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With properties based all around the world, Starwood hopes the easy-to-use guides will represent another step in the company’s continuing journey to greater sustainability.
Created in partnership with the New England Aquarium, and through collaboration across Starwood’s global business units, the back-of-house poster, purchasing pocket guide and supplemental instruction materials guide associates (employees) to species they should avoid in their region and why, offers alternative options, and provides a list of questions they can ask suppliers to determine if seafood is sustainable.
Kitchen associates can choose from a wide variety of pristine catch that will help protect their local communities and the environment whilst still maintaining - and even enhancing - the culinary experience for guests at the group’s restaurants and food and beverage services around the world.
“The type of seafood and how it is caught and farmed has a huge impact on ocean health – which in turn affects our human health, our communities, our local economies and our business,” said Andrea Pinabell, Vice President of Sustainability at Starwood. “Overfishing, declining seafood populations, and ocean and waterway degradation are increasing concerns. Sustainability is core to who we are, and selecting premium seafood that is well sourced and traceable is already a point of pride among our chefs. Our goal is to help Starwood associates around the world make selections that protect the environment and local fishing economies, and create a better experience for consumers.”
Working with ITP and its fellow member hotel groups, Starwood has shown strong leadership in sustainable seafood in the industry. In 2014, the company became the first global luxury hotelier to commit to banning shark fin in all restaurants and food and beverage services across its global portfolio. In 2012, Starwood banned all whale and sea turtle from its menus.
Tania Taranovski, Director of the Sustainable Seafood Program at the New England Aquarium said, "We are excited to be partnering with Starwood to advance their sustainable seafood efforts and empower their associates to help the company achieve its goals. Associate education is a critical step in driving improvements, and Starwood is leading the way by developing practical and innovative educational tools."
Earlier this year, Starwood released its Sustainable Seafood Position Statement, which is part of a larger Sustainable Food & Beverage Policy. Initially published in 2012 and updated this year, the “Eat Local, Think Global” program is a collection of principles that guides sustainable food and beverage sourcing, production, consumption and disposal within and across Starwood properties worldwide. These principles include sourcing more local foods and beverages at Starwood hotels, encouraging properties to buy from farmers who practice certified and sustainable farming, and supporting Fair Trade practices.
Meanwhile Hilton Worldwide announced it is the first global hotel company to serve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) eco-labelled and certified cod in its restaurants in 41 properties across the U.K., Netherlands and Belgium.
These European properties have achieved MSC chain of custody certified status, and Hilton’s 41 remaining luxury and full-service owned, leased and managed properties in these countries are on track to receive MSC chain of custody certification by 2017.
step is part of Hilton’s strategy toward more responsible and sustainable sourcing around the world. Last April, the company implemented a shark fin ban across all restaurants and F&B facilities globally, and in March this year, Hilton Singapore became the first hotel in Asia to achieve MSC chain of custody certification.
Maxime Verstraete, vice president, sustainability, Hilton Worldwide, said: "Today’s announcement is part of our long term commitment to responsible sourcing while at the same time maintaining the highest culinary standards. Seafood is a popular choice with our guests, and it’s critical that we include sustainable fishing practices in our sourcing strategy if it is to remain available in the future. With clear MSC labelling now on our menus in 41 restaurants in the UK, Netherlands and Belgium, we are giving our guests more and more sustainable seafood choices.”
Over a quarter (28.8%) of the world’s marine stocks are overfished or depleted, with a further two thirds (61.3%) fished as intensively as they can be. The MSC is an independent global organisation set up to tackle the problem of overfishing by recognising and rewarding sustainable fisheries through its certification and eco-labelling programme. Certified Hilton hotels will now use the MSC’s striking ecolabel to highlight which menu items are from certified sustainable fisheries.
Rupert Howes, CEO of the MSC said: “This certification clearly establishes Hilton as a leader within the hotel sector. By getting 41 hotels MSC chain of custody certified across Europe they are sending a clear message that sustainable seafood sourcing is taken seriously at Hilton. The pledge shows that Hilton has a deep-rooted commitment to sustainable seafood and by choosing MSC certified cod, Hilton is rewarding fishermen who have demonstrated their sustainability, helping to make sure our oceans are protected for generations to come.”
The news follows Hilton’s announcement with WWF to collaborate to evolve the hospitality company's global business practices and reduce its impact on the environment. As part of this work, Hilton is focusing on sustainable seafood, which includes procuring from fisheries and farms meeting the most comprehensive and credible standards – Marine Stewardship Council certified fisheries and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certified farms. These efforts, in conjunction with supply chain engagement and education, aim to ensure the viability of seafood sources and healthier oceans.
Hilton encourages its hotels to increase their use of sustainable products and services where feasible, and proactively examine opportunities to improve sustainability performance across their supply chains. This commitment supports the 'Living Sustainably' pillar of Hilton’s global corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose.