5 Ways to Engage Millennials on Climate Action
Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in America – which means they have the potential for enormous influence, both in the voting booth and in the marketplace. Surveys have found that the vast majority of Millennials prefer a candidate who supports clean energy, and nearly three out of four say they would pay more for products from socially and environmentally responsible companies.
But as this survey from MSLGROUP discovered, Millennials don’t only want businesses and governments to implement climate solutions – they also want those leaders to work together.
MSLGROUP found that there are five different types of Millennials when it comes to climate change, and suggest a unique engagement strategy for each type. Though their approach has a strong business focus, other sectors can also make use of these findings.
1. Fearful. This group feels anxious about climate threats, but may also be confused about the science. Using simple language, imagery, and metaphors to communicate this complex topic can help increase understanding of climate change and show how it can be addressed.
2. Frustrated. Some Millennials feel angry that not enough is being done. We can help inform them of the many actions already being taken and solutions already in place. We can also offer ways for them to raise their voices and demand more urgent climate action.
3. Responsible. Millennials may feel guilty for contributing to climate change and want to take personal action. We can help raise their awareness of climate-friendly products and services that they can support, and everyday behavior changes they can make.
4. Powerless. Climate change seems so huge that it can paralyze people. We can bring the issue down to a more manageable scale by focusing on local impacts and pointing to already-available, local solutions and individual actions that people can take.
5. Hopeful. Many Millennials feel the climate challenge offers a huge opportunity for transformative innovation and collaboration. We can help feed their optimism by showing how much progress we’ve made towards solving climate change, and inspire them to get involved.
Millennials understand the need for us to act now, so let’s harness their collective power and energy as we work together for a positive future.
By Nidhi Chimnani, contributor to Sustainable Brands
In the lead-up to COP21, the UN conference on climate change, we asked our global community of Millennials at BetheChance.com how they feel about climate change. 250 Millennials (18- to 30-year-olds) from Canada, China, Denmark, India, Poland, United States, United Kingdom and beyond shared a remarkably similar voice: They are deeply concerned about the climate, disappointed in our collective past behavior and desperate for change.
Their responses echoed the findings from MSLGROUP’s 2014 survey of 8,000 Millennials across 17 countries: Millennials hold businesses responsible for implementing solutions.
Over the last few weeks, Millennials shared that they demand BIG actions from business – they want to hear more about better and cleaner products and want businesses to take a more sustainable approach in their operations, innovations, packaging and investments.
Most of all, Millennials want businesses to partner with governments to address climate change. With regional and global media shining the spotlight on individual countries’ climate change commitments and business leaders’ stance on this issue, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Millennials want to see collaboration amongst these two important stakeholders.
Image credit: Optician Training