LinkedIn has converted the menu at its San Francisco headquarters to feature mostly plant-based options.
Working with its Sodexo-owned catering partner, Good Eating Company, the professional network platform subscribed to a food program designed by Greener by Default (GBD). GBD is a specialist company that assists organizations to move towards more sustainable food options. It does so by promoting plant-based menu choices.
This resulted in a 65 percent plant-based menu being brought in at LinkedIn. Simultaneously, cow’s milk has been replaced with oat alternatives as the default option.
Though meat dishes are still served, they are limited in number. The most carbon-intensive meats, including beef and lamb, are included in just one dish per week. It is hoped that diners will naturally favor climate-friendly meals as a result.
“When a corporate trendsetter like LinkedIn shows that people are happy to choose plant-based foods when they’re accessible and appealing, it’s a huge leap forward towards a more sustainable food culture,” Katie Cantrell, CEO of Greener by Default, told Plant Based News.
Making plant-based LinkedIn’s default menu choice
Prior to LinkedIn working with GBD, it offered far more meat options. In addition, the plant-based options (three to meat’s five) were served at a separate station.
To tip the scales in the other direction, GBD developed a program that introduced an increasing number of meatless dishes. They gradually replaced standard meat items over a number of months in 2022. Throughout the process, they asked staff if they enjoyed the food, which they did, prompting further animal-free substitutions.
GBD states that at the close of a three-month trial period, the ratio of foods had flipped. It switched to five plant-based items to meat’s three. One reason for the success of the initiative appears to be a commitment to keep serving popular dishes, but veganized.
It now appears that other LinkedIn offices will be given the same menu transformation treatment.
“Thank you for your partnership and great work throughout this process!” Anna Bohbot, LinkedIn’s global food program manager said on the business platform.
“We can’t wait to continue our work together as we expand this program across the other LinkedIn cafe locations!”
Greener by Default’s portfolio
GBD works with a vast range of clients including healthcare facilities, universities, restaurants, and more.
To date, it counts Harvard University, Stanford Medicine, and global soap manufacturer Dr. Bronner’s as happy clients, alongside LinkedIn.
The success of the enterprise is, arguably, due to its subscription to three core beliefs. These are that plant-based food is more sustainable, cost-effective, and inclusive. By encouraging clients to make animal-based dishes an opt-in choice, big changes seem to be possible.
“When hosting events and meetings, the Harvard Office for Sustainability serves plant-based meals by default, giving diners the choice to opt-in for meals with animal products. [This strategy] is inclusive, reduces our carbon footprint, and increases the healthfulness of meals,” one GBD client testimonial revealed.