Gen Z seek ethical workplaces as environ-mental health burden bites

20 January 2022
  • 18-22 year olds will turn down roles and take pay cuts to work with their preferred employers
  • Two in three feel anxious due to high mental health burden of climate change
  • In a hot labour market ESG commitments can help businesses win the war for talent
  • Bupa ESG experts advise businesses to support employee wellbeing through ESG
  • Businesses demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments will win the war for Generation Z workers in 2022 as they face an increasing environ-mental health burden.

According to new data from Bupa's sustainability team, two in three Gen Zs (68%) are anxious about environmental issues – more than any other generation* - and a similar number (63%) feel the burden of climate change on their shoulders.

As they enter a hot labour market where competition for talent is fierce1, 64 per cent say it’s important that employers act on environmental issues, with a lack of action affecting the mental wellbeing of two in five (43%).

Crucially, Gen Z are prepared to prioritise their mental health over their earnings. One in three (31%) would turn down roles in companies with poor ESG credentials, and over half (54%) would take a pay cut to work for a business that reflects their ethics, on average sacrificing more than a quarter (27%) of their salary.

With mental ill-health costing UK businesses £45Bn a year2, the research suggests that engaging employees with sustainability commitments will support their physical and mental health, and provide growing value to businesses as Gen Z saturate the workforce and move up the career ladder.

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Notes To Editor

Research carried out by Opinium Research among 2,000 UK adults, weighted to be nationally representative, November 2021. The generational breakdown used throughout the study is as follows: Gen Z (18-22), Millennial (23-38), Gen X (39-54), Boomers (55-73), Silent (74+).

* 68% of Gen Z are anxious about climate change compared to 63% of Millennials, 62% of Gen X and 65% of Baby Boomers*

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