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Rubbermaid Study Gauges Millennial Commitment to Sustainability


If you are looking to retain Millennials, you may want to pay attention to their preferences for working for companies that pay attention to sustainability. Absent a sustainability program you will not lose everyone but you may lose your best and brightest. According to a new study, “Recycling in the Workplace: A Millennial View”, conducted by Lightspeed, a globally integrated research organization, on behalf of Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP), nearly one in 10 Millennials would go so far as quitting their jobs if they found out their current employer was not sustainable. More than 1,000 Millennials participated in the research.

According to a press release released about the research findings, in 2015, Millennials officially surpassed Generation X as the largest share of the U.S. workforce. “As this next generation continues to enter the job market, employers will need to take notice of what these workers are saying and adapt their sustainability strategies accordingly to attract and maintain new talent,” the release said.

Millennials are more likely to move from job to job than older generations. Fifty-one percent of Millennials are planning to leave their company in the next two years, compared to 37 percent of Generation X and 25 percent of Baby Boomers.

Nine in 10 Millennials (age 18 to 34) say it is important they work for a sustainable company, compared to 84 percent of Gen Xers (age 35 to 49) and 77 percent of Baby Boomers (age 50 to 64).

Millennials Want to Help

Eighty-two percent of Millennials look for opportunities to help their company become more sustainable and 67 percent feel they have enough influence in their workplace to make an impact on matters such as sustainability.

The study addressed the importance of recycling in the workplace. More than two-thirds of Millennials are so committed to sustainability issues they would be willing to give up social media for a week if everyone at their company recycled.

Over 80 percent of Millennials whose employer does not have a recycling system in place believe employers have a responsibility to encourage recycling in the workplace. Seventy-seven percent of Millennials say they recycle at work, but 83 percent say they recycle at home, suggesting recycling at work is more challenging. If their office provided more recycling points, 62 percent of Millennials say they would recycle more in the workplace, compared to 55 percent of Gen Xers and 58 percent of Baby Boomers.

“The findings of our recycling study show a tangible commitment to sustainability is a requirement for the next generation of workers,” said Anna Whitton, Vice President of Marketing, Rubbermaid Commercial Products. “Millennials are ready to make a difference and willing to turn down jobs that don’t align with their beliefs.”