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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

More on the Deloitte survey I wrote about yesterday. A few weeks ago while on vacation, I talked with the 23-year old daughter of a good friend about her views on sustainability and other ESG matters. I asked if she would quit her job because of how an employer addressed (or not) climate or DEI matters. Her response was “In theory yes, but right now I don’t have that option.” She is not alone by any means. The Deloitte survey found:

“Forty-six percent of higher-income respondents say they’ve considered switching jobs to work for a more sustainable company. Less than 20% of lower- and middle-income respondents said the same. ‘Climate quitting’ appears to be an option only for some.”

The survey went further, saying that employers shouldn’t take silence from employees as an inherently positive signal:

“Silence does not indicate satisfaction. Sixty-two percent of lower-income respondents have never talked with a supervisor about sustainability at work, but 77% say their employer isn’t doing enough to address climate change. In contrast, just 24% of higher-income respondents have not spoken with a supervisor about sustainability, and only 37% view their employer as not doing enough.”

The battle for talent and the importance of employee retention apply to staff at all levels of the company. Employers may want to consider developing an employee outreach and communication program to let all employees know about climate and other ESG initiatives being undertaken. Even further, companies might improve employee engagement (and therefore satisfaction) about sustainability by establishing feedback mechanisms to solicit views, comments and ideas. In the end, it is worth it to prevent – or at least minimize – climate-quitting.

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile