Climate quitting – it seems to be the LinkedIn buzzword of 2023 so far, following on from the ‘great resignation’ of 2021 and ‘quiet quitting’ in 2022.
So what is climate quitting? It’s the growing trend of people (‘climate quitters’) who are leaving their jobs to pursue a career focused on tackling climate change.
Why is climate quitting a thing?
Well, for starters there’s an increase in the number of green jobs available, as the low carbon economy grows. Sectors such as clean energy have experienced huge growth and recruitment needs, whilst many businesses are implementing sustainability teams to ensure they meet their climate targets.
The UK, for instance, is aiming for 2 million new jobs in the ‘green economy’ by 2030, as part of their Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
But the main driver for climate quitting is simply the growing urgency to act on climate change – and the recognition that this can be done through the time we spend at work.
Workers are no longer willing to spend their days working for a company that is failing to do its part to address climate change – in some cases is actively worsening it. So they’re looking for roles at environmentally responsible companies, or new job opportunities in low carbon industries instead.
For more insights, Bloomberg recently published short interviews with several climate quitters about the incentives for their career change – such as Justin Kennedy, who quit his career as an oil and gas lawyer to work in solar power.
And we’re likely to see climate quitting continue to grow as a trend in coming years – because younger generations seem to care even more about the environmental impact of their career.
A Swytch study found that 40% of millennials have chosen a job because of company sustainability, compared to just 17% of baby boomers. And 75% of millennials even say that they would choose to take a decrease in salary to take a role in an environmentally responsible company.
So what does this mean for businesses?
Well, it’s an important factor in deciding whether sustainability should be a priority for a company.
Hiring the right people and retaining them is crucial to the success of any business. So with so many workers saying they will not work for an employer who is doing nothing on climate change, it’s time to start rolling out a genuinely impactful sustainability strategy ASAP.
The good news is that your existing employees will jump on the opportunity to work on bringing sustainability into the core of your business – it just needs to be made a priority.
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