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[Spring 2021: Social Innovation Creators’ Academia & GLOSUS] Generation Z’s Insight on ESG

Written by: Sungwon Hwang, Hanna Kim, Heekyung Ko, Jayun Won, Eunbin Cho, Jiwon Lim, Soomin Kim, Minha Baeg, Karina Abysheva,

Generation Z’s Insight on ESG

One of the 2 emerging keywords of the recent few years is “ESG” and “Generation Z”.

The term ESG was coined due to the recent increase in environmental awareness due to the acknowledgment of the environmental damage done to Earth by human society. The term Generation Z, which refers to people born between the years 1997 and 2012, caught on attention with their boldness to act upon their beliefs and their possession of great digital fluency. Such characteristics of Generation Z make the 2 terms closely link together with each other. With the increase in ESG values and Generation Z’s influence on the global markets, the report aims to identify the factors why ESG plays a key role in Generation Z’s economic decisions, and how such factors can be implicated by investors and corporates.

The report points out 2 main reasons for Generation Z’s interest in ESG, which are: their unstable reality, and the gravity of environmental issues on them. Generation Z grew up in a world of turbulence swamped by social, political, economic, and environmental crises, which influenced their identity development. With such background, the realization of the upcoming environmental issues and the possible crisis that may follow, it is understood that Generation Z’s decision drivers are set in close relations to ESG values.

Furthermore, Generation Z’s influence is strengthened through their online presence, as they are digital natives who are comfortable actively sharing their ideas and gathering like-minded people through SNS platforms. The report talks about Generation Z’s “digital activism”, and how they portray a very open, active, and responsive age group.

With the vast influence of Generation Z on areas of environment, social, and governance, the report concludes that the importance of moral values and actions of being emphasized by the corporates, as such moral values and actions are the factors influencing the spending behavior of Generation Z.

  • Unprecedented challenges faced by Generation Z and the Growth of ESG interest

    • Generation Z’s unstable reality

    • The gravity of environmental issues on generation Z

    • Economic challenges of generation Z and ESG investment

  • Opportunities as digital natives

    • diversification and increase in ESG information access through social learning platforms

    • Youtube: increasing exposure to environmental education

    • Instagram: directly communicating current ESG-related information

    • Influence of social media environmental education and generation Z’s participation activities

  • Generation Z and digital activists

    • Digital activism through changemaker and considerate nosiness trends

    • digital activism through 'exposement culture'

    • the psychology of digital activism: three-step cognition process

    • interviews & surveys: understanding the purpose of digital activism through online platforms

    • Generation Z’s digital activism: social innovation through technology

    • Generation Z’s digital activism: creating online content for social good

    • Generation Z’s digital activism: demanding transparency & justice of online contents

    • Generation Z’s digital activism: boycotting & buycotting

The Full Report

SICA X GLOSUS Generation Z's Insight on ESG
Download PDF • 12.81MB


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