Big Businesses Join in on Growing Veganuary Challenge

woman with pig
Over 600,000 people from across the world are expected to take part in this year’s Veganuary. Photo credit: Veganuary

Veganuary is a challenge that encourages people to follow a vegan diet for the first month of a new year. Each year, more and more people participate. This year, some major businesses are getting involved too, setting a promising example for a future with less meat.

More than 75 businesses have joined the Veganuary Workplace Challenge for 2022. Major names include the luxury department store Harrod’s, Papa John’s International, Volkswagen Group UK, the NHS Supply Chain, and more.

The Veganuary Workplace Challenge is a test for company team members to follow a vegan diet for 31 days in January. For the 2022 challenge, business executives cited many different reasons for joining, including increasing companywide sustainability, reducing personal carbon footprints, embracing cruelty-free products, and improving health.

“As a company we want to show that there are care homes that do cater for alternative diets and take people’s beliefs into consideration, as I was horrified to hear recently about some care homes not respecting people’s vegan and vegetarian diets, when they have dementia and are feeding them meat,” said Joe Lock, communities director at Adept Carehomes, a participant in this year’s Veganuary. “I am an advocate of the vegan way of life and feel it does boost my energy, it can also reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes which can be common factors in the elderly.”

For some businesses, Veganuary can mean that dozens or even hundreds of employees eat a meatless diet for the month of January. For others, Veganuary can also extend to become customer-facing, with products and services that are vegan and cruelty-free.

At Papa John’s International, the pizza chain is working to expand its plant-based offerings as part of an ongoing Plant Love pledge. Superdrug, a UK-based health and beauty retailer, offers Veganuary deals for customers and sells many vegan products.

In 2021, more than 580,000 people from 209 countries and territories signed up for Veganuary, and over 98% of participants would recommend the challenge to a friend. The organization hopes to increase that number for 2022, and with so many major businesses getting involved, the event may just have its greatest turnout yet.

“It’s great to have so many businesses putting their values into action by taking part in Veganuary’s Workplace Challenge,” said Toni Vernelli, head of communications for Veganuary. “It’s a fun way to unite their teams in a shared experience while demonstrating their commitment to reducing their impact on the planet and improving the health and wellbeing of their employees.”

The official Veganuary is a registered charity in England and Wales that offers plenty of resources for individuals, and now businesses, to follow a vegan lifestyle throughout the year. Launched in 2014, Veganuary is free to join and offers support for plant-based eating year-round. Find out more about how to sign up and participate here.

Based in Los Angeles, Paige is a writer who is passionate about sustainability. Aside from writing for EcoWatch, Paige also writes for Insider, HomeAdvisor, Thrillist, EuroCheapo, Eat This, Not That!, and more. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University and holds a certificate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She also specialized in sustainable agriculture while pursuing her undergraduate degree. When she’s not writing, Paige enjoys decorating her apartment, enjoying a cup of coffee and experimenting in the kitchen (with local, seasonal ingredients, of course!).

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