The importance of Sustainability to the Next Generation
It was the Millennials and Generation Z that grew up watching the news about the devastating effects of climate change around the world, from the wreckage made by Super Typhoon Haiyan to the Philippines in 2013, the intense wildfires in Australia in 2019, and most recently, the extreme heat waves that hit the United States in 2021. Some even experienced these catastrophes firsthand!
With accessible data and information thanks to the internet, the younger generation is very much aware and well-informed about how dangerous the future will be if we do not act today. And because of this, they are motivated to make a difference, to lead the way in advocating for a more sustainable life.
What does this look like for them?
1. Having Greener and Sustainable Product Choices
Remember that viral video in 2018 of a turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose and how it sparked plastic straw bans in many cities? Since then, more sustainable products options have been offered in the market and are being supported by the younger generation. Looking at the numbers, 90% of millennials are willing to switch brands that are sustainable or mindful of their impact to the environment. Meanwhile 72% of Generation Z are willing to spend on products and services that are sustainable and match their values.
2. Living in Greener and Cleaner Cities
During the COVID-19 pandemic, biking has become the new ‘in’ thing – not just for safety reasons, but because it’s also good for staying fit and going green! The younger generation now look into cities with bike lanes, eco-friendly transport systems, green open spaces, and shaded walkways. They also advocate for clean and renewable energy. In fact, 81% of the younger generation believe that the public and private sectors are both responsible in helping us transition to cleaner and greener technology while 84% think that the government should invest more on renewable energy.
3. Advocating for Green
Generation Z ranks underlying environmental issues over economics. According to a study, 40% of the younger generation named climate change as the biggest challenge that the world would have to face in the next decade. They are aware and conscious of their personal carbon footprint and various environmental issues, and they are eager to do something about it.
More than simply seeing their own generation to lead the pack to a greener future, the new generation seeks brands, services and developments that have embraced the green agenda as their own. Instead of engaging in a tug of war game, they are seeking for partners to co-lead the shift to a more sustainable way of life. For them, the green agenda is not just their agenda; it is THE agenda, now and in the future.