Here at Sodexo Canada, we’ve seen the devastation of the fisheries firsthand in Canada. As such, we’ve put into practice a policy that we hope will have a direct affect on reversing the effects on the world’s oceans caused by overfishing and fishing via incorrect and harmful methods. As a proud partner of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, ensuring that we are able to serve fish and seafood to our customers today and in the future is a fundamental driver for us. It’s not only about the nutrition, health and wellness of seafood but also about sustaining and redeveloping the fishing grounds that have been severely depleted over the last few decades. Our Sustainable Seafood Policy commits us to eliminating all at-risk species from our menus, which we did in December 2011, and to sourcing 100 per cent sustainable seafood by 2015.

When we first thought about purchasing sustainable seafood, we came to a huge realization as a company. We knew we could purchase sustainable products through our distributors and simply check the box and say, “Hey, we’re purchasing sustainable seafood; we’re doing our part!” But we realized that with the hundreds of millions of dollars in seafood volume that Sodexo moves globally, we can use that leverage to have an impact. So we decided to not just ‘check the box’, but to use that leverage to make a real sustainable change. And it’s quite simple how that leverage works.

When we made the policy and the commitment, a lot of the supply chain realized that in order to keep the Sodexo volumes in their business, they knew they had to change their fishing habits and/or their sourcing. By pushing those suppliers towards sustainable fishing and sourcing, we’re having a direct impact on the fisheries and oceans. We are using our leverage as a company to change the industry and help reverse the effects of overfishing on the world’s oceans as well as the oceans here in our own backyard. I have seen the power of that influence first hand, and it remains the single initiative that I am most proud of at Sodexo due to that global environmental impact.

Since 2010, Sodexo has issued a global sustainable seafood sourcing policy, developed a Sustainable Seafood Sourcing Guide, launched consumer-related campaigns and eliminated the purchase of all at-risk seafood species across the entire business.

Today, we continue our work in this area ensuring there are control measures in place regarding orange listed species and we continue to progress towards our commitment to source only sustainable fish and seafood in all the countries where we operate by 2015. We have also partnered with Ocean Wise here in Canada to enhance the policy and provide more sustainable options to our sites.

Guest blog post by Chris Roberts, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Sodexo Canada.

Sodexo Canada is one Ocean Wise partner that was profiled last November during Ocean Wise month, but the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program works to raise awareness of sustainable seafood all year round. Look for the Ocean Wise symbol anywhere you choose to enjoy seafood. For access at your fingertips to Ocean Wise partners and seafood choices in your area, download the Ocean Wise iPhone app today.

 

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