To quote an old-fashioned adage in this day and age, business times are a-changin’.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof put it well: “(Businesses) doing good is no longer a matter of writing a few checks at the end of the year, as it was for my (baby boomer) generation; for many young people, it’s an ethos that governs where they work, shop and invest.”
With 9 out of 10 Gen Z’s thinking it’s important that businesses display corporate responsibility and 84% saying that their social and environmental concerns impact the way they spend their money, it’s about time that businesses step up.
So how can businesses bolster their corporate social responsibility creds with Gen Z?
We asked thousands of young Australians for our Gen Z & Corporate Activism report.
Here’s what they suggested.
Commit to reducing your carbon footprint
“Climate change is a massive issue that all companies can work towards helping,” a 19-year-old male from NSW said.
“This includes just reducing their carbon footprint and using sustainable packaging. If a business is active in promoting sustainable practices and following through with these practices I would be much more inclined to being a loyal consumer of their product or service.”
…and be loud about it
“Being involved or supporting climate change rallies or events would show to me that they support this cause and are actively trying to play their part is fixing it and being less harmful to the environment,” a 19-year-old male from NSW said.
Throw out paper receipts
“We gotta stop cutting so many trees down,” a 19-year-old male from Victoria said.
“Receipts at this point should be all digital or fully recycled. Whenever I get the option to not print a receipt, I will choose not to print one.”
…and bin plastic waste
“The biggest problem I see with food service companies e.g Coles, Woolworths etc is plastic waste,” a 20-year-old male from Queensland said.
“Why would you want to buy something that is going to be sitting in landfill or our oceans harming innocent animals?”
“This is a problem that should have been fixed years ago. Businesses need to put the environment first.”
“Knowingly purchasing a product from a company with a background of child labor (or) sweat shops doesn’t sit well with me and it definitely influences what I spend my money on,” a 15-year-old female from NSW said.
For the love of all things furry, stop testing on animals
“I’m concerned with animal cruelty, animal testing and abuse in beauty products, environmental damage and pollution including that by plastics and man-made items,” a 19-year-old female from Western Australia said.
“My spending is influenced based on these issues as I have adjusted my beauty and skin care products so that I only buy certified vegan and animal cruelty free items and also ensure that they are made of natural ingredients where possible.”
Ultimately, be consistent. And genuine.
“Businesses need to act in a way that is not tokenistic and show genuine care for a better Australia and a better world,” a 22-year-old male from NSW said.