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Millennials Going Green

Climate Change in India

The Pew Research Center defines millennials as people born between 1981 to 1996 who are now 23 to 38 years old. According to the Census Bureau, millennials consist of 0.8 billion people in India. They also contribute to 21% of end-user discretionary purchases, which are anticipated to exceed one trillion dollars per year. Because they tend to be environmentally conscious, millennial consumer trends are going to play a significant role in changes on the planet.

Millennial preferences are changing the outlook for the Earth’s future. Their spending habits are already having a positive effect in mitigating climate change. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to create a sustainable future for all. The SDGs address inequality, climate change, peace, justice, poverty, and prosperity. The interconnection of these goals ensures that the march toward prosperity and a better future includes everyone.

Millennials believe that protecting the environment should be among their employers’ significant objectives. They expect their employers to set aside workdays for planting trees and community impact initiatives, reducing traffic and pollution by encouraging people to telecommute, and reducing paper use by using emails to distribute agendas.

The transparency and sustainability that millennials require will benefit industries such as fashion, hybrid technology, the sharing economy, clean water, paper recycling operations, fast casual dining versus fast food, and organic food, among others.

1. Fast-Casual Dining Versus Fast Food

Millennials have a strong preference for convenience, and thus they prefer fast-casual dining versus fast food. They are rejecting fast food because of its impact on their health. Increase in lifestyle diseases such as cancer, hypertension, and obesity have forced them to shift from fast food to fast-casual dining. They prefer eating healthily, and they try to exercise to increase longevity and boost their health. Mobile apps for ordering healthy foods have made it easier for them to order food from fast-casual dining restaurants.

Millennials prefer preparing their own salads and sandwiches because they want to be involved in the food preparation process. In 2017, 80% of millennials reported preparing their own food. In 2015, 67% said they preferred cooking at home. Studies show that millennials want food that is healthy, and they either order or prepare this food. They are in charge of their health and wellness. Companies are developing food delivery apps such as UberEats, GrubHub, Eat24, DoorDash, Swiggy and Zomato among others.

2.Fashion

Millennials support sustainable fashion style that helps prevent chemicals from being released into the environment. They are more likely to purchase eco-friendly brands such as Patagonia that are known for their environmental practices. According to the latest data from Eco-Pulse, 90% of millennials will buy products from a brand whose social and environmental practices they trust. The research by Eco-Pulse also concluded that 95% of millennials would recommend that brand to a friend using their social platforms and networking devices, such as mobile phones.

Millennials believe that you don’t have to be a hardened environmental and social activist to realize the unbelievable mess caused by fashion. Many textile industries emit carbon, which is harmful to the environment. Many millennials like to reuse fabrics to make such things as gowns, and the leftovers can be recycled to make simple clothing. Millennials also often use eco-friendly sunglasses that reduce waste and promote sustainability.

According to Alice Goody, 44% of younger millennials aged 17 to 26 said they would like to see more eco-friendly fabrics used in clothes to protect the environment. Millennials consider peers such as Sydney Brown, who launched the first eco-friendly shoe heel, as their role model.

In purchasing their clothes, millennials prefer leggings and jeggings that can be worn to work and the gym. They have embraced a minimalist lifestyle in which they purchase fewer clothes. Instead of pants, they prefer clothes that can be worn at home, public places, and the workplace. They also avoid using fabric softeners and sterilizers because of their impact on the environment.

3.Hybrid Technology

Millennials have grown up with computers and the internet, which has allowed them to understand hybrid technology. Hybrid technology consists of systems that combine two or more technologies to achieve efficient and eco-friendly systems. Examples of hybrid technology include solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid systems, wind-diesel hybrid systems, fuel cell–gas turbine hybrid systems, and solar energy systems that are used in remote areas.

Hybrid technology has become successful in motor vehicles because it reduces gas emissions. It does not release chemicals, pollutants, and other wastes. Hybrid technology is fuel efficient and eco-friendly. Conventional fuels used in vehicles are being replaced by biodiesel and propane fuel, and hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles have emerged as earth-friendly alternatives.

4.Sharing Economy

Millennials believe in sharing goods and services in the current economy. Technology has made it easier for millennials to share resources, collaborate, connect with people, and expand the reach of goods and services. They have altered the buying power of the U.S. economy through the scope and scale of the “sharing economy” that has grown exponentially over the past decade. Features of the sharing economy involve sharing resources such as Uber and Uber Eats, Swiggy, and Zoomcar. The sharing economy works for millennials because they are more interested in going to places and sharing experiences than owning things. The sharing economy has increased environmental sustainability by reducing ownership and producing bicycles and cars, which has reduced the pollution emitted from vehicles.

