For many companies, recycling is an untapped strategy for recruiting, retaining, and engaging Millennials at work.
Rubbermaid Commercial Products' new study "Recycling in the Workplace: A Millennial View," examines the next generation of workers' views on sustainability and attitudes towards the spaces where they work. Key findings from the study include:
1. Millennials place a premium on sustainability and consider it a core value in relation to their career.
- 9 in 10 Millennials say it is important they work for a sustainable company.
- 36 percent of Millennials consider a company's reputation as a sustainable business when choosing their next job.
- Nearly one in 10 Millennials would quit their jobs if they found out their current employer was not sustainable
2. Millennials are empowered to inspire change in their work environment.
- 82 percent of Millennials look for opportunities to help their company become more sustainable.
- 67 percent feel they have enough influence in their workplace to make an impact on matters such as sustainability.
3. Millennials want to do more, and believe recycling should be an obligation for their employer.
- Over 80 percent of Millennials whose employer does not have a recycling system in place believe employers have a responsibility to encourage recycling in the workplace.
- 77 percent of Millennials say they recycle at work, but 83 percent say they recycle at home, suggesting recycling at work is more challenging.
- 62 percent of Millennials say they would recycle more in the workplace if their office provided more recycling points.
"The findings of our recycling study show a tangible commitment to sustainability is a requirement for the next generation of workers," said Anna Whitton, vice president of marketing, Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP). "Millennials are ready to make a difference and willing to turn down jobs that don't align with their beliefs. RCP will continue working with this emerging generation to promote waste reduction and provide superior recycling solutions in commercial environments."
Eighty-four percent of Millennials who have a recycling system in place feel there could be a more effective system to help employees think about recycling.
4 Ways to Improve Recycling in the Workplace
- Add more recycling points in the office.
- Color code the recycling system.
- Provide more information about the importance of recycling.
- Provide more information about how to recycle more effectively.
Because Millennials are the largest share of the U.S. workforce, they wield tremendous influence to shape workplace practices and priorities. The organizations that prioritize sustainability will reap the loyalty of the next generation worker.