How Places Win Millennials’ Heart Through Sustainability

Last week, I visited a new coffee shop in my neighborhood. I ordered my morning iced soy latte and took a seat. The waitress came over and served my coffee in a plastic cup with a lid and a straw. I looked at her and felt disappointed and surprised by the fact that they were serving coffee in a single-use cup. 


Three years ago, I would never think twice about the physical cup my coffee is served in, whereas today, sustainability is constantly on my mind. It is a driving factor in how and where I purchase everyday items, including my morning cup of coffee. 


Sustainability is one of the top concerns of Millennials and Gen Z. We feel previous generations left us with a huge problem, which we are responsible for solving. Greta Thunberg’s speech in 2019 and COVID-19 showed us how we could live differently, we are looking for ways to lead a more sustainable life, and we expect organizations, brands, and businesses to do so. 


Commercial brands realized the need to take a stand on social climate issues long ago. You can see this in Carlsberg’s sustainable bottle adApple’s climate change promise, and Zara’s vow to use sustainable fabrics by 2025. 



Places, cities, and countries realized the impact of taking a stand on sustainability on their brand and how it attracts tourists and young talents. 


The following three campaigns demonstrate this point:

Portugal: Hello World — It’s Me, Tomorrow



Portugal’s high-level message speaks to the world directly, showing its natural wonders, vibrant colors, and ecosystems while evoking in “tomorrow’s traveler” the importance of doing better for the planet, to which humans are inherently connected. Shown through the eyes of locals, it’s a forward-facing message of how we can do better once Portugal, and the world, reopen. “Let’s change today, and we will keep visiting tomorrow,” the campaign says.


València: Sustainable Destination 



València, the third-largest city in Spain, has been moving toward a green future for years, and sustainability is a pillar of the city’s tourism strategy. “Visit València,” the city’s tourism board, applied a digital system that measures and certifies the carbon footprint of its tourist activity in search of actions to reduce and offset it. It’s used both on the individual level and local level. Suppose you are a traveler concerned about protecting cultural and natural heritage and respecting and feeling responsible for the destination you visit, in València. In that case, you will find various initiatives that will help your vacation have the least possible impact on the environment.


I feel Slovenia: Green & Safe Label.




Slovenia is considered one of the most sustainable and trustworthy countries globally. The Slovenian tourism industry started to use a “GREEN & SAFE” label to indicate an upgrade of sustainable practices and increased responsibility towards local communities, businesses, and guests. These labels aim to become the standard key to an even more outstanding reputation, underscoring Slovenia’s competitive advantage as a sustainable tourist destination. 


So, what can we learn about how we communicate from this trend? 


First, we should speak to our target audience about topics they care about and interest them. If you are an organization that has never addressed sustainability, climate justice, or social activism- it’s about time you do. 


Second, we need to think about Israel as a sustainable destination and share inspiring stories from solar panel technologies to self-sustained communities in the Negev desert and Galilee region to zero-waste initiatives. 


The third and most important takeaway is to get the stories out on platforms where the Next Gen will see them using short, colorful videos and inspiring photos.   


And this is how places are winning the hearts of young adults. 


Lipaz Ela is Vibe Israel’s, Chief Storytelling Officer.

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