Close this search box.

As workers prioritize the environment, companies must ‘get on board’ or deal with ‘climate-quitting,’ experts say

By Ece Yildirim

According to a 2023 survey, 51% of US workers say they would consider quitting their jobs if the company’s environmental actions don’t align with theirs, and 35% said they already have. The number of quitters rose to 44% within Gen Z and Millennial workers, who also said that they would take a pay cut to work for a company that shared their values.

The figures come from the 2023 Net Positive Employee Barometer, a survey led by former Unilever CEO Paul Polman, which looked at over 4,000 employees across the US and the UK. The study found that 73% of American workers were anxious about climate change, and 61% said they want to see their company take a stronger stance on the environment. Only 34% found their company’s current commitments enough.

When it came to considering a new job, 77% of Gen Z and Millennials said the company’s commitment to the environment would be an important consideration. With Gen X and older respondents, the number was lower but still significant, with 69% agreeing.

A KPMG study from early 2023 found that one in three 18- to 24-year-olds in the UK have rejected a job offer based on the company’s ESG record.

This rising trend among workers across the globe, is called “climate-quitting” and it’s happening as part of a wider trend of “conscious-quitting,” where employees quit firms that don’t align with their greater societal values.

“Employees are asking themselves ‘Do I want to work for an organization that is not responsible, that doesn’t have a purpose or meaning?'” Tom Lakin tells CNBC Make It. Lakin, who is the global practice director at recruitment company Robert Walters Group and an expert on the future of work and ESG, says the term gained traction in early 2023.