5.Clean Water

Millennials are interested in fresh and healthy foods and clean water. They believe lack of access to clean water will result in environmental problems and adverse health effects such as diarrhea. Millennials emphasize managing health and long-term quality of life more than any generation before them. This trend has forced many companies and industries to expand product lines and change their business models and promotional tactics.

6.Gym Versus Health Apps

Recent consumer insights predict that the health and wellness industry will be the next trillion-dollar industry. Workout apps such as Peloton are gaining millions of subscribers because millennials prefer outdoor physical experiences over going to a gym. The health and wellness industry includes everything from wearable sports tech that promotes and tracks physical activity, to bottled water and fresh-food delivery services that encourage back-to-basics nutrition.

7.Saving Paper

Millennials support reducing paper use in offices and promote project collaboration through the use of platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox, which helps reduce paper use. They also are no longer sending letters and postcards, and they rely on the internet for communication.

8.Saving Power

Millennials are investing in companies that are installing smart power grids. According to an Accenture report, in 2018, 61% of millennials signed up for smart technologies and applications. They want to track their energy utilization, and they favor technology gadgets that do not consume much electricity. Solar and wind power are appealing to this generation because they support clean energy solutions. They prefer working in smart and green buildings where energy is conserved.

9.Organic Food

Millennials have grown up during a time when obesity has become a global epidemic. As such, they try to combat obesity by eating healthily. According to the Organic Trade Association, 52% of millennials eat vegetables. They want healthy food because they are concerned about industrial food production and its adverse effects on the planet. Door to Door Organics and Blue Apron, which deliver quality natural food, are gaining a foothold in the market. Millennials are changing their eating habits, and start-ups should take note of their preferences. Restaurants are also making organic food recipes to entice millennials.

10.Eco-Lodges and Ecotourism

Millennials value to spending time in eco-friendly lodges and hotels. They want to see how these hotels are preserving the environment. They avoid places that use large amounts of electrical power. They travel to destinations where water is heated by solar power, sewer water is recycled, and food is grown naturally, among other environmentally friendly processes. They want places where they can dry their clothes outside and avoid using machines. They are attracted to minimalist lifestyles and low power consumption.

Millennials are dedicated to wellness and living longer by preserving the environment. Climate change and food security is the environmental challenge of this generation, and it’s critical that youth are involved because they will ultimately inherit the earth. Therefore, they support such activities as planting trees to help create a greener environment.

A poll by Clinton Global Initiative and Microsoft found that 76% of millennials are more focused on the environment than their parent’s generation was. 66% of them accept that the earth is getting warmer, and 75% agree that it is a result of human activity. Their preferences and dedication to the environment are helping to ensure that the world’s SDGs are met.

Indian Corporates and Environmental Sustainability

Why Going Green is Important for corporates?

The continued depletion of natural resources has led corporations that have large energy requirements to become more environmentally aware than ever. This is because not only do green initiatives save on costs, reuse resources and meet compliance requirements, but they also help to create brand recognition among customers.

Companies that are seen as being environmentally sensitive tend to create a vision of care. This provides the benefit of perceptions and practicality with the broader effects going beyond the organization. However, the ability to save money by lowering the use of energy and power is more important. Besides lowering the consumption of energy, the technology adoption organizations also invest in R&D efforts and support social action initiatives that are geared towards environmentally friendly products as well as internal processes. This has broader effects on the environment at large.

Companies are taking CSR initiatives which requires engagement with internal and external stakeholders so it enables enterprises to anticipate better and take advantage of fast-changing expectations in society as well as operating conditions. This means it can also act as a driver for the development of new markets and create real opportunities for growth. 

For a long time Indian companies have focused on market access, customer acquisition and compliance. There is now however a shift towards a more responsible form of growth because taking a long term view of sustainability and social responsibility is creating long term competitive advantages and helping in managing risks. Top companies have a deeper focus on Governance, Disclosure, Sustainability and CSR. However, the lower ranked companies have not seen a significant change.

Top performing companies have increased their focus on sustainability and also deepened current efforts around reduction of emissions, climate change, waste management, water and energy. 47% companies had higher sustainability scores (YOY), 34% remained the same and 19% witnessed decline.

