How Millennials are Paving the Way for Sustainability

6th August 2019

The UK Domain reports that Millennials will soon make up the largest age demographic in the UK, which means that they will predominantly become your business’s biggest target audience. Because of this, their wants and needs should be seriously taken into consideration rather than ignored, so brands will need to change the way in which they conduct themselves.

But what is it that interests them and will capture their attention?

A survey conducted by Nielsen reported that millennials are more willing to pay extra for a product if it is sustainable. As a result of this, brands are having to conduct their business in a more eco-conscious fashion, to appeal to the millennial market.

In this article, we look at what millennials look for in a brand, so that you know how to adapt your business to become more eco-conscious and consequently attract more millenials as customers.

Why Are Millenials Interested in Sustainability?

In order to know how to sell products and services to millennials, it is important to first understand their motives and why they are interested in sustainability.

Millennials grew up in a time of great technological advancement and therefore a time of increasing globalisation, but economic disruption also had a large effect on them. As a result of this, they are cautious and often dubious of a business’s motive. Millennials are not fooled by catchy slogans or click-bait and are more concerned by the impact a company is having. Cone has reported that 9 out of 10 millennials would switch to a brand that is associated with a cause, to know that they are not being exploited and that they are contributing to something positive.

This cautious attitude of millennials and their desire to impact the world positively means that they look for companies where sustainability is one of their core objectives.

What do millenials want from you?

It can be hard to know where to begin in terms of sustainability in your business, but there are some main things that will not only influence the millennial audience, but also (and more importantly) create a positive impact on the environment.

To reduce waste & go digital

Non-recyclable waste is not popular amongst millennials. The world is waging a war against plastic and millennials are some of the fiercest warriors in this battle. They are likely to buy products that are made of and packaged in recyclable materials, avoiding single-use plastic wherever possible.

Because they are against waste, millennials are more likely to buy good-quality reusable items. They are willing to pay more money for a product that is eco-conscious and made to last, rather than something that is disposable. As a result of this, companies will need to rethink their strategies to be more environmentally conscious and seriously attempt to reduce their waste.


A good way to make a conscious effort in reducing waste (especially paper) is by going digital wherever possible. Check out our article Green Changes You Can Make to Promote Eco-Friendliness In Your Business for tips to help introduce more green initiatives into your business.

To use & promote healthy, organic products

The millennials are a health-conscious generation and as a result, they seek out food and other products that are mostly natural and haven’t caused harm to the environment. They are more likely to buy organic products, even if they are more expensive. There is a very conscious movement away from products that involve heavy processes, especially ones creating carbon emissions.

For this same reason, even if you aren’t selling these products as it’s not related to your business, they want to work with a business that uses eco-friendly products. Promoting the fact that you work with eco-conscious brands or use eco-friendly products within your business is only going to work in your favour.

Millennials like to know where a product has come from in order to know how it matches up to their standards. A backstory can provide a sense of familiarity that they can trust, but they won’t be fooled by exuberant marketing language, they want details and the truth.

To practice eco-conscious corporate social responsibility

Millennials don’t want to fund cruelty and so are more likely to be a customer of a brand that is labelled as eco-conscious or Fairtrade.

As an example of an industry affected by the millennial market, there has been a move away from fast fashion which used to be very popular. This is because the public is becoming more aware of the truths of sweatshops and how badly employees are treated in them.

The Body Shop recently shared this post on Twitter which explained how they transform bananas that “won’t sell to the food industry” to the Banana Body Polish!

Millennials also care about how eco-friendly the company itself is and are more likely to be loyal to a company that has green initiatives in place. Furthermore, it is reported by Enviral that 75% of millennials would choose to be paid less if it meant working for a more environmentally conscious company; this is a demonstration of how important sustainability is to this generation: the general consensus is that money is not more important than protecting the environment.

Don’t Get Left Behind

Making green changes to your business can seem quite overwhelming at first, or it can seem like an unnecessary hassle, but in reality, it could be one of the greatest things you can do to have a positive impact on the planet and to help your business with the rise of millennials as the largest age demographic. A lot of businesses are introducing sustainability into their core aims, knowing that the millennial generation cannot be left out, so don’t fall behind. Making changes, no matter how small, can benefit the environment as well as your business. It pays to go green.

We hope this article has given you insight into the minds of the eco-friendly millennials. If you are interested in working with a team of digital experts to help you go digital contact us here, or take a look at our services here.

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