Ocean Life Is in Danger
Around 90 percent of global fish stocks are overfished or fished to their limit. With the global population and demand for food rising, we need to collectively change to more sustainable, responsible, and traceable practices if we are to continue relying on marine resources.
Three Priorities to Protecting the Future of Seafood
Hyatt has been working to increase the percentage of our global seafood we purchase from responsible sources and has been collaborating with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) since 2012. We endeavor to:
- Purchase the majority of our seafood from sources that are certified to credible, third-party audited standards that provide an auditing trail back to the fishery or farm.
- Purchase seafood from and provide support to fisheries and farms working on time-bound, science-driven improvement projects.
- Reduce our impact on the most vulnerable species so those populations have a chance to rebound.
Our Sustainable Seafood Sourcing Criteria for Fisheries and Farms
- Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified.
- Active in comprehensive fishery improvement projects or aquaculture improvement projects moving toward MSC or ASC certification.
- Given limitations in the availability of these options in certain cases, we also include green listed items on regional WWF seafood guides, Naturland certification, Global Aquaculture BAP (2 stars or higher) certification, or GlobalGAP certification, while encouraging the shift toward MSC and ASC certification.
Pioneering Sustainable Seafood in the Hospitality Industry
As one of the first movers in the hotel industry taking a global and holistic approach to this topic, we are continually learning and solving challenges to help influence the market.
Navigating Sustainable Seafood
CHALLENGE: Seafood purchasing for hotels is highly decentralized – hotels have unique menus and generally each team procures its own seafood. This means Hyatt usually cannot create large volume contracts to leverage for more sustainable options. This can make sustainable sourcing complicated because seafood ecolabels range in rigor and scope, and the ability to provide sustainability information varies across suppliers.
OUR SOLUTION: Hyatt puts a strong emphasis on training and awareness so chefs and purchasing teams understand the importance of sustainable seafood. In addition, we work with WWF to define what sustainable, responsible, and traceable seafood means for hotels, and organize or participate in supplier engagement workshops to discuss sustainability in markets like the U.S., Japan, China, Korea, Chile, Peru, and the UAE.
Understanding Where our Seafood Comes From
CHALLENGE: Research shows that nearly one in three seafood items is mislabeled, and one in five is sourced from illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) sources. In addition, seafood supply chains are complex – seafood products can change hands multiple times, be transported around the world in different phases of processing, and be combined or mixed with other products from different sources. Because of this, it can be difficult for a hotel to determine where products originate. In addition, there are no global standards or requirements for record management throughout the supply chain.
OUR SOLUTION: We prioritize sourcing our seafood from MSC and ASC sources, supported by Chain of Custody certification throughout the supply chain that enables traceability back to the fishery or farm. We encourage our direct suppliers to gain chain of custody certification so that we can have better visibility into where our seafood comes from. This transparency in fact helps upstream suppliers with responsible practices to be compensated fairly for their efforts as well. Some of our locations are also Chain of Custody certified themselves, which means guests can also gain the same level of information.
We have also undertaken studies with WWF in key markets like the U.S., India, Hong Kong, and Shanghai to determine the sustainability status of seafood in those markets, how to positively influence suppliers and seafood sources, and how to improve our own data gathering to influence increased traceability in our supply chains.
Increasing Sustainable Options
CHALLENGE: Sustainable options are not always available in many of the regions in which Hyatt hotels operate. This is due to several reasons, including regional fisheries and farms exporting certified products rather than selling domestically, limited market demand for more sustainable products, and a general lack of awareness around seafood issues.
OUR SOLUTION: We want all seafood to come from sources that are responsibly managed. For this reason, it is important for us to both source from and support comprehensive fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and aquaculture improvement projects (AIPs) that are improving their practices through a verifiable and time-bound process. Hyatt is an active FIP participant, which involves engaging with suppliers, governments, and other key stakeholders to influence action, as well as funding and purchasing seafood from these fisheries and farms. Examples of Hyatt’s engagement include:
- Supporting projects such as the Ecuador mahi mahi FIP, and the blue swimming crab FIPs in Southeast Asia by signing advocacy letters.
- Participating in a workshop to encourage the Peruvian government to support sustainable fisheries in the country, and visiting salmon farms in Chile to reiterate the importance of ASC certification.
- Encouraging our suppliers to engage in or start FIPs and AIPs.
- Encouraging FIPs to be listed on fisheryprogress.org, which utilizes a common assessment methodology and provides transparency to track progress and compare projects around the world.
- Bringing our goals to our suppliers as well as to businesses like our North America purchasing company, Avendra, so we can work with major buyers and suppliers to broaden efforts and participation around sustainable seafood.
Raising Awareness of Endangered Species
CHALLENGE: Identifying endangered species is not as straightforward as it should be. The scientific name of the species associated with the seafood product is necessary to evaluate the status of that species, but seafood is often sold with only a regional common name or general product description. There is also often conflicting or misleading information on endangered statuses, and many regionally common seafood items do not have enough scientific information to determine the status of those species.
OUR SOLUTION: Hyatt works with WWF to determine species that fall under at least one of the these categories: listed under CITES Appendix I, listed as “endangered” or “critically endangered” by IUCN, or identified as regionally critical by WWF. Even with this definition, it is difficult to navigate species-specific information. Hyatt therefore works with WWF to take a risk-based approach to our menus, first identifying species groups that are at the highest risk, including endangered species, and then taking steps to raise awareness and reduce or eliminate the consumption of these species. Our traceability efforts with our suppliers serve to address this specific issue as well. We have also banned the use of shark fin across global properties.
Learn about key highlights and recent milestones in our latest annual Corporate Responsibility Scorecard.