Property development firm Igloo Regeneration has taken a big step for the planet with a meat ban of sorts. It will now only allow catering, corporate entertaining, and staff food expenses to be reimbursed if the meals are vegetarian.
Last year, development surveyor Kate Marfleet, who is head of Igloo Regeneration’s values team, persuaded staff to ditch meat in favor of a vegetarian diet. She said the main goal was to reduce the environmental impact of the meat industry.
“We had some justifications as to why it was a good idea, mostly environmental. There were some reservations from staff, but most of those were based on them being unsure of the environmental impact,” Marfleet told BBC.
Although Marfleet is not vegetarian outside of work, she says the new policy has increased discussions about the impact of food on the planet. “It certainly sparked a lot of internal conversation about food and particularly as a younger person, it’s interesting to have conversations with our older colleagues who say they are now eating a lot less meat at home as well,” she said.
The company also encourages employees to use trains instead of cars to help minimize carbon emissions.
People Are Ditching Meat for Health and the Planet
Meat’s impacts on health and the planet are motivating people to eat more vegetarian meals.
A study by Leatherhead Food Research found 40 percent of Brits are reducing meat consumption for health and environmental concerns.
Research has linked the animal agricultural industry to countless environmental concerns, such as deforestation and increased greenhouse gas emissions. The former was a leading cause of the Amazon rainforest fires. Cattle ranchers frequently set fire to the forests in order to clear the land for grazing cattle.
Igloo Regeneration isn’t the only company to ditch meat. In 2018, co-working space WeWork announced it would no longer serve meat at staff events and said staff would not be able to expense meals that include “poultry, pork, or red meat.”
John Long, Igloo Regeneration’s director, emphasized the need for more companies to take action in reducing their environmental impact.
“We spend a lot of time thinking about the impact of our property development on the planet,” Long told the BBC. “We invest a lot of time thinking about sustainability and we’ve been thinking about carbon for 20 years. About six months ago, we thought we ought to look at ourselves rather than just our projects.”