Talent likely to move for a ‘greener’ career

Employer environmental impact is fast becoming a motivator to switch roles

Job-seekers, especially the Gen Z generation, want to work for purpose-led organisations that do more than make profits, which include firms that limit their carbon footprint. According to Aviva’s latest How We Live report, significant numbers of workers would be willing to take a wage cut or move jobs to work for ‘greener’ companies.

The pull factor of a greener career

The study found that three fifths (58%) of UK workers would consider changing their present role for a “greener” career. A fifth (18%) would accept a wage decrease if they were going to work for a charity or non-profit, while 15% would do so if the company had “strong environmental credentials.” These sentiments were higher among the under-25s, which brings to light the impact-driven nature of younger job-seekers.

In terms of sectors, those working in finance, architecture, engineering and building were the most likely (70%) to consider switching to a greener career. This is followed by those in IT and telecoms (69%), legal (64%) and manufacturing and utilities (63%).

However, this sentiment was least likely to be found among those working in the travel and transport sector (54%). Yet, this is still a significant amount of people considering greener careers, suggesting a seachange in how seriously people consider the environmental impact of their employer.

These findings should be of special interest to firms that might not be able to offer job-seekers higher wages than their competitors, but could now attract talent to positions through their good environmental policies, showcasing the pull-power of good ESG in recruitment today. Offering further perks and incentives to talent whether for recruitment or retention purposes, such as a positive environmental record, will be crucial as the jobs market remains buoyant and employers compete for the best employees.

Further statistics suggest that employers themselves are more environmentally aware too. However, the figures also reveal a growing sense of activism among employees who want to see their businesses do more for the environment than they are currently.

More environmental awareness within companies

While three-quarters of workers said their employer has made changes to improve its environmental impact in the last five years, 75% of these respondents feel there is still more to do. Moreover, 21% of workers are already participating in initiatives to make their employer greener, while 50% would like to get more involved.

In terms of the ‘green schemes’ employers already have in place, things are looking good. At the top of the list is the Cycle-to-work / bike loan scheme, which 68% of employees involved in the study say they have in their workplaces, which equates to some 22.1 million UK employees able to make use of the scheme. Subsidised public transport, including loans for transport season tickets, follows second which 60% of employees say they have in their workplaces, meaning around 19.5 million employees in the UK benefit from this.

Jon Marsh, MD, Partnerships, Aviva General Insurance, said: “Sustainability is very much on the radar for businesses large and small and it is positive news that so many UK people are bringing green thinking into their working routines, as well as their personal lives.

“The latest How We Live data shows that a great many employees are already involved in environmental initiatives in their workplace – from simply re-using cups, to limiting unnecessary travel, to making use of electric vehicle leasing schemes.

“Three-quarters of workers acknowledge that their employer has made environmental progress in the past five years – but they want to do more to make a difference. This could mean actions taken in a current role or switching to a position with a more environmental focus – but the emphasis on green career ambitions is clear.”

In this article, you learned that:

  • Good organisational environmental policies could be a big recruitment and retention incentive for talent today.
  • Significant numbers of employees would be willing to take a wage cut or move jobs to work for ‘greener’ companies.
  • There’s greater social activism among employees, with 21% of workers already participating in initiatives to make their employer greener, while 50% would like to get more involved.

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