Is the Millennial Generation Reshaping the Role of Business in Society? Have Your Say

Jul 19, 2016 9:05 AM ET

Business Action on Sustainable Development Goals - Take the survey here

For the first time in history, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - adopted in 2015 - provide a clear global framework and call to action for business, government, and civil society to collaborate on resolving the world’s biggest challenges. As voices around the world call for leadership to tackle poverty, inequality and climate change, the role of business has been the subject of much talk – but not yet enough action.

Corporate Citizenship, a global management consultancy specialising in sustainability, is conducting research into the perspectives of one of the most influential demographics - millennials. This generation, born between the early 1980’s and 2000, is often stereotyped as entitled, disengaged and self-obsessed. Yet they are also expected to reshape the global economy, solve climate change and “save us all”! Whilst both stereotypes are quite contradictory, the fact is that millennials are moving into their prime spending years and play a significant role in society as consumers, employees, entrepreneurs and voters. For the SDGs with an end goal of 2030, the millennials are perhaps the most important demographic of all.

For businesses, the influence of millennials cannot be underestimated - whether as part of their talent pipeline or market base.  At a recent Sustainable Brands Sydney conference, industry experts discussed how  ‘if companies want to cash in on their rising purchasing power or retain young, talented workers, they have to step up on environmental and social responsibility.’ The SDGs provide a useful framework to help businesses think about how they can demonstrate their commitment.

A big question is ‘how?’

Companies that want to successfully engage young people, and build trust, must re-think how they do business, create value and address expectations of this increasingly influential demographic. In the coming months, our research will reveal what some of these expectations are.

There is still time to share your views, and participate in our survey, which is open until Friday 12th August. We want millennials around the world to share their perspectives on exactly what business can and should do to deliver the Global Goals. The findings will be made available in September 2016 – and many of our clients will listen to them with interest.