Gen Z Consumers are Guiding Businesses Toward Embracing Sustainability

Gen Z Consumers

The economy is slowly becoming dominated by younger generations, like Gen Z, for whom sustainability matters more than many other trends.

Everyone born after 1996 is a Gen Z and joining the group of individuals who will make up the bulk of the economy and population in the following years.

They have been exposed to digital devices and the internet since birth, so they have strong opinions about how businesses should be more drastic in their changes to improve their operations and minimize their environmental impact.

Sustainability and climate change are two of the issues Gen Z cares the most about. They care deeply for the planet’s future, so they keep it in mind whether they’re looking for a new job or buying products and services. 

If you’re running a business, you should consider that Generation Z will soon become the largest consumer base, and you need to cater your services to their preferences. And considering that their main concern is sustainability, yours should be the same. 

Try to understand how Gen Z think

Generation Z has become well-known for campaigning to take action to prevent climate change. Names like Mya-Rose Craig, Greta Thunberg, and Vanessa Nakate have transformed this generation into activists who promote sustainability practices and ask for organisations worldwide to step up their game. 

Let’s remember that this generation has grown up feeling the burden of climate change. Since birth, they have been subjected to several climate phenomena that made them more conscious of the importance of embracing eco-friendly practices.

The extensive media coverage of the subject also increased their awareness. Consequently, they have started to watch their behavior but also the principles the companies they purchase from follow. 

Many have named Gen-Zers the eco-conscious generation because they have dealt with issues like pollution, climate change, and plastic waste since a young age, so they are more aware than ever of the impact people have on the planet.

They have expressed their concern about the state of the world countless times and are willing to take steps to prevent further behaviour from impacting the environment even more. 

Their spending habits are also different from those of the older generations because they are more concerned with putting their money into products that are built according to their values. 

According to statistics, 66% of them prefer to pay more for eco-friendly services, and 73% would choose ethically sourced products. 

Market research shows that they are looking for companies that embrace sustainability because they strongly believe that organisations must take responsibility for how their operations impact the environment. 

For a brand to connect with the Gen Z audience, it should be transparent about how it integrates sustainability into its operations, whether through approaching renewable energy or employing strategies for recycling materials like cardboard.

Gen-Z-oriented brands have made environmental sustainability one of their core values and don’t shy away from sharing information about their efforts via social media, website blogs, and other outlets. 

How do businesses benefit if they embrace sustainability?

As you have already figured out, the companies that add sustainability to their core values meet the expectations of Generation Z and all the other age groups concerned with eco-friendliness.

However, companies have several other benefits when they incorporate sustainable practices into their operations. Here is a short list, to help you decide if this is the path you should follow. 

The companies embracing sustainability benefit from increased customer loyalty

As mentioned earlier, Gen Z customers are willing to pay more to purchase eco-friendly products. Therefore, if you decide to prioritise sustainability, you have a higher chance of distinguishing yourself from your competitors and increasing your customer base.

Gen Z buyers are more likely to switch to an eco-conscious brand because they relate to the causes it supports, and they would even pay more for products and services that wouldn’t hurt the environment. 

Sustainability-focused businesses cut down costs

It might sound surprising to some, but the businesses that choose to implement sustainable practices will benefit from reduced costs in the long run because they can cut down water usage, energy consumption, and waste production. They can redirect the funds to other areas of their operations and improve their performance. 

Sustainable companies benefit from improved brand reputation

Eco-friendly practices have started to play an essential role in shaping brand reputation, so a company looking to stand apart from its competitors could make a difference.

Gen Z customers are looking for brands that share their values; therefore, they will easily identify forward-thinking companies and show responsibility towards the environment.

This age group believes that businesses play a crucial role in improving the environment, and they can lower their negative impact only if they prioritise sustainability. 

Eco-conscious businesses find it easier to attract and retain employees

Besides trying to attract new clients from among Gen Zers, businesses also recruit specialists from the same age group. However, it’s far more challenging to convince a Gen Zer to join a company than older talent because they are pickier in the criteria an employer must meet.

Unsurprisingly, they also prioritise sustainability when searching for jobs because they want to ensure they work for environmentally friendly businesses that share their view of the world.

Companies that are transparent in the ways they move towards sustainability have greater chances to attract and retain specialists among Gen Z.

Also, considering that this age group comes with a special skill set, they are more likely to boost a company’s productivity through innovation. 

Last words

It’s clear that companies from all sectors are more open to adopting sustainability practices to cater to the younger generations. Only by keeping up with market changes can they engage with audiences that put environmental protection above any other value. 

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