EHSDA Shorts: What is the Importance of Worker Safety and Environmental Responsibility for Gen Z?

In this episode of EHSDA Shorts, Katie Martin, Director of Sustainability of Avetta, explains the importance of worker safety and environmental responsibility for Gen Z.

This clip was taken from a webinar titled “Panel Session/Town Hall | Future-Proof Your Safety Program: A Panel Discussion About Safety Culture” as part of EHS Safety Culture NOW.” The full session is available for FREE on-demand here.

This webinar was sponsored by Avetta.

Transcript: (edited for clarity):
Question: What is the Importance of Worker Safety and Environmental Responsibility for Gen Z?
Martin: Sustainability is my day, in day out especially the intersection with DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), so it is absolutely mission critical now for you to attract and retain talent of the Millennials and Gen Z to have a stance on an ESG (environment, social, and governance). Whether you’re adhering to the UN (United Nations) SDG (sustainable development goals) and operationalizing them through ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or your company has a net zero goal or anything of that nature.
As Camille said, this is a very values-driven group of folks and group of potential workers so they really want to ensure that the workplaces value the people and value the planet. This is a generation that has been raised with climate change as a default and looks through the lens of business as to how they’re either contributing to or detracting from that that challenge and how it’s actually also affecting how folks are moving around the planet. We’ve already had 27 million people have to relocate in Southeast Asia for climate-related matters. It’s just simply habitable land is changing and they expect another 300 million more in the next 15 years across the globe to move so if we think about global supply chains where you have your manufacturing centers where you’re sourcing your raw materials as well. A lot of those locations are going to change drastically in terms of the availability of those components and the availability of workforce and where they are located now.
I think recognizing those realities and the impact they could have on business and making sure that your company understands the role you could play in that space and publicly marketing it is helpful. As you know, making sure that you have as much as your able representation throughout your leadership too because that really is the first display to younger workers about who your company is more so than your mission statement or your code of conduct. We’ve got a lot of research now that Gen Zers and millennials won’t even apply to an organization if they don’t have a sustainability real estate on their website or some kind of indication so you’re not even getting them in the pipeline at this point to assess.
I think for most folks from a regulatory perspective this is kind of trickling down regardless of industry and geography. But for those that may be in companies that are late adapters building the business case around retention and recruitment is really an easy bar. Now there’s significant amount of research out there now to support that and of course within that banner is the safety culture.