Young people are, understandably, concerned about the environment. They’ve been born into a world that’s coming to terms with climate change and trying to find a way to manage dwindling resources and protect our precious flora and fauna.
According to our own research, Gen Z, more so than Millennials, believe more needs to be done to look after the environment. They also want to have a stronger voice on the matter. 83% said governments need to listen to young people about this issue. 80% of people also believed current leaders hadn't done enough to protect the environment, and feel it’s up to them to build a more sustainable future.
Our survey respondents also have a view on who should take action to help protect the planet. 81% of Gen Z thought government and the private sector share responsibility for developing clean technology and 84% expected more government investment in renewable energy.
Many also understand this comes at a cost. According to a survey by an Abu Dhabi based renewable energy company, young people in developed countries were more concerned about the financial costs of going green than those in less developed nations.1
But how do their views on the environment affect their day-to-day decision making?
We have found Gen Z is more likely than Millennials to take a longer or less convenient transport route if it’s more sustainable. While other research showed they’re willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to making a positive social and environmental impact.2
Source: The Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey
Is this the beginning of a cleaner, greener future? Research has shown that many people want to make a difference. In fact, more than half of respondents (59%) to a survey of Gen Z in 20 countries said they’re interested in working or studying in an area related to sustainability.3 But the challenge ahead of them is significant. According to a report by a major energy producer and supplier, rapid urbanisation means the use of energy and other resources will grow even faster than the population, from 66% in 2010 to around 80% by 2040.4
Source: The Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey, 2016
1, 3. The Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey, 2016
2. Nielsen Insights – Younger Consumers Endorse Healthy Foods with a Willingness to Pay a Premium, April 2015
4. Shell Global – New Lenses of Future Cities, June 2014