The first goal of the initiative is for responsibly-sourced seafood to comprise 50 percent of the company’s inventory by 2018. Part of that goal will be sourcing over 15 percent from fisheries or farms certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
Hyatt has already been partnering with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to stop sourcing very vulnerable seafood species. With WWF’s help, the chain conducted an assessment of global seafood procurement processes at its hotels and identified steps it could take to improve the sustainability of its seafood sourcing practices.
One step it will take is to focus first on certain species including salmon, shrimp, grouper, Chilean sea bass and tuna. Another step is instituting a complete ban on procuring and eating shark fin at all of its restaurants and food and beverage outlets around the world. This step builds on its 2012 commitment to remove shark fin from all restaurant menus. Hyatt will also have employees involved in food and beverage offerings at the company’s owned and managed full-service hotels undergo a sustainable seafood training program developed with WWF. All of these initiatives will be measured with WWF analysis and recommendations.
The sustainable seafood initiative is part of Hyatt’s food and beverage philosophy it calls Food: Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served, which focuses on providing more sustainable food and beverage choices. The philosophy ties into its corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform, Hyatt Thrive. Part of its CSR strategy are three guiding principles: serving people, serving the community and serving the planet. It is ingraining those three principles into its food and beverage choices, including using cage-free eggs and all-natural beef.
Other hotels focus on sustainable seafood
Other hotels and hotel chains are incorporating sustainable seafood into its sourcing practices. Two hotels in Asia have recently participated in events to highlight the importance of sustainable seafood. Back in April, Hilton Singapore announced that two of its restaurants would participate in the Sustainable Seafood Festival held in June. Organized by WWF, the festival raised awareness among the general public about sustainable seafood options. China World Hotel held events to promote sustainable seafood during the month of June. In May, the hotel participated in a Green Sustainable Seafood Promotion, with the Marine Stewardship Council and the WWF which encouraged consumers to choose responsibly sourced seafood.
In 2011, Marriott International launched a new initiative to source more sustainable seafood by partnering with CleanFish Alliance. The initiative is called the Future Fish program, and the target is to procure at least 50 percent of its seafood from sustainable sources. Marriott works with seafood distributors who source sustainable seafood. In its 2013 CSR report, Marriott stated that as of February 2012, it stopped including shark fin soup on its banquet and restaurant menus as part of its Future Fish program.
The efforts of companies like Marriott and Hyatt to source more sustainable seafood are paying off. The proportion of assessed marine fish stocks fished within biologically sustainable levels was over 70 percent in 2011, according to a 2014 report on world fisheries. Less than 30 percent of fish stocks were overfished. In 2008, the percentage of stocks fished at unsustainable levels was 32.5 percent. The report calls the decrease a “positive sign in the right direction.”
Image crédit: Frits Hoogesteger