Youth Strike 4 Climate’s global protest on March 15 by an estimated one million students demonstrating against inaction on climate change marks a new generation gap issue. A larger share of youth in 26 countries are concerned about climate change compared to people over 50, according to a Pew survey.
Who are these young people? They are the workforce of the future, as well as the customers and clients of companies from whom they are demanding action.
At a recent CEO Forum organized by Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose CECP, 60 CEOs cited “Prepare for the future of work” as their number one concern. Today, 30 percent of the workforce is millennial; by 2025, 75 percent will be of that generation. In that cohort, 76 percent consider a company’s social and environmental commitments before deciding to work for them, according to a PwC report.
This workforce will soon be joined by the oldest segment of the Youth Strike 4 Climate group, those who are now in their early twenties. Companies will need to step up their commitments and their reporting on sustainability initiatives to attract and retain the best talent among these future workers. Newer and younger employees will expect a company’s mission to include mitigating climate change as part of its core purpose.