By Larraine Roulston:
WeWork’s global network of shared office locations has designed its workspaces for employees to experience the nurturing effects of creativity, innovation and productivity. The company states that “workspace is our craft,”and provides its employees with an environment of natural light, comfort and inspiration.
Whereas most offices offer a pleasant atmosphere and have included recycling bins and installed energy efficient lighting, as well as reduced their waste, the WeWork CEOs pushed the environmental envelope to a new level by realizing that the high consumption of meat ranks among today’s top environmental concerns. By making a direct connection between climate change and meat consumption, the company became committed to a “meat-free organization.”An email to employees stated that “moving forward, we will not serve or pay for meat at WeWork events and want to clarify that this includes poultry and pork, as well as red meat.”
Since 2006, people have been enjoying a more plant-based diet because they understand that meat and dairy have a huge environmental impact. Miguel McKelvey, WeWork’s co-founder and chief culture officer, said the new policy was one way the company could do more to become environmentally responsible. McKelvey noted demonstrating that eliminating meat at company events would by 2023 save approximately 16.7 billion gallons of water, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 445.1 million pounds, and save more than 15 million farm animals. This initiative does not restrict employees or members working at its facilities from bringing lunchmeat sandwiches to work or serving meat at their own events; it applies only to foods purchased by WeWork.
A meat-free workplace is not uncommon. The not-for-profit group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which promotes preventive medicine and nutrition, mandated for its Washington, D.C., staff. Google urges its employees to consider plant-based recipes. Last year, Vegan Leaders in Corporate Management a wellness program to help companies embrace vegetarianism. “It’s a sign of the way things are moving, as employees today expect employers to have a social and environmental conscience,” commented Virginia Hoekenga, deputy director of the .
The production of food accounts for about 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists agree that meat — particularly large scale beef production — has than fruits and vegetables. We are entering an era when both staff and management are seeking ways to demonstrate progress in sustainability.
At home, many family chefs are experimenting with “Meatless Mondays”as well as turning towards more ethically sourced meat. For more information regarding animal welfare, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has created a meaningful label guide to demystify the marketplace and resources for shoppers who want better options when choosing meat.