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Hybrid working could lower carbon emissions—and keep Gen Z business grads happy

For businesses looking to increase sustainability, a move to a hybrid working model could be key. It could also help attract top Gen Z talent

By  Almha Murphy

Fri Apr 21 2023

A new report released by IWG and Arup in advance of Earth Day has stated that hybrid working could reduce carbon emissions by up to 70% in the UK and up to 87% in the US. 

The survey examined six cities across the UK and the US, which included LA, New York, London, Atlanta, Manchester and Glasgow, and compared different working scenarios for white-collar employees based at both local and city center workspaces. 

Cities in the US showed the largest potential carbon savings, due to the prevalence of commuting by car, with Atlanta (90% reduction) just edging out Los Angeles (87%) and New York (82%). The potential carbon savings were also significant for UK cities, with Glasgow (80%), Manchester (70%) and London (49%) all demonstrating the benefits of switching to a hybrid work model. 

The research established that most carbon emissions produced in cities in both the US and the UK are due to the weekly commute.

Gen Z business students want environmentally aware employers

The IWG/Arup survey comes on the back of research conducted by GMAC that found that prospective Gen Z business students are more concerned with companies’ environmental impact than their millennial counterparts. 

Almost half of all respondents to GMAC’s Prospective Student Survey 2023 said that sustainability or corporate social responsibility were curricular must-haves, and are more likely to seek out organizations with these credentials post-graduation. 

Additional research conducted by McKinsey demonstrated that hybrid work is important to Gen Z, with employees between 18-34 more likely to quit if the option is taken away. 

One of the major reasons outlined was that hybrid work led to a better work-life balance as less time was taken up by the commute, as well as having environmental benefits.

Next read: Nearly Half Of B-School Candidates Feel Sustainability Is Essential To The Curriculum