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Wednesday, 03 November 2021 10:25

New report finds Australians won’t work for businesses that don’t take action on climate change

By ELMO Software

GUEST RESEARCH: A new study has revealed almost half of Australians (48%) won’t work for a business that doesn’t address climate change while seven out of eight Australians think businesses need to do more to take action on climate change. 

Conducted by Lonergan Research for ELMO Software, the ‘Climate at Work Report’ has explored Australians’ attitudes towards climate change action and what it means for employers. 

Key findings of the study are:

  • Almost half (48%) of Australians - 71% of Gen Z and 52% of Millennials - would not work for a business that did not take action to address climate change.

  • Seven out of eight (84%) Australians believe Aussie businesses should do more to reduce their emissions and carbon footprint.

  • Climate change makes almost three out of four (74%) Aussies worry about the future with 46% worried about their own, and their families, physical and mental wellbeing.

  • Four out of five (82%) Australians believe the Federal Government should do more to address climate change.

  • Over two fifths (44%) of Australians rated the Federal Government efforts in addressing climate change as poor.

  • Three quarters (75%) of Aussies believe that climate change action could generate new jobs

The report found 84 per cent of Australians are looking to big businesses to do more to reduce emissions and carbon footprints.

In a warning sign for employers, half (48%) of Australians say they will not work for a business that is not doing enough to address climate change. Gen Z (71%) are the most likely to refuse to work for a business that does not take action to address climate change followed by Millennials (52%), Gen X (36%) and Baby Boomers (37%).

A business’ environmental credentials also influence the amount of support they can expect from the community. Close to two thirds (64%) of Australians' level of support for a business is influenced by their environmental credentials. This is higher among Gen Z (83%) and Millennials (70%) while Gen X and Baby Boomers were slightly less influenced at 62 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.  

It wasn’t just businesses that were told to do more, the Federal Government and State Government’s efforts to address climate change are rated behind community groups and Australian businesses.  

Almost half of Australians 44 per cent rate the Federal Government’s efforts to address climate change as poor. The dissatisfaction is higher among people outside the capital cities with 45 per cent of respondents from regional and rural communities rating the Federal Government’s efforts as poor (43% in capital cities).

Meanwhile, State Governments also face criticism for their perceived lack of effort. Queenslanders are most likely to rank their Government’s efforts as poor (40%) followed by New South Wales and the ACT (36%), South Australia (35%), Victoria (34%) and Western Australia (24%).

In another warning sign for employers juggling their employees’ wellbeing, the report found climate change is causing three out of four Australians (75%) to worry about the future. The personal impact of climate change is a concern for 86 per cent of Australians with 58 per cent concerned about future generations’ standard of living. 

Close to half (46%) of Australians are concerned about the wellbeing of themselves or their family. The generation most worried about their wellbeing is Gen Z at 61 per cent followed by Millennials (48%), Gen X (44%) and Baby Boomers (39%).

While they are worried about the impacts of climate change, three quarters (75%) of Australians believe that climate change action could generate new jobs while more than half (52%) believe climate action will positively impact the economy. 

Job security and salaries are also expected to benefit by achieving globally agreed emissions targets. Two fifths of Australians (42%) believe hitting globally agreed emissions targets will have a positive impact on job security and a third of Australians (35%) believe it will even benefit the salaries/pay of workers. 

ELMO Software CEO and Co-founder Danny Lessem says the report is a reminder to employers and businesses that external factors have a huge influence on how people view and interact with an organisation. 

“Australians have sent a clear message to the business community, they need to do more to address climate change or risk waning support and even greater challenges recruiting new employees.

“In fact, nearly half of Australians refuse to work for businesses that won’t take action on climate change with Gen Z and Millennials most likely to avoid unsustainable businesses. 

“Gen Z and Millennials will soon make up the vast majority of the workforce so it’s important to listen to their message that organisations need to put the effort in to be a sustainable and environmentally conscious business. In the midst of a nationwide skills shortage the last thing a business should do is get potential employees offside by not taking climate change seriously. 

“Unsurprisingly, climate change is weighing heavily on the minds of Australians. The impacts of climate change is making 86 per cent of Australians worried. 

“Employers need to take stock of this heightened sense of anxiety and understand that while certain stressors might not originate in the workplace they can certainly impact the attitudes and actions when people are on the job.

“While Australians want businesses to do more, businesses are still rating better than the Federal Government and State Governments for their action on climate change. In fact, nearly half of Australians think the Federal Government’s action on climate change has been poor.”

About the Climate at Work Report Methodology

The ELMO Climate at Work Report was conducted to gain data and insights into the attitudes, actions and concerns of Australians in regards to climate change and climate change action. The research was commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard.

Lonergan Research surveyed 1,009 Australians aged 18 years and over, between 22 October and 26 October, 2021. The research was conducted through a 5-question online survey. Respondents were members of a permission-based panel, geographically disbursed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. After surveying, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

About ELMO Software

Established in 2002, ELMO is a cloud-based HR, payroll, expense management and rostering / time & attendance software provider. The company offers customers across Australia, New Zealand and the UK a unified platform to help organisations streamline their people, process and pay. ELMO operates on a software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) business model based on recurrent subscription revenues.  For more information, please visit


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