Global firm bans meat at company events in effort to be greener

An office space sharing firm with 75 locations around the world says it will no longer serve pork, poultry or red meat at company events, for environmental reasons.

WeWork employees won't be allowed to expense meals with meat, but can still bring meat for lunch

This is the kind of food you won't see at WeWork corporate events after the coworking space company announced it would stop serving pork, poultry and red meat at such gatherings. (Matthew Mead/Associated Press)

Office space sharing company WeWork says it is no longer serving red or white meat at company events.

In an email to employees Thursday, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Miguel McKelvey said the company won't serve pork, poultry or red meat, and it won't allow employees to expense meals that include those meats to the company. Fish will stay on the menu.

McKelvey said the change means WeWork will use less water and produce less carbon dioxide as well as saving the lives of animals.

Miguel McKelvey, the company's co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, said the new rules mean WeWork will use less water, produce less carbon dioxide and save the lives of animals. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)

The company said employees are welcome to bring whatever food they want to work.

The policy is effective immediately and also applies to the company's Summer Camp gathering in the United Kingdom in August. McKelvey wrote that WeWork could save 10,000 animals by eliminating meat at the upcoming Summer Camp event. It has 6,000 employees and some 5,000 attended the event in 2017.

WeWork has locations in 22 countries and a total of 75 cities, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The company declined to say how much water it expects to save in 2018 or 2019 from the new policy, or how much carbon dioxide it could save in the next two years. The company gave longer term projections based on its estimates for future growth over five years.

WeWork has locations in 75 cities around the world, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. This is the facade of WeWork Toronto during its grand opening at 240 Richmond Street West in 2017. (Arthur Mola/WeWork/The Associated Press)

WeWork's meat policy may be unique, but the company is joining a group of companies that have recently looked for ways to reduce their impact on the environment. Coffee chain Starbucks, airlines including American and Alaska, and the Hilton and Hyatt hotel chains have all recently announced that they will stop using plastic straws so they produce less plastic waste. Some cities have banned the straws as well.