WeWork is a giant in the rental business. The company buys properties around the globe and then rents space to individuals and companies that need space to work. The whole philosophy is about providing the community of office space for those who may work remotely. Now, though, WeWork is taking a big step in defining what that culture won’t include: meat.
The company, valued at an estimated $20 Billion, has announced it will o longer serve meat at employee events. Employees, more than 6,000 of them, will no longer be reimbursed for meals that include meat.
“These actions sharpen, or reaffirm, a company’s identity in the broader political culture,” Forrest Briscoe, professor of management and organization at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business told CNN. “And as long as there are stakeholders who approve, then they can also make a plausible business case for such actions.”
Some companies have tried similar measures to support sustainability, but few have affected so many employees.
WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey emailed all of his employees Thursday. The message cited the company’s ecological footprint as part of the rational. WeWork, he argues, will 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.”
The company is scheduled to have their annual “Summer Camp” meeting soon. The new policy undoubtedly changes the menu for the gathering. “In just the three days we are together, we estimate that we can save more than 10,000 animals,” he wrote in the email. “The team has worked hard to create a sustainable, plentiful, and delicious menu.”
McKelvey fails to address what will happen to the 10,000 animals–all of which are raised for food. The use of the word “save” here seems optimistic.
The move will likely make some of the more than 6,000 employees unhappy.
“On one hand, given the altruistic motives expressed, it’s a positive step to want to do something to improve the environment,” said Cindy Schipani, a professor at University of Michigan Ross School of Business told CNN. “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.”