– Notable improvements were seen in waste management and sustainable products/services. However, the efforts do not keep pace with the increased government and consumer scrutiny.

– Renewable energy programs gained traction in the year for reducing emissions from operations, in-line with Government programs. Their footprint is however small.

– Water management remained a highly underutilized space, especially in service industries where less than half of them disclosed programs.

– Green supply chains still a remains a significant gap in the sustainability efforts of India’s top companies. The focus of many companies seems to be on compliance and immediate operations related programs rather than adopting a strategic direction towards sustainability on a long term basis.

Environment sustainability is possible through combined efforts of all the elements of society such as agriculturists, industrialists, authorities and nongovernmental association, voluntary welfare associations as well as the general public. The controlling authority in most of the problems is the government. For example, the bulk of the forest areas are possessed by the authorities, mostly the government can construct dams, roads, railroad transportation, etc. Here the use of agencies that do not come under the government becomes vital. They do not have to adhere to the formalities. They have the advantage of being in contact. Let’s look in a little more detail at these facts:


Role of Government and the issues faced In India, the state and Central Authorities own, own and control all the country’s major irrigation systems, dams, woods, power stations, rail transport ports, roads, mines, and industries. India created the Department of Environment and after the Ministry of Environment and Forests from the year 1985. The Ministry of Environment and woods is encountered with security preparation and coordination of forestry and environmental programs. The Ministry is concerned with research and conservation of fauna, flora, woods and wildlife prevention and control of pollution, afforestation, regeneration, and protection of the atmosphere. 

Top Indian Companies for Sustainibility:

Tata Chemicals Ltd.

Ambuja Cements Ltd.

Infosys Ltd.

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Tata Motors Ltd.

Tata Power Company Ltd.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

ITC Ltd.

Hindustan Zinc Ltd.

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.

Overall, regardless of the initiatives that a company may embrace, businesses and governments are doing well to monitor these initiatives and identify ways of becoming more efficient over time.



Sustainable Travel

Sustainable Travel

Want to make your travel experience a little more eco-friendly? Thankfully, it’s not nearly as difficult to do as it once was. Thanks to hotels taking a renewed approach to sustainability, airlines getting in on carbon footprint reduction or even elimination and more tour providers than ever offering eco-friendly options. You have plenty of ways to enjoy travel while not being as worried about killing the planet. With growing interest in sustainable travel, there is lots of advice available – but how do travelers know exactly what actions will have the biggest impact?

Go Green And Plant More Trees

There are a lot of ways to travel green and sustainability but to be more specific. We are going to list down and talk about the ways in which experts believe:

A recent analysis revealed that ocean-friendly sun care and similar products to leaving plastic packaging at home are the top two ways to reduce both your carbon footprint and waste impact most efficiently when traveling.

Ocean-friendly sun care earned the top spot due to its high impact on both carbon emissions and waste. By switching to ocean-friendly sun care, you both protect the oceans from being further polluted by Oxybenzone (a common toxic ingredient in sunscreen) and also use less plastic, as most ocean-friendly sunscreens come in zero-waste packaging. Choosing this over plastic bottles of sun care can save up to 132 g of Co2 per person a week, earning this tip a strong 15/20 votes.

Reducing the usage of single-use plastics tied for first place. With the average water bottle taking 450 years to decompose and the huge carbon impact of processing and transporting plastic, making a conscious effort to avoid single-use plastic will make your travel more environmentally-friendly.

Carbon Footprint:

Estimates show that one 500ml plastic bottle of water has a total carbon footprint equal to 82.8 grams (about 3 ounces) of carbon dioxide. Switching plastic single-use bottles to a reusable one will save 0.01449 tons of CO2 per year (per person), lowering the contribution to plastic waste by 175%.

Other high scoring tips were:

  • Adhering to single-use plastic bans – countries such as Tanzania now advise visitors to avoid bringing plastic bags in their luggage.
  • Reducing your meat consumption or trying veganism – a meat lover’s carbon footprint is over double that of a vegan’s.
  • Buying into sustainable swimwear – brands that use recycled materials to create swimsuits lower the overall carbon impact and plastic waste associated with swimwear manufacturing.
  • Reducing luggage down to a 15kg overall weight – this could save up to 4 gallons of fuel per trip.
  • Eating locally – This can significantly reduce ‘food miles’ compared to centrally produced food from chain restaurants.
  • Opting out of housekeeping – This could save considerable amounts of water waste.

