‘Climate Quitting’: Young Workers Are Jumping Ship When Companies Don’t Care Enough About The Environment
Robert Nickelsberg via Getty Images

Young workers in Western nations are leaving their jobs at increasing levels over a desire to work for companies they believe are committed to fighting climate change.

The phenomenon of “climate quitting” occurs as multiple surveys indicate that professionals in younger cohorts prefer their employers to take active stands on social and political issues. Some 46% of workers and students in the United Kingdom want their employers to demonstrate a devotion to the environmental, social, and corporate governance movement, also known as ESG, according to a poll from the accounting firm KPMG.

Roughly one in five respondents had refused a job offer when the company’s approach to ESG was not aligned with their values; one in three employees between 18 and 24 said the same. Some 64% of office workers said there are certain sectors in which they will not work due to ethical reasons, while 82% of respondents placed “some importance” on the possibility of linking their values and purpose to their employer.

John McCalla-Leacy, who leads ESG efforts for KPMG in the United Kingdom, postulated that younger generations likely favor social responsibility from their employers more fervently than older cohorts because they “will see the greater impacts” from rising global temperatures over the course of their lifetimes. He added that businesses must “have credible plans to address ESG if they want to continue to attract and retain this growing pool of talent.”

Roughly 51% of students across more than two dozen prominent business schools indicated they would accept a lower salary to work for a company with better environmental practices, according to a study from Yale University. “Business students have grown even more resolute in their stated intention to work for companies that demonstrate strong social and environmental sustainability practices,” researchers said.

The desire for companies to address environmental concerns may not align with investors’ expectations. An exclusive poll from The Daily Wire showed that American investors would prefer that companies commit solely to the pursuit of profits: although 29% of respondents expressed approval of companies that leverage their financial power for political or social means, 58% expressed the opposite sentiment.

The increased inclination among young people to work for climate-conscious firms comes as employers in both the private and public sectors struggle to hire. There exist roughly 10.5 million job openings and 5.7 million unemployed individuals across the economy, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reflecting a constrained labor market that has worsened inflationary pressures.

Worries over climate change have also impacted demographic trends in the Western world. Economists from Morgan Stanley said in an investor note that the “movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing and impacting fertility rates quicker than any preceding trend in the field of fertility decline.” Several thousand young people have signed commitments such as the No Future Pledge, which encourages the avoidance of reproduction to reduce carbon emissions. Some 56% of American adults experience “climate anxiety,” according to a study from the American Psychological Association.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Climate Quitting’: Young Workers Are Jumping Ship When Companies Don’t Care Enough About The Environment