WeWork, the co-working startup that’s valued at ~$20 billion and has some 200,000 members across 200 locations globally plus nearly 6,000 staff of its own, will no long allow employees to expense meat. It will also no longer serve meat at company events. The policy shift is intended to reduce the business’ environmental impact.
The new internal policy was reported on Friday by Bloomberg which obtained a company memo in which co-founder Miguel McKelvey revealed the policy, writing: “New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact — even more than switching to a hybrid car.”
So Elon Musk take note.
A WeWork spokeswoman confirmed the new policy to us — which specifically removes red meat, poultry and pork from company menus and expenses policy. Though she emphasized that the company is not prohibiting WeWork staff or members from bringing in meat-based meals they’ve paid for themselves.
Members are also still free to host their own events at WeWork locations and serve meat they’ve paid for themselves. The policy only applies to food purchased (or paid for) by WeWork itself.
The spokeswoman also confirmed that fish is not covered in the meat-free initiative.
The internal memo announcing the meat-free policy is embedded below:
One thing that inspires me most about WeWork is our ability to effect positive change. Our team, united together, has no limit when solving any problem. That’s the Power of We.
In the past few weeks, many teams around the world have already taken action to help us become more environmentally conscious. From plastic-free events in Montreal to recycling initiatives in Hong Kong, we’re excited and humbled by how quickly our teams can make an impact.
But we know we can do more.
We have made a commitment to be a meat-free organization. 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.
New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact — even more than switching to a hybrid car. As a company, WeWork can save an estimated 16.7 billion gallons (63.1 billion liters) of water, 445.1 million pounds (201.9 million kg) of CO2 emissions, and over 15 million animals by 2023 by eliminating meat at our events.
One of our most powerful annual events is Summer Camp. Many of you have asked if we will be serving meat this year. In keeping with our commitment, we will not be serving meat at camp. This is a significant first step — and one that will have a meaningful impact. In just the three days we are together, we estimate that we can save more than 10,000 animals. The team has worked hard to create a sustainable, plentiful, and delicious menu. If you require a medical or religious accommodation, please contact our Global Policy Team.
We are energized by this opportunity to leave a better world for future generations and appreciate your partnership as we continue the journey.
For information on changes (from T&E to the Honesty Market), additional reading on the effects a meat-free diet can have on the world, or to get involved, visit our Connect page. You can also reach out to us at email@example.com.
The changes you are making every day will truly change the world.
Scientists have been warning for years that the meat industry is a massive generator of greenhouses gases — although the topic often gets bypassed in mainstream environmental discussions and overlooked by corporate social responsibility policies, so it’s interesting to see WeWork stepping up to the plate (ha!) and putting its policies where its environmentally conscious soundbites are.
According to Bloomberg, the company will also exclude meat products from the self-serve food and drink kiosk systems that are present in around 400 of WeWork’s co-working buildings.
So its affirmative environmental action to reduce meat consumption will have some impact — albeit likely a smaller one — on its paying members too.