‘How would you feel if your expenses were declined because your meal contained meat?
That’s the situation at property developers Igloo Regeneration, where all corporate entertaining, workshop catering and even staff expenses must now be vegetarian if staff wish to be reimbursed.
Development surveyor Kate Marfleet, 28, is head of the firm’s values team and persuaded staff to go vegetarian last year, to reduce its environmental impact. The idea was put to an internal vote and passed, with a few dissenters.
“We realised we needed the whole company to come on board, it couldn’t just be imposed,” she says.
“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.”
As many of the 30-strong company regularly work outside of the office, the biggest impact has been on meal expenses.
But the policy is self-policing and Ms Marfleet says employees should be able to make their own decisions based on their dietary requirements.
“If you’re gluten-free and there’s no suitable vegetarian option, then you can make a choice,” she says.
“And if you are somewhere where there is no vegetarian option, then obviously you shouldn’t starve. Even if you decided you really wanted a bacon sandwich, then that’s fine, but the company won’t pay for it.”