There was a time when as a young person, all you cared about was lip gloss and boys, or arcade games and girls.
There was the tele, teen mags, and Blockbuster tapes for entertainment. And there were school hours and the library’s encyclopedias for learning.
The 2020s are not so innocent. Phone in hand, young people have the worldin their hands. They’re tuning into political podcasts on Spotify, activism slideshows on Instagram, social justice documentaries on Netflix, explainer videos on YouTube, and 24/7 bad news from mainstream media.
The world is in crisis mode!
Big problems are inextricably linked to big business. Understanding this, 93% of Gen Zs think it’s important that businesses display corporate social responsibility and 86% said they’re even willing to spend more on products or services if it shares their concerns, our Gen Z & Corporate Activism report found.
So if you want to connect with Gen Zs, how are you really helping to make the world a better place? From climate change to cancer, we’ve found the top 10 issues that young people want your business to help tackle.
1. Climate change
“Big companies who are well aware of their reach in the world should implement subtle changes to their overall business model that add some form of contribution to the minimisation of the climate change process, to try returning the earth back to its natural state,” 19-year-old male from Queensland said.
“Whether it’s with less usage of plastics or banning other environmentally harming materials, this is needed in volumes, because volumes get results.”
2. Plastic pollution
“We are unsolicitedly given unnecessarily and excessively packaged products that contribute to our current environmental crisis,” a 20-year-old male from Victoria said.
“I hope that businesses can take a step further to not just encourage consumers to make eco friendly changes, such as refusing a plastic bag, but to educate on the importance of why we need to make changes in regards to plastic pollution and the environmental crisis.”
3. Mental health
“Business can improve their image by donating to charities and organisations such as Beyond Blue. Larger companies can also put money towards or even create community projects that foster mental health,” a 16-year old female from NSW said.
“This could be informational workshops, healthy activities for young people or counselling services. In my eyes, all businesses can play a role in improving mental health and lowering suicide rates both internally and externally.”
“The issue of global poverty is one that should be resolved in the world today. Whilst 3rd world countries still exist, the rich are becoming richer and those with the power to make a difference should do so,” a 19-year-old male from Victoria said.
“This can influence my purchasing habits because larger organisations should be committed to improving living conditions in poorer countries. I will generally purchase from businesses with a global action plan or strategy to reduce poverty.”
5. Animal cruelty
“I try to buy products that I know for sure aren’t tested on animals,” a 16-year old female from NSW said.
“Businesses can tap into this issue by making sure the products/ingredients they use aren’t tested on animals, as well as not testing their own products on animals. If a business advertises that their company is free of animal cruelty and is environmentally friendly, this can really improve their image.”
6. Ocean conservation
“I am most concerned about the pollution that is going into our oceans and affecting our sea life. It has influenced my spending by mainly buying through companies that have the same concerns as me and are doing something about it,” a 17-year-old male from NSW said.
“Businesses are able to improve their image through conservation programs and by reducing the waste they produce in their own manufacturing.”
7. Youth suicide
“After seeing someone very close to me commit suicide I really believe businesses, especially those with huge social presence and influence, can be really effective mediums in spreading messages and tools of support for youths,” a 19-year-old female from NSW said.
“It is an issue that is rarely touched on for corporate social responsibility purposes, and thus can really be tapped into by big businesses. If I saw a business share ideas and commit actions to support youth mental health, I would really be impressed with it.”
8. Forest conservation
“Environmental effects such as bushfires are everywhere lately, with the Amazon rainforest being one of them. I believe businesses shouldn’t be greedy, no deforestation needed for their own company needs, and let planet Earth have its ‘breathing-lungs,’” a 22-year-old male from Western Australia said.
9. World hunger
“Zambreros is a healthy Mexican restaurant with a mission to donate meals to those who need it, which I felt drew me to that particular store making me a loyal customer as it directly involves itself in helping this concern,” a 17-year-old female from NSW said.
“Businesses who are completely involved I feel have a greater image than ones who may do it once a year as it shows their dedication to help these causes.”
“Health is such a big factor for me, any businesses that support cancer research are a blessing. I don’t mind paying extra for charities for kids and any other health benefits. If eco-friendly, sustainable, charity oriented businesses became standard, the world would be a better place,” a 23-year-old male from NSW said.