It all started about five years ago, when Julia Hornik from User Assistance and Ido Mosseri from Development met in a forum for vegetarians at SAP Labs Israel. They realized they had a common interest, and together they founded the Veg Council Israel Group, intended for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone else interested in reducing their intake of animal produce.
We are concerned about the welfare of animals, but our focus is on improving our health and reducing our carbon footprint. For instance:
Did you know that to produce a 250-gram steak it takes 4,000 liters of water, equivalent to 50 baths??
Did you know that the beef industry is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all the gas emitted by world transport?
So, what can we, as individuals, do about it?
Starting to Make an Impact
Our first achievement was getting the local facilities team to provide soy milk in all the coffee corners – no small achievement given that soy milk was not yet popular in companies in Israel.
Starting out as a pilot, soy milk soon became a huge success, and today accounts for 20% of the milk intake in the Lab! As awareness in the Lab grew, SAP began providing marked vegan options at every event.
We also hosted various lectures related to nutrition and sustainability, delivered by different personalities including a vegan marathon runner, a dietitian, and a vegan activist.
Spreading the Word Across SAP
Despite our achievements, we wanted to increase our impact even beyond SAP Labs Israel.
So we contacted colleagues in various locations, such as Germany, USA, France, Canada, and Ireland, to help them found local councils.
This also led to the creation of VEG@SAP, a global organization that is supported by Diversity and Inclusion at SAP.
We are currently hard at work on our next, exciting project – Meatless Monday, as part of a global and local trend, already implemented in various companies in Israel, such as Google and Intel.
Local management and facilities fully support this initiative, which goes hand-in-hand with SAP’s commitment to sustainability and the reduction of our carbon footprint.
To kick off this project, we hosted an Israeli VIP – journalist and founder of Meatless Monday Israel – Miki Haimovich – to introduce this topic to the Lab employees.
Miki delivered an interesting talk in which she described the historical evolution of Meatless Monday, expressed grave concerns regarding the status of the farming industry today, and emphasized the impact that each one of us as an individual can make.
Catch a short interview with Miki:
Following the lecture, our cafeteria has begun implementing (almost) Meatless Mondays, by providing mostly vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Julia: “I am very happy to see SAP supporting better sustainability via this project. SAP colleagues can make a big contribution to reducing greenhouse gases by choosing meatless meals on Mondays.”
Ido: “I am grateful for the opportunity to make the world a better place by helping to reduce the greenhouse gases.
SAP has always been very open to innovative, green initiatives and it is great to have the backing of such a large company. Together with SAP’s support, I feel that my individual impact on this topic has increased considerably.
I am proud to be one of the pioneers of Meatless Monday, and hope that many other locations will follow in our footsteps.”