The vegan lifestyle has seen a boom over the last decade. Currently, just around 1% of the UK’s population is vegan, with one-third of people interested in becoming vegans in the future. Although many assume that this only involves a change in diet, veganism goes beyond food and involves changes away from animal-based products — including hygiene, grooming, and so on. As a result, vegans may have a hard time finding businesses which support their lifestyles.
Given this and the need to increase their appeal to younger generations, more businesses are looking for ways to adopt veganism into their company culture. The willingness to bring in these growing cultural standards makes a company all the more attractive to work in and can also provide a positive outlook for consumers, who are looking for companies that embrace conscious change. Listed below are reasons why vegan initiatives should be implemented in the workplace:
Meeting current health and fitness trends
With the onset of the pandemic, more people have shifted towards caring more about their wellness. Naturally, the uptick in the vegan lifestyle has become part of that. Even modern weight loss programmes offer thousands of meatless recipes to support vegans and vegetarians, vis a vis the idea of complete nutrition. Although having enough calories is good for maintaining health, balancing your diet’s macronutrients (macros) and micronutrients has become all the more important. By having vegan options in the workplace, more people have opportunities to consume nutrient-dense foods and follow healthier eating patterns, which further benefits their health and productivity at work. One way business owners and leaders can promote veganism in the workplace is to create a plant-based challenge. You can substitute snacks in the office pantry with vegan-friendly options, task employees to make vegan-friendly meals after work, and host meetings after the challenge to share their results.
Aside from supporting employees’ well-being, advocating for veganism in the workplace can help promote the inclusivity of staff who strictly choose this lifestyle. In the UK, anti-discrimination laws now also protect “ethical veganism”, — people who go beyond plant-based meals but also avoid products using, or tested on, animals — making it all the more essential for employers to integrate vegan initiatives into work. To respect their beliefs, businesses should be less strict in the materials of their employee dress codes or provide access to vegan-friendly clothing like synthetic safety boots. Vegans can also be exempted from corporate events involving animals and their products, such as “hog roast” BBQ parties or horse racing.
Reducing negative environmental footprint
People are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and are now choosing to support more sustainable businesses. Keeping up with these changes is better for companies to stay relevant and inclusive and benefits the environment as a whole. A report on food-related carbon emissions notes that if the whole world went vegan, the planet would save eight billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent footprint. A vegan lifestyle also uses fewer products coming from animals, which can decrease demand for farmlands and reduce the overall water footprint. Aside from providing vegan-friendly food in the workplace, business leaders and managers should offer staff training on veganism. This can help employees better understand the importance of the movement, encouraging them to do their part to save the planet.
Through vegan workplace initiatives, vegans and non-vegans can enjoy and appreciate the perks of going plant-based. Companies should not only promote vegan inclusivity as a marketing tactic, but also actively encourage their employees to live healthier and more sustainable lifestyles.