Recently, the millennial generation (people who were born from 1981 to 1996) have overtaken the baby boomers and became the largest population group within the USA. Millennials seem to be more environmentally conscious than their predecessors and, as consumers, prefer dealing with the companies that support the sustainability approach. For example, 70 % of respondents said that they will consider staying with the company longer if it has a sustainability plan.
More than ever, customer demand and not only inner corporate culture or business case drives businesses to be mindful of their social and environmental impact. Here is what you should know to respond to this trend.
Do Millennials Really Care About Sustainability?
Millennials are concerned about how, where, and from what materials goods are made. The earlier businesses accept it and try to meet the demands of the target audience, the quicker they will develop a sustainability mindset that is crucial to stay competitive in the modern market.
Many brands have already embarked upon incorporating suitability principles in all business processes by building aggressive sustainability initiatives and working out the tactics on reducing waste and using alternative energy resources. However, there are brands that do not follow this lead.
On the whole, millennials demonstrate their dissatisfaction with how the industry influences the planet. They are eager to use their influence as consumers to change things and make the companies work in another way. Here are some examples that prove this tendency:
1. Lab-grown Diamonds Take the Superiority
According to the Global Diamond report, the industry has been experiencing some challenges in the recent period. One of the reasons is the refusal of many brands from diamond mining. The problem is that diamond mining causes severe soil erosion, deforestation and water pollution across Africa (this is the continent that takes the top position in diamond production).
Since diamond mining has a negative impact on the environment and does not support sustainability principles important for the leading customer category – millennials, companies are compelled to consider alternatives. Many millennials pay attention to alternative solutions too, choosing inexpensive colored stones or lab-grown diamonds. These alternatives are more environment-friendly and align with the popular sustainability mindset.
2. Synthetic Fur Coats Win the Competition
There is no doubt that the fur-free campaign that was created in 2019 began to work. Millennials like wearing synthetic fur coats from new collections of popular brands that refused from using animal furs.
Fur farming has been part of fighting against animal cruelty for a long time. Now, after banning the sales and production of fur, popular brands such as Bloomingdales, Prada, and Macy’s announced bans on fur sales. It is a reasonable decision as the companies managed to avoid enormous losses some less responsive brands like Canada Goose had.
3. Millennials Also Influence Oil and Gas Industries
Despite having no capital to impact gas and oil industries, millennials still intend to find a way to influence them. For instance, they have been trying to decrease the number of fossil fuel companies by reaching universities and investment organizations.
As a result, their peers avoid being engaged in the oil and gas industries, which has a serious impact on employee’s distribution in this sector. According to the survey conducted by Energy Jobline and Airswift, half of the respondents are worried about an impending talent crisis.
How Brands Can Meet Millennials Expectations?
Millennials come with their vision of what they want and the way they want it. They are worried about the environment and try to decrease a bad impact on it by modifying their own practices and influencing the brands.
The companies that listen to the target consumers and leverage corporate sustainability education to set the right development goals have all chances to earn Millenials’ loyalty. Even if your progress has not been great, it is critical that your brand embarks on a sustainable development path and engages in any form of sustainability reporting. Tangible business benefits and stakeholder engagement are sure to follow.
Things to Expect
Sustainability is not an option for businesses that are operating nowadays but a crucial mission. Millennials gained a reputation as the killers of the whole industries. While this statement can be a little bit exaggerated, there’s a deal of truth in it.
The brands that earned a bad reputation for not being sustainable enough can try to redeem themselves by trying to make all processes more environmental-friendly. Anyway, it is clear enough that following sustainability practices will help the organizations remain popular with Millennials, the most powerful consumer group at present.