Eric Medsker

The company is trying to reduce its environmental impact. 

Caitlin Petreycik
July 16, 2018

2018 is shaping up to be the year that corporations take some serious strides towards sustainability. McDonald's has pledged to cut the greenhouse gases emitted in the production of its beef (and swap out its light bulbs and kitchen appliances for environmentally friendly alternatives), Starbucks and American Airlines recently joined the growing number of businesses promising to phase out plastic straws and drink stirrers, and now WeWork is eliminating all red meat, poultry, and pork from its office menu (and choosing not to serve it at corporate events). 

"New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact," Miguel McKelvey, WeWork's co-founder said in a company-wide memo obtained by Bloomberg, "even more than switching to a hybrid car." 

Specifically, this means that WeWork's 6,000 staffers will no longer be able to expense meat-based meals (although fish is still allowed), and they shouldn't expect to see, say, burgers and hot dogs at the company's annual "Summer Camp" retreat. In addition, WeWork is removing meat products from the self-serve food and drink kiosks that are currently installed in about 400 of the company's co-working buildings. 

It doesn't mean that staffers—or the approximately 200,000 members who use WeWork's facilities—can't bring in their own meat-based meals that they pay for themselves. The policy only applies to food purchased by WeWork itself. And, according to a company spokesperson, individuals requiring "medical or religious allowances" are being directed to WeWork's policy team to go over options. 

It's estimated that WeWork can save, "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 cutting out meat, according to the memo quoted above. This new stance seems pretty significant for WeWork, and it'll be interesting to see if other companies follow suit.