According to hundreds of headlines throughout the past few months, 2016 was the year millennials apparently hated everything. We hate talking to people. We hate capitalism and socialism. We hate office jobs, cooking our own food, and of course, we hate America. However, I luckily have inside information on some things that millennials do love, including:

  1. Reality TV shows that feature obscenely rich middle-aged people who act like teenagers
  2. Snapchatting our parents when they tell us to stop filming them
  3. Supporting companies who support the environment

While the first two interests may not have the legs to make a monumental effect on the world, the increased millennial interest in environmental sustainability has major potential for impact.

The group of people approximately aged between 18 and 34 support ‘green’ companies in a variety of ways. Because this generation is massive in size, their purchasing habits as consumers are major drivers for companies in terms of sales. In addition to acting as consumers, the millennial generation has a large impact as working professionals contributing to the success of companies.

A Nielsen global online study published in late 2015 indicated that despite the economic climate, the millennial generation is willing to put more money towards companies providing products and services committed to positive social and environmental impact.

“Brands that establish a reputation for environmental stewardship among today’s youngest consumers have an opportunity to not only grow market share but build loyalty among the power-spending Millennials of tomorrow, too,” says Grace Farraj, SVP, Public Development & Sustainability, Nielsen.

As marketers, and consumers, we understand strong trust in a brand is a key driver for purchasing habits. When purchasing a car, we want safety we can trust. When purchasing clothing, we want quality we can trust. But as millennials, we want companies we trust are working towards improving the environment, rather than harming it.

This push for more eco-friendly products and services leads to a need for professionals in the workplace with knowledge and understanding of how to make products and services more environmentally sustainable. On one hand, employers are catering to the millennial attraction to ‘meaningful’ professions by creating more green initiatives. On the other hand, millennials are also seeking jobs with companies who hold environmental consciousness as a top priority.

Another aid to the extension of ‘green’ behaviors is the desire to save money. Individual consumers are seeking sustainable alternatives to their lifestyles to save money in their homes and everyday lifestyles and major corporations are looking to sustainable initiatives to decrease operational spending over time.

The combination of these elements has undoubtedly created a need for marketers—of any industry—to become ingrained in the mind of the “Green Generation.”

Will this information lead company executives towards eco-friendly goals in 2017? How can we, as marketers, communicate these goals to our audiences?