As co-working spaces grow in prominence among the community-minded millennial workforce, WeWork takes pride in its status as the reigning leader, boasting 409 office locations in 76 cities around the world. Now, they're attempting to lead in a different way — eliminating meat from the company menu.
Bloomberg recently reported on WeWork’s newest effort to appeal to its target demographic while also taking steps to help the environment: the company’s 6,000+ employees can no longer order red meat, pork, or poultry dishes on the company tab, and WeWork won’t serve any meat at its annual “Summer Camp” retreat.
When asked to explain WeWork’s anti-meat pivot, co-founder Miguel McKelvey cited environmental concerns, claiming that “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."
The company has high hopes for this initiative, telling The Guardian that eliminating meat options from its menus will “save 445.1 million pounds of CO2 emissions and 15,507,103 animals by 2023.” However, WeWork doesn’t want to take a totalitarian stance; while the company won’t be subsidising the consumption of meat, members can still bring meat dishes into the space and can host their own events involving meat offerings. All future events officially sponsored by WeWork, however, must utilize vendors committed to this meat-free vision, although a WeWork spokesperson told Bloomberg that exceptions will be granted to employees who must eat meat for “medical or religious reasons."
Naturally, this news proved to be a field day for the Twitter-verse, as hundreds took to their handles to voice admiration or anger over the new policy. Here's what people had to say:
1. For many users who already live a meat-free lifestyle, the updated policy was welcome news.
2. Some dubbed it a "smart branding move."
3. And others called the policy "courageous."
3. Some users, however, felt the co-working space was "going a little too far."
5. For those who disagreed, the complications such a sanction puts on those with special dietary needs was a common grievance.
6. And others claimed the environmental incentive was just a cover for the company to save money.
7. One Twitter user felt that, if protecting the environment is really WeWork's aim, there are more effective measures they could be taking.
8. Others found the move "fascinating" from a social commentary stance.
9. While, for some, the news was... not so exclamatory.
Regardless of what your stance is, it will definitely be interesting to see how the policy change plays out for $20 billion company. Though We Work is far from the first company to implement a meat-free policy, their size and market influence could set a powerful example for other corporations considering a similar move.