Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) announced today a global initiative to increase procurement of responsibly sourced seafood at Hyatt hotels, starting with an initial goal of responsibly sourcing more than 50 percent of their inventory by 2018. As a part of this effort, Hyatt will also work toward purchasing more than 15 percent of its seafood supply from fisheries or farms that have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). This is the first phase of a long-term seafood sustainability strategy in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading global conservation organization, to build on Hyatt’s existing environmental stewardship. The partnership also focuses on enhancing the sustainability of seafood sourcing at Hyatt hotels by eliminating the procurement of highly vulnerable seafood species.
“We are deeply focused on improving the health of our planet and our communities by implementing sustainable practices, and we hope that this effort to responsibly source more than 50 percent of seafood purchased by our hotels by 2018 will set a new standard for the hospitality industry,” said Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “Not only is fishing an important livelihood in many of the communities where Hyatt hotels operate, but many people around the world rely on fish as a primary source of protein, making it essential to help protect the world’s oceans. As we continue to live out our mission of making a difference in the lives of the people we touch every day, and demonstrate care in everything we do, these overarching goals and call-to-action show our dedication to acting responsibly and doing what is best for our colleagues, guests, and owners.”
After a year-long engagement with WWF and an assessment of global seafood procurement processes at Hyatt hotels, Hyatt has identified the following initiatives to improve the sustainability of Hyatt hotels’ seafood sourcing practices and standards:
- Hyatt will focus on the procurement of responsibly sourced farmed and wild-caught seafood at Hyatt hotels globally, with an initial emphasis on key species such as salmon, shrimp, grouper, Chilean sea bass, and tuna. This will include a clear preference for seafood sourced from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified fisheries and farms and those involved in Fishery or Aquaculture Improvement Projects. Hyatt will also identify other sustainable sources of seafood in collaboration with WWF.
- A complete ban on the consumption and procurement of shark fin at all Hyatt restaurants and food and beverage outlets globally. This builds on Hyatt’s commitment in 2012 to remove shark fin from all restaurant menus. Any banquets and event bookings made before May 15, 2014 that include shark fin will be honored.
- In addition to banning shark fin, Hyatt will seek to reduce and systematically eliminate sourcing of other highly vulnerable seafood species identified by WWF.
- Hyatt colleagues involved in food and beverage offerings at the company’s owned and managed full service hotels will participate in a comprehensive sustainable seafood training program developed in collaboration with WWF.
- Hyatt will measure global performance and progress of these efforts with the support of WWF analysis and recommendations.
“Despite a growing momentum to conserve sharks, catch rates remain far too high in most shark fisheries, and populations, particularly of the larger species, continue to drop,” said Dr. Andy Cornish, Global Shark Program Leader, WWF. “Reducing demand in consumer markets in Asia for shark fin is a critically important part of the equation to arrest the declines, and Hyatt’s great example of corporate leadership will make all the difference.”