At last month’s relaunch event of the Carbon Balanced Paper initiative at PwC’s swanky riverside office in London, Mark Thompson, PwC’s Director of Sustainability and Climate Change, said: “The current crop of job applicants we speak to have a clear idea of the type of company they want to work for, and that’s one that represents their own values, especially in terms of the environment.”
Of all the fascinating and thought-provoking points of discussion that came out of the event – from learning about the programme itself, which helps printers and their customers to boost their environmental credentials through their choice of paper, to hearing about the fantastic work of the ecological charity World Land Trust – it was the above words by Thompson that put forward a different angle on the important issue of saving the floating rock we inhabit.
It is abundantly clear that the business world is increasingly under pressure to show its commitment to the environment. Many companies are implementing eco-friendly practices to help them to operate more ethically and profitably, as well as to meet industry regulations and the expectations of their eco-conscious customers. But, as Thompson points out, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, their environmental policy can heavily influence the type of employee they attract.
‘Millennials’, ‘Generation Y’ or whatever name you want call the group of people born between some point in the 80s to the early noughties, are unsurprisingly heavily invested in the future of the planet and are selecting employers accordingly. Not only are they thinking about their own future, but also that of their kids and their kids’ kids, which is why millennials are three times more likely to apply for a job at a company because of its efforts for social or environmental causes.
This trend is largely a result of the death of the ‘Is climate change real?’ argument. The North and South Poles are definitely melting, and I definitely wore only a t-shirt to the shops on Christmas Day (and it was most pleasant).
In short, there is a lot of evidence now available that clearly shows the world needs protecting more than ever and that the younger generations are determined to help. However, that’s not to say that the older generations don’t care, with research showing that environmental awareness in more widespread on the whole. A recent study found that 26% of employees in the UK want to see more environmentally-friendly processes being introduced by their employers.
The environment is increasingly at the forefront of everyone’s minds, gnawing away inside our craniums like aerosol gases depleting the ozone in the stratosphere. It affects nearly every part of our lives – from the way we travel, to the products we buy, to the brands we associate with and the employers we work for.
So, considering the growing availability of simple and effective carbon reduction programmes (such as Carbon Balanced Paper), it’s never been easier to take important steps to protect your business and, indeed, the planet.