Statsthought: 70.1

This is the percentage of 14- to 34-year-old Canadians recently surveyed that agree with the statement, 'People like me can make changes that will help

This is the percentage of 14- to 34-year-old Canadians recently surveyed that agree with the statement, ‘People like me can make changes that will help the environment.’

Green this and naturally-raised that. Who’d have ever expected a decade ago that the new millennium would have such a sheen of moss and dirt to it? But the rise of ‘green’ has most emphatically become a key defining value of today’s younger generation.

Al Gore’s documentary provided the proverbial tipping point for our culture’s intense refocusing towards doing right by the planet. But much fertile ground for this message had already been prepared by a millennial culture that was noteworthy for both its pragmatism and a sturdy sense of social responsibility.

As much as there is a sense of vogue to the current ‘greenification’ ethos, the larger cultural imperatives at play amongst the young means that a meaningful sense of accountability to the community and, in turn, the world, is here to stay. This sense has also been grafted to this generation’s expectations of the brands they support, the organizations they join or work for and the political policies they back.

Fully 64% of our young respondents expect to see global warming affect their lives negatively, but they’re not sitting back and waiting for this to happen. Cases in point: buying in bulk to cut down on packaging, buying environmentally-friendly products, buying locally sourced products, and considering the values of a company, all register around 30% as strong considerations amongst the same set of respondents.

What’s perhaps most intriguing about this collection of linked stats is that strong consideration for the same criteria registered in the single digits a scant half decade ago.

This is, undeniably, still a growing trend.

This ‘statsthought,’ gleaned from Youthography’s national ‘Ping’ study, was culled from a winter 2008 survey of 1,697 youths. Mike Farrell, partner, chief strategic officer, can be reached at mike@youthography.com.