How The Startup We Work Is Helping The Environment

By now I’m sure you are all familiar with the mega startup WeWork. For those that are not, WeWork is a global network of workspaces where companies can rent something as small as a desk or a bigger office space to work out of. Their mission is: More than just the best place to work, though, this is a movement toward humanizing work. We believe that CEOs can help each other, offices can use the comforts of home, and we can all look forward to Monday if we find real meaning in what we do.

This past summer, WeWork made a huge announcement – they were no longer serving meat for their employees or at any event function hosted by them.  A WeWork spokeswoman confirmed the new policy— 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.

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 great to see companies like WeWork taking the lead in this area. WeWork says the decision to eliminate meat was for environmental reasons. “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.” WeWork could save an estimated 16.7 billion gallons of water, 445.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and more than 15 million animals by 2023 by eliminating meat at company events alone.  This initiative speaks volume about the overall impact WeWork wants to have in the world – they are not only making empty promises but instead really making an effort to practice what they preach.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think other companies should step up to the plate and do the same? Leave us a comment below!

Shauna Willetts