Pop Quiz: Do you still have an N-95 handy? Even as COVID-19 rates abate, the World Health Organization is tracking “Arcturus,” a new subvariant, potentially validating many lingering concerns over new strains. In America This Week survey, fielded from April 14th to April 16th among 2,103 Americans, over half of Americans remain worried about new COVID variants (54%), only slightly less than the (62%) we reported back at the start of December.

This week we share a fascinating new study of business executives who admit that greenwashing – the practice of overstating your sustainability record – is rampant. Another recent poll finds how confused travelers are about their health insurance coverage abroad. We also delve into reskilling, which more companies use instead of hiring new workers. And homebuyers are now thinking of their pets when they tour open houses. Does your listing have good pet amenities? You can download the new ATW monthly summary tabs and deck here.

Execs Say Most Businesses Would Be Caught Greenwashing: Google Cloud-Harris Poll

According to our new global study with Google Cloud in Wall Street Journal, most global executives think greenwashing is widespread in their industry. This comes as customers are more vocal about preferring sustainable brands.

  • Nearly three-quarters of executives (72%) said most organizations in their industry would be caught greenwashing if they were investigated thoroughly, according to a survey of almost 1,500 executives across 17 countries and seven industries.
  • Also, nearly 6 in 10 executives (59%) admitted to overstating – or inaccurately representing – their sustainability activities.
  • Good intentions, but no plan on where to begin: (72%) of executives told us, “Everyone says they want to advance sustainability efforts, but no one knows how actually to do it” – an increase of (7%-pts) from last year.
  • And economic headwinds aren’t helping sustainability and ESG among businesses, with ESG prioritization falling for many:

Takeaway: “Essentially, when times are getting hard, you get to see who’s serious about this agenda and those who are paying lip service or perhaps accidentally overstating their efforts,” says Justin Keeble, managing director of global sustainability at Google Cloud. However, “There are actors that are maybe intentionally overstating what they’re doing, but I honestly think for the most part, companies are sincere – they’ve set their goals, they’re working towards them, but they don’t always have the data to be transparent,” said Kate Brandt, chief sustainability officer at Google.

Think Healthcare’s Confusing? Well, Travel Abroad: GeoBlue-Harris Poll

In partnership with GeoBlue, we find that Americans are increasingly looking to travel outside the U.S. However, many of these travelers need to prepare for a medical event during their trip.

  • Most travelers (77%) surveyed agreed, “When traveling abroad, ensuring that I have affordable access to quality medical care is just as important as booking a great place to stay or getting the best flights.”
  • However, while nearly 9 in 10 (87%) know a medical event is a realistic possibility, over half (52%) have an “it-won’t-happen-to-me” attitude.
  • This is concerning as less than half (46%) believe their domestic health insurance would cover an international medical event. Furthermore, over three-quarters (76%) say they likely don’t have adequate health insurance coverage for international trips.

Takeaway: Most Americans who travel abroad are under/uninsured for the medical needs they are likely to encounter – whether it’s a minor medical issue (e.g., allergic reaction, stomach bug, etc.) or a life-threatening problem requiring a medical evacuation. This is why it’s not uncommon to see GoFundMe campaigns created to get relatives home from abroad after a medical emergency. This usually happens because the travelers didn’t have a medical insurance plan designed for international travel and assumed their domestic health plan had adequate coverage outside the country. And the rise in international remote work, workcations, business travel, and an increase in leisure travel only increases this risk.

Reskilling is the New Hiring: Express Employment Professionals-Harris Poll

In the face of labor and skills shortages, companies looking to fill talent gaps are turning to reskilling as a viable solution, according to our latest research with Express Employment Professionals covered by SIA.

  • 7 in 10 (70%) U.S. hiring managers prefer to train their current employees for different roles before bringing on new workers.
  • Over three-quarters agree that employers should be responsible for providing and paying for training, upskilling, and reskilling employees – a sentiment shared among employed Americans (78% agreeing). 
  • Walking the walk regarding reskilling: Nearly 9 in 10 (89%) hiring managers report that their companies provide and pay for training.
  • Workers are ready for development and investment: Previous ATW research found that over 3 in 5 employed Americans (63%) are already learning new skills and doing professional development to advance their careers.

Takeaway: Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller noted that the critical skills gap has only begun to impact the workforce severely. Almost every industry will continue to suffer if there isn’t a turning point soon. “This isn’t an issue that will be solved overnight or by one person,” Stoller said. “Young people need to be educated on the lucrative careers in skilled trades, and the government should provide incentives for these careers. Whether the onus of training ultimately falls on the worker or employer, action needs to be taken now on both sides to ensure the stable and balanced workforce of the future.”

Does Your Listing Include A Dog House? Zillow-Harris Poll

Pets have long been considered part of the American family, but Gen Z pet owners have taken it a step further by buying houses with them in mind, according to the latest research with Zillow.

  • Pets over kids: If they were buying a home and had to choose, most Gen Z pet owners say it’s more important to have a pet-friendly home (55%) than a kid-friendly home (45%).
  • And 3 in 5 Gen Z adults (60%) consider certain pet-friendly features essential in a home they would buy, with more finding a fenced backyard necessary when purchasing (48%) compared to a kids’ playroom (24%).
  • Further, nearly one-quarter of Gen Z pet owners would want to move if their home was no longer working for their pet (22%), but only (12%) would like to move if their home was no longer working for their partner.
  • Among all Americans, a small fraction (13%) of pet owners living with a spouse or significant other would instead share their primary bedroom with their pet than their partner.

Takeaway: “Young adults may be delaying parenthood, but they’re not putting off pet parenthood,” said Zillow’s home trends expert Amanda Pendleton. “One recent study finds most Gen Z adults would rather have a pet than a child. So as this younger generation ages into their home-buying years, it follows that their pets will have a greater influence on their moving decisions, perhaps more so than their significant other.”

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from April 14th to 16th among a nationally representative sample of 2,103 U.S. adults.

John Gerzema headshot

John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from April 14th to 16th among a nationally representative sample of 2,103 U.S. adults.


Related Content