Employees Are Willing To Quit Over Weak Action On Net Zero – Here’s What Businesses Need To Know

Michelle You, CEO and co-founder at Supercritical, explores…


Our recent survey of 2,000 workers revealed that while climate action remains front-of-mind for tech employees, many don’t feel that reflected in their employers’ sustainability efforts. This disparity may prove disruptive for tech businesses already facing the effects of a challenging macroeconomic climate.

Over a third (38%) of tech employees are willing to quit their job if their employer doesn’t do enough to reduce its carbon footprint, and more than half (59%) seriously consider the steps a company has taken to reach net zero when deciding whether to work for them or not.

The talent market is stagnant, with UK unemployment at its lowest level since 1974. If tech businesses want to win the war for talent, they need to start taking their climate responsibilities seriously and consider a net zero plan to be non-negotiable.

The UN’s Climate Change Conference, COP27 kicked off on 6th November in Egypt. Our survey found that a significant percentage (60%) of the tech workforce cares about the conference and its output, but only 15% believe their company feels the same. What’s more, 70% of employees believe their company should follow the goals and commitments agreed at COP27.

It’s time for leaders to listen to their employees on this issue and take action. Whatever the agreements reached at COP27, an IPCC report published earlier this year offers businesses a clear plan of action: carbon removal. For the first time in this report, UN scientists recognised carbon removal as being critical to stabilizing the climate. Carbon removal technologies include direct air capture and enhanced weathering, and while their efficacy has been proven, the business world can go further to making them a central part of their net zero strategies.



Too many companies continue to fill their corporate sustainability programmes with avoidance offsets. These methods, which involve paying someone else not to emit while your emissions are still out there warming the earth, are ineffective at best and fraudulent at worst. Carbon removal, on the other hand, sucks carbon out of the atmosphere for up to 10,000, making it the only viable route for businesses to reach net zero.

Tech workers aren’t easily greenwashed, though. Our research found that 75% of tech employees feel confident that they could tell an effective and robust corporate sustainability programme from an ineffective one, compared to 37% of employees in the legal sector. They won’t stand for employers jumping on the first, half-baked climate solution that presents itself.

As natural early adopters, tech leaders should challenge themselves to follow industry pioneers like Stripe and Alphabet and invest in carbon removal technologies that can deliver meaningful change. By doing so, they will also help these solutions scale and increase access to more   companies.

UN scientists now believe it may be too late to keep global warming below the key threshold of 1.5C, so don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Show your employees you care about COP27 by using the conference to inspire a credible path to net zero.