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Millennials to Employers: ‘We’re Powerful & We Expect Sustainability’

Companies have a new reason – if the business case for environmental management was not already strong enough – to continue their sustainability initiatives: the ability to hire and maintain top talent. Millennials, the generation that makes up the largest share of the US workforce, are willing to turn down jobs, or even quit their existing jobs, if a company’s values don’t align with their own, finds a new study released by Rubbermaid Commercial Products.

The study, conducted by Lightspeed, found that nearly one in 10 Millennials would quit their jobs if they found their current employer was not sustainable. Millennials also say they are willing to turn down job offers if the company was not committed to sustainability.

Other findings include:

  • 82% look for opportunities to help their company become more sustainable;
  • 67% feel they have enough influence in their workplace to make an impact on matters such as sustainability;
  • 62% would recycle more at the workplace if more recycling points were provided, compared to just 55% of Gen Xers and 58% of Baby Boomers;
  • over 80% feel employers have a responsibility to encourage recycling in the workplace.

The findings are particularly important in terms of attracting and keeping new talent because in 2015, Millennials officially surpassed Generation X as the largest share of the US workforce, “wielding the power to shape today’s workplace practices and values,” according to the Recycling in the Workplace: A Millennial View survey.

The findings echo those of a survey by Deloitte released earlier in the year. In that survey, Millennials said they expect companies to be agents of “positive change,” and that the ability to be involved with good causes in the workplace help them feel more involved and influential: 76% said businesses are a force for positive social impact.

Rubbermaid says it will continue working with Millennials to “promote waste reduction and provide superior recycling solutions in commercial environments.”


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