PwC staff root for Veganuary

Jan 11, 2019

PwC employees in the UK have given the thumbs up to the firm promoting the benefits of plant-based foods and broadening the selection available in its staff restaurants. Some 64% of respondents to a staff poll felt it was important PwC helps its people consider changes to their diet, with 75% of respondents looking to grow the amount of plant-based foods they consume.

This month, PwC is collaborating with charity Veganuary and participating in the Veganuary Workplace Challenge. It’s about providing staff with the opportunity and knowledge to explore what a plant-based diet is and whether it might work for them.

Over 500 staff signed up to receive a daily email during January with advice and recipe ideas and those participating also receive a 10% discount on Veganuary dishes in the BaxterStorey Social Co. restaurants in the firm’s offices.

Bridget Jackson, Chief Sustainability Officer at PwC, said:

“Veganuary might not seem an obvious cause for us, but becoming a low-carbon business is a priority for the firm so it feels right we raise awareness of the benefits of more sustainable food choices.

"Our approach is all carrot and no stick - we know veganism might not be to everyone’s taste, so our approach is about promoting curiosity about different foods and their impacts.

“Previous research has suggested 4% of PwC employees are vegan, compared with 1% nationally, a further 14% are vegetarian, and a further 39% are ‘flexitarian’ and seeking to reduce the amount of meat they consume - so there is definitely appetite for this here.”

‘Vegan Curious’ is the latest stage in the firm’s Peas Please campaign, which encourages a sustainable diet and is part of a broader approach to support wellbeing. 18 months ago, PwC joined the ‘Peas Please’ campaign together with its catering service provider BaxterStorey, committing to increase spend on vegetables sold at our in-office BaxterStorey Social Co. restaurants from 15% to 20%. By June 2018, just eight months later, we hit our target - increasing the overall percentage of fruit and vegetables purchased to 20%. The firm has set a new, 25% target for 2020.

During our Peas Please campaign, we surveyed over 300 staff about their diet and vegetable intake:

  • The majority (80%) of all those surveyed felt reducing carbon was a key benefit
  • Flexibility and availability is said to be the main barrier to eating more plant-based food. This is why we’ve encouraged staff to be ‘vegan curious’ and explore a more plant-based diet, as well as making it easier for them to get plant-based foods in our in-house restaurants.

Bridget Jackson, Chief Sustainability Officer at PwC, added:

“Whether vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, people consider a more plant-based diet for a variety of reasons, including the environment, health and ethical standards. We want to make it easier for our people to make the food choices that are right for them.

“Given that so many food retailers and high street eateries are introducing vegan ranges in response to growing consumer demand, it makes sense that employers do the same.”

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Sian Gentle

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