WeWork to staffers: 'Meat is off the menu'

The company wants to limit its environmental impact.

Miguel McKelvey
Miguel McKelvey

NEW YORK: To limit its carbon footprint, WeWork told staffers it is no longer serving or paying for red meat, poultry, or pork at company events.

Fish is not included in this initiative, said Gwen Rocco, senior director of corporate communications, via email. Rocco declined an interview opportunity with PRWeek.

The policy change was announced in a memo sent last week by cofounder and chief culture officer Miguel McKelvey. In the memo, the company cited research from a study published in Science that says avoiding meat is one of the most substantial ways they can limit their environmental impact.

By eliminating meat from all company events, WeWork estimates it can save 16.6 billion gallons of water, 445.1 million pounds of CO2 emissions, and 15.5 million animals over the next five years.

One of the marquee events WeWork hosts for employees, the annual WeWork Summer Camp, will also be meat-free. In addition, the company will have water bottles made from plant materials that will be separated and recycled from other waste.

At least 70% of all waste at the summer camp will be recycled, while the remainder will be sent to a carbon recapture incineration facility. Sleeping bags, air mattresses, tents, and other materials will be sent to the Help Refugees organization for re-use. Food waste will be collected by Eighth Plate from NCASS and redistributed (estimated to be about 8.1 tons) to those in need.

WeWork has rolled out a series of sustainability initiatives, including efforts to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency through smarter building designs that reduce a city’s carbon footprint. Community groups have introduced their own local efforts. For example, the Hong Kong team removed all plastic cups and has started collecting recyclable waste, Rocco said via email.

"This initiative only applies to food purchased with WeWork company money," said Rocco, adding that the policy has no bearing on employees that bring meat into WeWork for their own meals and events they host.

People with religious and health considerations can contact the global policy team, according to the memo.

WeWork has almost 6,000 employees. It serves more than 253,000 people.

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