Food for thought: WeWork pulls meat from the office menu

WeWork, a firm which runs co-working spaces for start-ups around the world, has announced it is going meat-free in a bid to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The company confirmed late last week that the decision has been taken not to serve or pay for any red meat, poultry or pork at WeWork events. It added that it will not reimburse employees for meals which included meat.

The global livestock industry causes 15 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions and meat consumption is rising around the world. Scientists agree that limiting the amount of meat and dairy eaten is crucial for avoiding dangerous levels of global warming.

In an email outlining its decision, WeWork said the move was driven by environmental considerations. By 2023, it expects the change to have saved 16.6 billion gallons of water, 445 million pounds of CO2 emissions and 15 million animals.

According to a Bloomberg report, the meat-free policy also will apply to meals purchased by employees and charged to company expenses.

The company’s annual “Summer Camp” retreat for its members, taking place in August, also will be a meat-free event, WeWork confirmed. Any waste food from the site will be collected and redistributed to local organizations.  

While eradicating meat from its offer altogether is a radical move from WeWork, other companies are taking similar steps to expand their vegetarian offering. IKEA, for example, recently launched vegetarian versions of its famous meatballs, while Tesco shortly will stock a vegan burger on shelves next to its meat products.

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