Generation Z — children and young adults born since 1995 — is just beginning to produce today’s voters, shoppers, workers and parents. What are the chances that this generation, which has grown up amid the constant hum of social issues and environmental causes, is the one that steps up to address sustainability concerns seriously?
Five factors suggest it might be. It’s early days yet, of course, but for those who worry that the social and environmental problems facing the world are insurmountable, this young generation does offer five reasons to hope — as well as opportunities to brands who can embrace sustainability authentically.
What they buy
Our latest research has six in ten 16- to 20-year-olds saying they will go out of their way to buy products and services from businesses they know are helping to create a better world. We all know there’s a gap between what people say they will do in surveys and what they actually do in practice, but six in ten is higher than similar surveys report for Millennials (five in ten), and Generation Z is acutely aware of the personal brand benefits of doing and sharing good. This indicator at least suggests that the purchasing behaviour of a generation that instinctively wants to share no-make-up selfies and ice-bucket challenges will favour brands that are similarly visibly connected to doing good.