New survey from efficiency experts SaveMoneyCutCarbon finds 19% of UK employees wouldn’t apply for a job with a company that doesn’t “prioritise sustainability”.

Sustainability Surge: One in five workers refuse jobs with no sustainability commitments

Demonstrating the demand for sustainable workplaces, a new survey from efficiency experts SaveMoneyCutCarbon finds 19% of UK employees wouldn’t apply for a job with a company that doesn’t “prioritise sustainability”.

A lack of upskilling and strategic focus has pushed respondents to take sustainability into their own hands. Now, the workforce votes with their feet, seeking company values that reflect with their own.

Taking a look at the survey’s findings, we explore today’s workforce priorities alongside our own experiences in the world of talent attraction, satisfaction and retention.

Sustainability’s power in talent attraction

According to the survey, 22% of respondents expressed that they would only support businesses capable of demonstrating how sustainability is deeply ingrained throughout their operations.

With workforces increasingly seeking workplace value, the survey indicates sustainability is topping the priority list for both talent attraction and retention. 19% of respondents stated they would outright refuse to apply for a job with a company that doesn’t prioritize sustainability.

These statistics alone speak volumes about the extent to which individuals are aligning their values with their employment choices. To put it into perspective, if these figures were to represent the entire UK workforce, it would mean that nearly 10 million workers are willing to turn away from a company based on its sustainability practices.

Here at Content Coms, we’ve seen the data come to life. We have loved seeing our team grow over the last year, but one striking thing we have noticed – all three of our new teammates utilised their interviews to talk all things sustainability, delving into our company impacts and specifying the importance of working for a company who ‘walk before they talk’.

The rise of individual sustainability initiatives

A particularly striking finding was 14% of workers have felt compelled to take sustainability into their own hands due to their workplace’s inaction on the matter. This stems from a lack of clarity from their employers about their sustainability initiatives or even an outright disregard for them.

From our recent experiences, we can see the shifting the landscape of workplace preferences. Clearly communicating sustainability strategy is key to attracting talent who have the drive to bring the vision to life. Companies that ignore sustainability risk losing out on top talent and may even see their workforce take matters into their own hands. To thrive in this evolving landscape, businesses must prioritize sustainability in their operations, offer relevant training, and contribute to the growth of green jobs.

Personal values and workplace values are merging. The survey results show the expectation for operational strategies to be clearly underpinned by corporate values and company culture. If not aligned, workers are evidently voting with their feet.

Meeting evolving workforce priorities

Now, attracting and retaining talent requires authentically conveying your journey with sustainability and social value. Reflecting on the survey’s findings, we went to our own team to ask about their first-hand experiences in the job market.

As one of our newest team members put it: “I had done my research before, so I knew there was a clear vision for a sustainable future, which was exactly what I was looking for. Also, having the opportunity to chat through the core company values in my final interview gave me a chance to unpick your personal values, as well as the ones I had seen on screen.

“The team was so proud to have just received the BCorp certification, which wasn’t announced yet. I knew I wanted to be part of a group that worked hard to go beyond their sustainability goals, holding themselves accountable to very high standards.”

Whether you are beginning your sustainability journey, developing your ESG strategy, or celebrating your successes, today’s workforce demands transparent communication of corporate values and priorities.

Got a vision? Here at Content Coms we use our expertise to deliver sustainability comms strategies, ESG road-mapping, and creative campaigns. Get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

Sian Clay
Sian Clay
Sian Clay is on our client management team, specialising in ESG communications. She holds an MSc from the University of Bristol in Management in CSR and Sustainability.