Are Vegan Workplaces the Way of the Future?
Veganism is everywhere these days it seems. From the Impossible Burger, to restaurant chains like By Chloe, to Netflix documentary films like “What the Health” and “Earthlings,” the world can’t get enough of plant-based eating. There has been a 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S. in the last three years alone and that trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
This is a far cry from decades prior when vegans were thought of as lentil-loving “hippies” – at the very fringe of society. These days, veganism is a popular lifestyle, with celebrities, pro-athletes, and Instagram influencers all switching to plant-based diets, not only for ethical and environmental reasons, but also for health reasons.
Even companies and businesses of every size are starting to see the impact of this trend. For instance, Vegan Leaders in Corporate Management (VLCM), a global community for vegans working in corporate (especially Fortune 500) management and business functions, continues to grow quickly and expansively.
Millennials and, in particular, generation Z-ers, are heading up this trend. With these generations slated to comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, it’s no wonder that companies have started re-examining their eco-footprint and vegan offerings to appeal to this new socially-conscious worker base and remain competitive in the modern War for Talent.
Of course, many plant-based companies that are deeply immersed in the industry have vegan-friendly offices like Daiya, Morningstar Farms, Amy’s Kitchen, Follow Your Heart, Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, and many others. Below, we’ve listed three companies that are less ingrained in the actual physical production of vegan food products, but are still forging a forward-thinking path toward sustainable and plant-based eating:
You may have seen the recent plant-based news about WeWork, a company that transforms buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces. According to Bloomberg, WeWork informed its employees that, beginning July 2018, they will no longer be able to expense meals at work that include meat. This news comes in light of “new research [which] 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,” according to co-founder Miguel McKelvey. McKelvey hopes this new initiative will reduce environmental waste and encourage a greater collective environmental consciousness at all 73 of their worldwide office locations.
Google employees have access to free food at office cafeterias. Lately, the company hasdecided to introduce more meals with plant-based foods and less meat. As part of a broader sustainability initiative, Google recognizes that meat consumption is an important part of its carbon footprint and animal agriculture is a big part of our environmental crisis. They aren’t trying to serve all-vegetarian meals immediately but are slowly “moving people along a continuum,” with their chefs experimenting with plant-based dishes and working with Better Buying Lab, which develops strategies to help consumers purchase more sustainable foods.
This nonprofit healthcare organization has an office policy mandating that only vegan food may be eaten in its office. The organization advocates for healthy eating, preventative medicine, and ethical clinical research – so in order to “practice what they preach,” they decided to initiate this office-wide policy. The staff actually help each other by exchanging recipes, going out to eat at nearby vegan lunch spots near the office, and take turns making breakfast smoothies for each other in the mornings. Even more impressive, the office staff report healthy weight loss, improved physical health, and a decrease in food costs since starting to work at PCRM.
Plant-Based Programs at Work
Veganism continues to trend upwards, so it’s no wonder that companies are following suit. With more and more vegan millennials and Generation Z-ers entering the workforce, a great (and simple) way for companies to stand apart is to have plant-based snack and cafeteria options for employees.
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