Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

$20 Billion Startup WeWork Goes Vegetarian, Citing Environmental Concerns

Business
WeWork offers small businesses workspace in a collaborative community. Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Growing office-space startup WeWork is introducing a new flavor of corporate sustainability with its announcement Thursday that the entire company is going vegetarian, CNN Tech reported Friday.

The company of around 6,000 will no longer serve meat at events or reimburse employees for pork, red meat or poultry.


"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 cofounder Miguel McKelvey explained in the email announcing the new policy, The Guardian reported.

McKelvey further wrote that the company could save "an estimated 16.7 billion gallons of water, 445.1 million pounds of CO2 emissions and over 15 million animals by 2023 by eliminating meat at our events," according to CNN.

WeWork isn't dragging its heels to institute the policy either. It plans to eschew meat at its annual "Summer Camp" food and music festival for WeWork members.

"In just the three days we are together, we estimate that we can save more than 10,000 animals," McKelvey wrote. "The team has worked hard to create a sustainable, plentiful, and delicious menu."

The move is on brand for WeWork, which has also made steps to reduce its use of plastics to zero.

The $20-billion company, which buys up office space and rents it out to businesses and entrepreneurs in more than 20 countries, has phased out plastic cups from its work spaces and given all members reusable water bottles.

It has also greened its coffee stations, with compostable cups, recycling mechanisms for coffee and milk in plastic-free containers.

WeWork is an example of how a company can minimize its footprint and still grow its business. The company announced July 5 that it was adding 13 additional buildings to its network this month. It will also open up new space in currently-owned buildings for 21 total openings in 19 cities in 12 countries.

"These actions sharpen, or reaffirm, a company's identity in the broader political culture," professor of management and organization at Penn State's Smeal College of Business Forrest Briscoe told CNN. "And as long as there are stakeholders who approve, then they can also make a plausible business case for such actions."

But University of Michigan Ross School of Business business law professor Cindy Schipani told CNN that the meatless move could sow dissent if employees disagree.

"On one hand, given the altruistic motives expressed, it's a positive step to want to do something to improve the environment," Schipani said. "On the other hand, the company is cutting back on an employee benefit, and those employees who do not subscribe to a meat-free diet may become disgruntled."

However, there are some gray areas to the new policy, The Guardian reported.

The policy will only apply to events paid for by WeWork. It will not cover individual meals brought in to office spaces or office events hosted by member businesses, such as a TGIM Capital One event promising "donuts and bacon, bacon, bacon."

This could lead to some confusion going forward, since WeWork co-sponsors many events with different brands, The Guardian reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less