The millennial generation are more environmentally and socially invested than any generation before them. This powerhouse generation that often influence others are now using this to challenge companies to meet their needs and desires if they wish to consider them a target audience / market. The prevalent desire from millennials is for companies to contribute to a more sustainable world and have a robust social purpose.
But first, let’s understand the commonly used definition of sustainability; it is the ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1992).
This generation wants businesses they purchase products and services from to practice in a sustainable and ethical way. To support this argument is a report created by Nielsen. It found that 73% of global millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings by companies that are operating to meet a good practice of sustainable, social and environmental ways (Corporate Social Responsibility Matters: Ignore Millennials at Your Peril, 2016).
(Morgan Stanley, 2017)
I am in the millennial bracket and have experienced first hand poor sustainability practice by an international fashion brand, which has tainted my opinion of them and what they stand for. In recent years, attention has been brought to successful international clothing companies because of the amount of pollution the textile and clothing manufacturing is causing. Not only this, but the logistical side of transporting the items too. I purchased some clothes and returned the majority of the items to my local store. To my astonishment, I discovered it was going to be returned to the original store from where I brought it from (this is over three journeys!). Yes, you are probably thinking why I didn’t try them on in store, however they were no changing rooms! This is not got a good enough sustainability strategy in the 21st century.
Not only has interest in sustainability continued to grow, so has the investment, individuals have taken action to integrate a more sustainable, social and environmental practice. Morgan Stanley (2017) report highlights that 75% of millennials that control their investment decisions can help climate change and 84% believe it can alleviate poverty.
To drive the point home, according to the CRS study, 9 in 10 millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (Rudominer, 2016). Companies that bring their corporate social responsibility efforts to life through credible storytelling will build brand loyalty and strength awareness with the green generation.
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Written by: Lois Gower, Media Partnership Account Coordinator, BAM Agency Ltd