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34% of UK workers would turn down job from a company with poor sustainability credentials

A third (34%) of white-collar professionals in the UK state that they would turn down a job offer if a company’s environmental, sustainability or climate control values do not align with their own.

These employees place a company’s green values above what an employer does from a political (29%), charitable (27%), or social affairs (21%) standpoint.

The findings come from a global survey and upcoming ESG Report by recruiter Robert Walters, as global leaders gather in Glasgow for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

According to the global survey of over 7,000 professionals, 51% of UK employees state that it is important to them that a company’s social and political values align with their own.

The UK ranks 13th in the world where employees would base their future employment decisions off a company’s sustainability agenda. Top of the list are France, Chile, and Switzerland – where over half of professionals would turn down a job offer if the company’s green credentials did not meet their personal expectations.

% of white-collar professionals who would turn down job offer

RankCountry% who would turn down job offer
1France53.47%
2Chile53.45%
3Switzerland51.52%
4Brazil46.28%
5Netherlands41.50%
6United States41.30%
7Australia40.16%
8Germany39.83%
9Singapore39.56%
10Portugal36.56%
11New Zealand35.42%
12Ireland35.29%
13United Kingdom33.67%
14Thailand30.70%
15Malaysia28.70%
16Japan26.52%
17South Africa25.68%
18Indonesia22.68%
19Taiwan21.56%
20Mainland China18.79%
% of white-collar professionals who would turn down job offer

Chris Poole, Managing Director of Robert Walters UK comments:

“We have certainly entered a new era of recruiting – whilst all the normal questions still do get asked around pay, benefits, training and career paths, increasingly we get asked ‘what does X company stand for.’

“When offered a potential new role; job searchers are quick to jump onto a firms social media handles, their ‘about us’ page, and most importantly googling latest news articles aligned to the company.

“Employers failing to improve on their sustainability credentials should expect to see a knock-on impact to their hiring. With their being so many avenues to being environmentally conscious as an employer there simply isn’t much room to ignore the matter.

Millennials driving company-decisions

When breaking down the figures by age, it is Generation Z (18-24yrs) and Baby Boomers (55-73yrs) who appear to be the most concerned about whether their employer is doing their bit to tackle climate control. Half of professionals within these age cohorts stated that it is important a company’s green values align with their own.

Interestingly of all the age groups it was millennials (21%) who are least bothered about their employer’s impact on the environment – where they place mental health (62%), workers’ rights (62%), diversity & inclusion (52%), and income gap (41%) higher up on their agenda.

Chris adds: “As a workforce strategy, ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) has become a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent.

“In fact, numerous studies by Robert Walters have shown that, when weighing up potential employers, millennials are hugely influenced by how a business responds to and tackles social issues.

“With millennials making up the largest part of leadership roles, they will be doing a great deal to stay in tune with employees’ concerns. And from the recent Extinction Rebellion protests, the UN Climate Change Report, statements from high profile celebrities, royals and politicians, and COP26 it seems environment will remain the topic of discussion amongst employees for some time.”

Click here to see a preview of the report from Robert Walters Environment, Social & Governance: Mindset over Must.

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