For those seeking simple ways to take their green travel a little further, try keeping these ideas in mind on your next trip.

Look For Eco-Friendly Vendors

As mentioned, more and more travel providers are jumping aboard the eco-friendly train. Look for these vendors specifically when you’re booking a trip. They won’t be difficult to find, as many brands know that this is an attractive facet for many travelers, and so they’ll be promoting this aspect of their brand proudly.

Even if you can’t find a totally green hotel to stay at in your destination, look for those that at least have made active choices to reduce their carbon footprint, such as removing single-use plastics from guestrooms, installing motion-sensitive lights and replacing single-use toiletries in bathrooms with bulk bottles.

Consider Your Method Of Travel

Flight-shaming has become a thing in the travel world recently. While sometimes flying is absolutely necessary to get you where you need to go, sometimes it just isn’t. If you can get where you’re going by car or train, rather than plane, consider it.

Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also often enjoy a more affordable cost and you won’t have to deal with pesky security lines, wait times in terminals or the possibility that your flight could be delayed or canceled. All you have to do is board the train or hop in your car and go.

If you have to fly, try to book non-stop flights. Take-off and landing use the most energy and result in the most environmental harm.

Look At Your Suitcase

Sometimes just packing a few extra items can result in energy savings and sustainability over time. Throw a refillable water bottle into your carry-on bag, so you’re not tempted to buy endless bottles of water at the airport or consume the same while you’re on the plane. Many airports have installed free filling stations just for this purpose, so you can refill your bottle as much as you need to.

While you’re at it, pack a few extra outfits. If you use the hotel’s laundry services, they’re likely going to wash everything in small loads, as they don’t want to mix your laundry with another guest. However, this is a giant waste.

If you’re worried about needing to get something cleaned while you’re traveling, just pack an extra pair of pants or an extra shirt rather than ask the hotel staff to wash your items for you.

On the flip side, though, don’t overpack, just because you’re not sure if you’ll need three extra pairs of shoes. Make decisions, be sensible and pack just what you actually need.

Getting Around Your Destination

One amenity that many hotels now offer is free bicycle rentals. Even if this isn’t an amenity that your hotel offers, you can often find affordable bike rentals or even scooter rentals in many major cities, conveniently located near major tourist hubs. So, before you book that Uber to take you 10 blocks down the street, consider cycling around the city instead.

Not only is it more sustainable, but it’s often more affordable and healthier. Plus, you enjoy the luxury of seeing more of the city around you as you go. You’ll be able to stop and check out the sights and sounds at your leisure.

Shop Responsibly

Green travel isn’t only about what resources you use or don’t use. It’s also about how you travel to a destination that impacts the locals and their economic status. Travel should boost the local economy and provide more resources to those who live in the destination.

Instead of shopping at chains or buying cheap souvenirs that were imported from abroad, seek out local shops and restaurants, and purchase items that were made right there in the region. You get a great, unique souvenir, and you’re helping a local family keep food on the table at the same time. While you’re at it, skip the plastic shopping bag.

Lose All The Paper

Why is there so much paper associated with travel? Go digital and keep all of your important documents on your phone. Similarly, forget that old travel advice that you need printed copies of all your documents, like your driver’s license or passport. Just take a photo of it and have it on your phone and email.

Any effort to reduce a traveler’s carbon footprint and wastage is a positive action, our findings scored choosing smaller hotels and conserving unnecessary energy the lowest. Due to the sheer amount of power that is required to still run a hotel, choosing smaller hotels will have less impact. (Although by choosing smaller hotels, guests can save up to 1.3 times the amount of carbon compared to a large hotel!) Conserving unnecessary energy can still be helpful, but technological advances have already greatly reduced the amount of power used by standby-mode electronics.

With the tourism industry predicted to grow by 4% every year, and, on average 24% of an individual’s footprint in greenhouse gas emissions coming from our love of travel. The direct impact we are having on our environment has caused the travel industry to try to find a balance between traveling and respecting the planet at the same time.

Thoughtful travel can provide many benefits to both the traveler and the communities they visit. Making sustainable and manageable choices will allow us all to continue exploring the world while helping to preserve it

Going green when you travel isn’t difficult, but not all of the above suggestions will work for all travelers. The important thing, versus just following a laundry list of advice, is to make an effort and be conscious about your carbon footprint while you’re out exploring the beautiful planet.