Half of millennials would take a pay cut to save the planet

Half of millennials would take a pay cut to save the planet
By Rachel Graham
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New research shows young people would be willing to reduce their yearly earnings by more than Generation X.


One in four workers would take a pay cut to do work that’s better for the environment, according to new research by careers site Totaljobs. That figure rises to half among millennials, aged 23-38.

Also known as Generation Z, millennials told researchers they’d be willing to drop £11,400 from their salaries on average. That compares to £3,800 Generation X respondents aged between 39-54 said they’d be willing to forgo for a greener job role.

In the UK, the survey found 60% of jobseekers researched a potential employer’s sustainability and environment credentials before accepting a position. Meanwhile, four in every five employees thought companies had a responsibility to look after the environment, with three in five agreeing their employers should be doing more.

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Around the same amount were willing to accept cuts in spending on activities like team lunches, furniture and events.

Environment attitudes inspired by David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg

Some 18% of workers in general and 34% millennials reported that they would refuse to work for a company they thought was harming the natural world. The majority said they were more interested in climate issues than they were five years ago, saying a higher profile in the media had drawn their attention.

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Greta Thunberg arrives in Spain for COP 25Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reservedPedro Rocha

The influence of naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and young activist Greta Thunberg were also cited as key drivers for people to cut their carbon footprint.

“It has never been more important for businesses to be part of the solution to our planetary crises,” said Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community.

“Young people are no longer begging leaders to change but telling them that change is coming regardless. Businesses that ignore it face an imminent existential threat. Our futures depend on rapid, ambitious action, and we can all make a difference.”

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