Future Business Leaders will be a Sustainable Generation
With the global financial crisis putting a pinch on the sustainable ambitions of many companies, it is heartening to hear our future business leaders saying that sustainability should be at the very heart of how we operate.
That is the output from a report published by Sky Future Leaders. The report, published today investigates the attitude towards sustainability of 750 graduate trainees, middle managers and MBA students.
This group happily describe themselves as the sustainable generation. It is a generation that has grown up with issues of environmental protection. As such they expect the issue to be central to how the companies they lead will operate.
It also sends a clear message to recruiters that if they want to attract the brightest talent that they need to get their sustainability credentials in order. 34% of respondents see creating social and environmental value as an overall career goal, just 1 percentage point behind earning personal financial rewards.
This isn't just idealism talking however. 70% of those surveyed believed being green can create opportunities for business, with a further 66% saying that the current tough economic climate is no excuse for ignoring sustainability issues.
Sadly there exists a huge gap between aspiration and reality. Whilst 78% thought employers were doing their best on sustainability, only 3% thought they were achieving good results. This is perhaps explained by the belief of 73% of respondents who thought that most claims of corporate sustainability were mere greenwash.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky Chief Executive, launched the study and said:
“While sustainability has become part of everyday business language, little has been known until now about the views of future leaders. This study shows that tomorrow’s business leaders are already engaged with sustainability and see it as an important part of their future careers. In their own words, this is ‘the sustainable generation’ and there is much we can all learn from them.Continued on the next page