  

With this in mind, in this article we take a look at the millennial mindset regarding sustainability, why sustainability and social responsibility mean so much more to organisations than meets the eye, and how you can detail your business’ focus in a job description to target the ideal talent pool.

Millennial mindset 

In research conducted by Totaljobs it became apparent that 26 per cent of British workers would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for working for a business which acted responsibly in terms of the environment. 

Furthermore, 28% would actually consider quitting their current role and transitioning into one which was offered by a more environmentally responsible company. Of this 28%, within the age range of 23-28, which harbours a significant number of millennials, 50% would do so. 

Ultimately, for any business, that is why it is so important — the aforementioned demographic. By 2025, millennials will account for approximately 75% of the overall workforce. This is a group which was also discovered to offer their services for a considerably lower salary — up to £8,100 per annum — to a business who demonstrated environmental care. 

Although, for employers, the current situation might not reflect this mindset, this will be thanks to the fact only 17% of Generation Xers feel the same way. 

Head of Sustainability at IKEA Joanna Yarrow suggested that millennials are excited by the prospect of working for companies that play a positive role within society. This is supported by a PWC report that discovered 65% of people in China, Germany, India, UK, and US want to work for a company with a strong social conscience. 

This list of economic superpowers is surely enough to demonstrate that it is an incredibly pressing matter. 

Think outside the box and focus on the globe

What we’re looking at here isn’t just a change in processes to benefit the planet, this is an opportunity to completely remarket your business, attracting key talent along the way. 

Go beyond the simplistic development of an environmental and social conscience and make it the foundations of your business and you have, in effect, opened up Pandora’s box. 

Gudrun Cartwright, Environmental Director at BITC, comments: “For those that get ahead of the curve, the opportunities are immense.” 

Implementing a strategy such as corporate sustainability is, simply, another form of competitive advantage. Not only will customers be drawn to your brand, the best talent pool will be too. 

Around 30 per cent of staff have suggested that they have given more effort to a business they have worked for which employs these strategies. This repeats the rhetoric from an age-old cliché, ‘you get out what you put in’. 

A happy workforce results in higher productivity, which saves money, and, ultimately, translates into a more satisfied customer. 

Promoting the best of your business 

PWC detailed, in the same report, that ‘36 per cent of HR departments across the globe are actually amending their recruitment strategies to focus on their business’ social and environmental stance.’

That said, what are they including when crafting their job descriptions? 

  1. As a business we focus a great importance on our social and environmental sustainability and, therefore, in your role you would be expected to replicate this each and every day.

  2. Here at XXX we set out to act in an exemplary fashion towards the community. Whether this be in regard to social conduct or waste management, as an employee it is your duty to uphold these policies.

  3. It is the cornerstone of our foundations to act in a responsible manner in terms of sustainability. You, as an employee, are expected to display this in all aspects of your work. 

Lynn Cahillane, Head of Marketing at Totaljobs said: “With a widely reported skills shortage, employers have the opportunity to showcase a clear commitment to reducing carbon emissions and help tackle the climate crisis. A step which could make the difference in attracting the UK’s most sought-after workers.”

Don’t lag behind the herd, seize the opportunity today to demonstrate your business’ true worth. 


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