Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing continues to reshape America's private sector. It may soon help dictate the food served at a hospital near you.
What do vegan impact investors want? In this specific case, plant-free food options in hospital cafeterias and vending machines, as well as for every meal served to inpatients.
A press release from Beyond Investing states that their firm hopes "these proposals will be included in the proxy statements that these companies will circulate to shareholders in anticipation of their 2023 annual meetings."
Centene, Elevance Health, HCA Healthcare, Molina Healthcare, and United Health Group were the healthcare companies contacted.
"We call on other shareholders in these companies to support our proposed resolutions and bring about better health outcomes for patients and improve these companies’ bottom lines," said Claire Smith, the CEO of Beyond Investing.
Although Beyond Investing has targeted American companies, its principals reside in Europe.
Broader Campaign to Make Vegan Food Default in InstitutionsThe latest effort from Beyond Investing comes as other plant-based food advocates seek to expand the availability of vegan options in hospitals and other large institutions.
The push for plant-based hospital food has gotten publicity boosts from New York City's mayor, Eric Adams, a self-described vegan who has admitted to sometimes eating fish.
Plant-based meals are now the default lunch and dinner option in that system, which serves more than one million patients every year.
"It’s great to know that patients at our public hospitals will have further access to plant-based meals that will encourage them to integrate such recipes in their meals at home," said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.
New York City's change is in line with a broader push to transition the world's population away from meat, including by altering the food served in hospitals, public schools, prisons, and other large institutions.
"If you get the incentives, the regulation and the taxes right, then you can shift a whole populations’ diet to a much more plant-based diet,” he said at the time.
Yet, even as players in academia and the nonprofit world seek to advance a plant-based future, the market's appetite for meat alternatives may be sated.
Beyond Meat's stock price has declined almost 78 percent since 2022 began. The stock price of Oatly Group AB, which produces oat-based dairy alternatives, fell just under 77 percent during the same period.
Both outpaced the S&P 500's overall decline of more than 17 percent over that timespan.
The U.S. Vegan Climate ETF, touted in the media last year for out-performing the S&P 500, has fallen over 24 percent in 2022.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Smith, Beyond Investing's CEO, for comment.
The Epoch Times has also reached out to Centene, Elevance Health, HCA Healthcare, Molina Healthcare and United Health Group for comment.