Can a company who has consistently departed from its original real estate ventures be sustainable? That’s the question that many have about The We Company, who recently announced its smart cities endeavor to combat issues of urbanization.
Although the company has run at a loss since its founding, it has still managed to pull in big-time investments from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, who values We at $47 billion.
Lindsay Baker, head of sustainability and wellbeing, said that her team is building feedback loops and systems to implement a healthier and more sustainable environment for members.
Using human health as well as energy and lifecycle impacts, Baker’s team works to “drive down WeWork’s energy consumption through design and operational changes [and] looking into carbon footprint reduction via renewables purchasing.”
In addition to its sustainability pact, the company went meat-free last year. Workers are allowed to bring in their own meat, but the company itself does not serve any sort of red meat, poultry or pork at official events. By 2023, the company expects to save around 16.6 billion gallons of water and 445.1 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
Eventually, the company hopes to run completely on renewable energy and has joined the Climate Group’s REE100 initiative.
The We Company also claims that the placement of its locations have helped cut down on fossil-fuelled transport. For example, members in WeWork LA are three times more likely to rely on public transit, walking, or biking.