4 in 5 Generation Z workers in the UK expect employers to tackle single use plastics

New research by the City of London Corporation shows the current generation of young people entering the workforce are more environmentally conscious than the Millennials who preceded them. What's more, they're expecting their employers to step up and take action to protect the environment.

As a result, the City Corporation has launched its Plastic Free City campaign, a rallying call to businesses and individuals to reduce single use plastics across the Square Mile. The first businesses to sign up to the Plastic Free City pledge are the City Corporation itself, including its Barbican Centre, and the Bank of England, along with financial services group Nomura. The pledge is wide-ranging, from stopping the use of plastic straws, cups or cutlery to registering as a water refill site.

The survey, conducted by Censuswide, compared the attitudes of 1,000 of the first members of Generation Z to enter the workforce (18-22 year olds) with 1,000 of the first Millennials (33-37 year olds) and found a considerable shift in attitudes across the generations:

  • 80% of Generation Z ranked tackling single use plastics as important or very important for employers, ahead of reducing electricity consumption and water consumption and reducing greenhouse gases.

  • Environmental responsibility is now in the top three considerations when it comes to employers' corporate social responsibility for Generation Z and Millennials alike (36%), along with the gender pay gap (38%) and diversity policy (30%).

  • 43% said they would be shocked if their employer continued to use single use plastics in the workplace.

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