Deloitte Survey Reveals Over 40% of Gen Z, Millennials Would Switch Jobs Over Sustainability Concerns

Sustainability is becoming one of the most crucial elements in a firm’s capacity to recruit and retain personnel, according to a new report issued by global professional services firm Deloitte. 

Here are some of the report’s key highlights:

  • Nearly 60% of Gen Zs and Millennials responding to the survey have felt anxious about the natural environment in recent years, and over 70% are actively working to reduce their environmental effects.
  • Climate impacts professional choices, with over 50% of Gen Zs and Millennials examining a company’s environmental practices before applying.
  • 1 in 6 Gen Zs and Millennials have moved jobs or sectors owing to climate concerns, and a quarter plan to.
  • 4 in 5 respondents want businesses to make products more affordable, green their supply chains, or use more sustainable packaging to help customers make more sustainable purchases.
  • 55% of Gen Zs and 53% of Millennials believe their companies are addressing climate change, but just 20% of Gen Zs and 16% of Millennials strongly agree.
  • Due to COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis, 50% of Gen Zs and millennials say their organisations have deprioritised sustainability.


Deloitte surveyed nearly 23,000 Gen Z (born 1995 – 2004) and Millennials (born 1983 – 1994) respondents across 44 countries for the report, the 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, in addition to conducting qualitative interviews on topics ranging from financial concerns, work/life balance, mental health, and climate action.

Gen Z and Millennial’s attitudes towards climate-related concerns

The Deloitte study investigated a number of important topics, one of the most important of which was the attitudes and behaviours of the respondents with regard to issues of climate and environmental sustainability, as well as the consequences that these issues have for businesses. 

These concerns are likely to impact the recruitment and retention efforts of businesses, as approximately half of Gen Zs (55%) and Millennials (54%) reported that they research a brand’s environmental impact and policies before accepting a job, and more than 40% of respondents have reported that they have already changed jobs due to climate concerns, or that they plan to change jobs because of climate concerns.

Gen Z and Millennial’s expectations

According to the poll, climate-related considerations are also influencing employee expectations, with 50% of Gen Zs and 46% of Millennials indicating that they are urging firms to take action on climate change. 

While more than half of respondents believed that their workplaces are striving to solve climate change, 53% of Gen Z respondents and 48% of Millennial respondents claimed that their firms had deprioritised sustainability in recent years owing to external forces such as COVID. This contrasts with C-suite executives’ replies in Deloitte’s recent 2023 CxO Sustainability Report, in which 75% claimed their companies raised sustainability spending in the previous year.

The mismatch may indicate that organisations need to better explain and communicate their climate strategies to their employees and assist them understand how they may participate. To emphasise this point, when asked where they believe they can affect good change in their organisations, Gen Zs and millennials rank sustainability last. This indicates that more employee empowerment is required in this area.

Organisational actions to take

In the Deloitte research, when asked about the top measures Gen Z and Millennials respondents would like their organisations to prioritise to help battle climate change, the following were mentioned the most:

  • Employee subsidies for sustainable choices (e.g., electric vehicle subsidies, solar panels, eco thermostats, public transportation incentives, etc.)
  • educating/training their personnel on how to be more environmentally friendly
  • Single-use plastic product bans or reductions at work/office locations
  • Greening up office spaces (e.g., building management systems to assure efficiency, etc.)
  • Greening their neighbourhoods/communities where they work


Employers are looking to Gen Zs and Millennials to help them acquire and build the skills required for the transition to a low-carbon economy. Nearly half of the respondents say their companies are currently offering essential skill training (56% of Gen Zs/50% of millennials), but with nearly 800 million jobs globally subject to climate extremes, this will remain a significant emphasis area.

What does it mean for the lubricants industry

The topic of sustainability is not new to the lubricants industry, but it is one where a wider awareness and better external communication about the environmental benefits of lubrication could be made. 

Sustainability is an amazing opportunity to attract and retain staff to the lubricants sector. 

In the oil super majors, we are currently seeing large numbers of Millennials and Gen Z workforce moving jobs to more agile start-ups, or advisory firms. The feedback we receive is the pace of change in energy transition and effective environmental initiatives at oil majors is not happening quickly enough for their liking. 

This is a real tragedy, because oil majors can be one of the most effective areas to make effective changes in the natural environment, and it needs top talent to advocate for changes and implement them. Better communication and transparency is required here from senior management to professional staff, so they keep the right people engaged to make change.

In our latest Lubricants Talent Report 2023, a third of the respondents are actively exploring new job opportunities.  

All the above findings mean that human capital investments and more sustainable practices are becoming an essential part of talent attraction and retention strategies. We covered the sustainability topic extensively in our  report Towards Sustainable Future 2.0, which discusses recent and ongoing sustainability developments in the lubricants sector, and practical actions that can help you build impactful talent strategies.

You can download the FREE report here.