Studies Show Gen Z Focused on the Climate Crisis as They Enter the Workforce


Dominic Rascati, Copy Chief

As Gen Z finishes college and heads off into the working world, their everyday life is set against a backdrop of chaotic weather patterns, natural disasters, and environmental destruction.

Recent surveys show this not only factors into how young people live their average days, but also how they plan their futures and the overall impact they want from their careers.

This is not without many alarms already sounded by environmental activists and the scientific community. Just last August, a report came out from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calling the situation, in the words of U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, a “code red for humanity.” The report was not just one study but a combination of over 14,000 studies that created a large body of evidence on climate change.

Therefore, as young people looking to the future, Gen Z is making climate change a focus of how they both live and work.

Working in Boston as a sustainability consultant, 23-year-old Rachel Larrivee said, “Once you learn how damaged the world’s ecosystems are, it’s not really something you can unsee. To me, there’s no point in pursuing a career – or life for that matter – in any other area.”

Similarly, college graduate Brooke Majewski, also 23 years old, added how environmental issues ultimately affect other aspects of social justice. She said, “Environmental issues are not just environmental issues, but rather one avenue to help address other issues in society. It is about finding solutions for the planet we are on, but it is also finding solutions for the people being most negatively impacted by climate change.” 

Additionally, colleges and businesses have begun to recognize and embrace this sentiment. Interest in environmental studies has seen a boost at New York University, while the University of Southern California is launching a program based on the intersection between sustainability, the environment, and different college majors. On the business side, many banks are in the market for employees who have experience with sustainability.

As interest grows in combating climate change, efforts now cut across industries and generational lines. The enthusiasm of Gen Z underscores what is next if humanity rises to face the crisis.