Veganuary may be one resolution employers should not give up on

Vegan Liftz seeks meat-lovers to test out a plant-based diet

Something for the weekend: So, one week down, how are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? Sticking to the early morning run? Dry January going well? How about Veganuary? Or are you already salivating at the prospect of a cheeky Friday night beer tonight accompanied by a Chicken Korma?

If research by the polling organisation YouGov is anything to go by, chances are that, for many of us, our resolve is already crumbling. Just a quarter of people, it has estimated, manage to keep to their resolutions, an equal proportion fail miserably and around half of us grimly hang in there on at least some of them.

Nevertheless, for employers and benefits professionals perhaps looking at resetting or revisiting their employee engagement strategies for 2022, there might be something in here, at least when it comes to Veganuary, which is run by the not-for-profit organisation of the same name.

Veganuary’s research has suggested that not only was 2021 a record year for people signing up (more than 582,000) but, irrespective of how many then carry on to make veganism a permanent lifestyle change, offering healthier and more sustainable food alternatives is something increasingly being embraced by employers as well.

It has published a blogpost highlighting how growing numbers of employers are taking part in its Veganuary Workplace Challenge, where employees are encouraged to go vegan for January. This included businesses such as Harrods, Volkswagen, Superdrug, Papa John’s and PWC, among others.

Moreover, the driver here is not just enhancing employee health and wellbeing after Christmas excess. It is also about employers tapping into growing employee interest in, and engagement and communication around, sustainability, environmentalism, climate change and corporate social responsibility.

Obviously, offering meat-free alternatives in the workplace canteen and/or promoting healthier eating is not by itself going to resolve accelerating climate change, but, as one supermarket chain (itself a promoter of Veganuary), puts it, ‘every little helps.’