Millennials get a bad rap among the older generation for being selfish, self-centered, and lazy individuals. But, as far as we can see, they brought some huge changes in our world until now with their non-conformist mindsets and energetic spirits including the digital revolution. 

And, most people claim that they are the ones responsible for the shift towards sustainability too. But is it true? Do Millennials really have the power to reshape the business landscape into a more sustainable one? Let’s see what statistics have to say about that: 

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Millennials want 100% green products

According to Nielsen, the 
sustainability market is expected to reach $150 billion in two years from now as a result of the fact that almost 48% of US consumers report that they are planning to change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment. 

Moreover, there has already been noticed a huge trend in buying sustainable in the last few years as, according to the reports, sales of sustainable products have grown by 20% since 2014. That being said, there is no surprise that the business landscape has already started to change towards a greener approach at such a rapid pace. 

But how exactly can we know that this is what Millennials want? Because data shows it. According to a 2015 report from Nielsen, in which 30.000 consumers from 60 countries have been polled, 73% of Millennials are willing to spend more money to purchase sustainable goods. Yet, not only natural and sustainable products but also products that come from businesses that have green practices that reduce the impact on the environment. 

The results of the report were actually extremely surprising because the Millennial generation is the one that lives in one of the most difficult economic climates in the last 100 years. However, their willingness to pay more for sustainable goods shows that they are in fact nothing like what the older generations think of them. 

Sustainable branding attracts Millennials 

It isn’t rocket science that in order to attract eco-friendly customers, brands need to focus their marketing strategies on sustainability. And, since Millennials count for more than half of today’s consumers, they are the target audience that all brands focus on. 

Since the Millennial generation is the sustainability-conscious consumer segment, sustainable branding, that addresses the environmental red buttons has two different approaches on how to attract consumers. 

First of all, one sustainable marketing approach is focusing on functional branding positioning. This has a huge power on the rational mindset of Millennial consumers. Millennials are tech-savvies and they are the generation that is constantly up to date with the latest data on environmental concerns. So, if brands use greenwash strategies to position themselves as green even if they are not, Millennial consumers will be the first to sniff their lies. 

Secondly, the emotional approach addresses the Millennial consumers’ need for investing in social good. According to a study from Morningstar, 
Millennial investors are interested in social impact investing. So, that being said, young consumers want to be part of good causes, including purchasing goods from brands that help our planet. When they buy sustainable offerings, consumers feel good. 

Millennials prefer working for a green company 

If you think that the determination of Millennials to reshape the business landscape into a sustainable one isn’t enough, you should find out that they are even more picky about the companies they choose to work for. 

According to a study, about 
40% of Millennials have based their job choice on the sustainability of the company they work for. Moreover, they made this choice even if this would affect the amount of money they would get at the end of the month. 

Nowadays, both Millennial consumers and employees are aware of the tremendous consequences of corporate pollution. And, while as consumers, Millennials don’t want to support brands that destroy our planet by purchasing goods from them, as employees, they don’t want to be part of these destructive practices. 

These days, corporate pollution is one of the world’s biggest environmental concern. We are talking poor waste management, waste of natural resources, and a huge carbon footprint impact on the environment. So, as a result of the fact that both their employees and consumers are asking for it, a huge number of brands have committed to sustainability. All of them are using different strategies, depending on their industry and practices, to reduce their impact on our planet. Plus, most of them have also asked for the help of 
experts with experience in the pollution control industry to reduce their carbon footprint on Mother Earth. 

So, Millennials are changing the business landscape not only as consumers but also as employees. 

Millennial entrepreneurs start eco-friendly businesses 

If you think that the Millennial generation has impacted the business landscape as consumers and employees, think twice! It also did it with a huge number of young entrepreneurs who invested in environmentally-responsible businesses.  Socially responsible investments have outperformed the benchmark in the last several years, especially in the case of Millennial investors. And, it seems that 
43% of Millennials are more likely to consider their environmental impact compared to the other generations. However, it is wrong to think that they are willing to lose money for this cause. But they are, however, willing to have slightly lower returns if their companies would have a lower environmental impact on our Mother Earth. 

Most likely, the generational difference in sustainability lays in accessibility to technology which previous generations didn’t have. At least not on the same scale as the Millennial generation. 

 The Millennial generation is constantly charting new territories when it comes to doing good with their money, be it as consumers, employees or business owners. And, as this generation has shown, not only minds can be changed but also companies and the entire business landscape as a whole. 

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Madison