French multinational Sodexo runs approximately 3,000 cafeterias in the US. Worldwide it employs almost 400,000 people in 80 countries.
Working with MFM’s sister organisation in the US, Meatless Monday, Sodexo first introduced a meat-free start to the week to 900 hospitals in the States, before this recent expansion to a further 2,000, including those at the US Department of the Interior, Toyota and Northern Trust Bank.
The company will officially launch the campaign for its US school and college clients in the autumn, but has no plans yet to do so in the UK.
Arlin Wasserman, Sodexo’s vice-president for sustainability, said the company made it “very attractive, compelling and much easier than anything else to eat vegetarian,” adding that the response to the move had been “overwhelmingly positive”.
“Plant-based food options are not only healthier, they are better for the environment. Meat production can be a significant source of carbon and water emissions. Reducing meat consumption in our diets is an easy step we can all take to lead healthier lives and contribute to a more sustainable food system.”
Will Nicklas, a corporate manager for Toyota, applauded Sodexo for relaying the meat-free message.
“Meatless Monday has been successful here primarily because Sodexo helps our customers understand that it is not at all about becoming vegetarians or even weight-loss – it’s about taking easy steps to guard our health and be good stewards of our environment.”