Binghamton University, in conjunction with its dining services partner, Sodexo, the leading provider of Quality of Life Services, today announced achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody certification, becoming the first State University of New York (SUNY) campus to attain MSC certification. The comprehensive certification program assures students that their seafood purchases can be traced back through the supply chain to a fishery that has been certified as sustainable against the rigorous, science-based MSC global standard.
The focus on certified sustainable seafood is in line with the strategic plan of Binghamton University Dining Services to promote global citizenship and ethical sustainability, with the recent MSC certification being yet another milestone.
The MSC certification process was led by Peter Napolitano, director of Auxiliary Services for Binghamton University. It entailed an inspection conducted by a third-party auditor as well as training of front-line staff. The MSC Chain of Custody certification ensures that in every step of the chain – from the fishers, to the processer, to the distributor and the end user – MSC-certified seafood is not mixed with or substituted for non-certified seafood. A distinctive blue MSC ecolabel is subsequently displayed, confirming that the seafood comes from a sustainable fishery that has been awarded MSC certification.
“Maintaining and developing sustainable practices within our Division of Student Affairs is of crucial importance to our students, faculty and staff,” said Napolitano. “Our dining program is committed to these practices and being certified by the MSC reflects the willingness of our dining services partner, Sodexo, to take a leadership role in supporting Binghamton University’s environmental conservation, sustainability and values.”
While Binghamton University is the first Sodexo campus dining program in New York to achieve MSC certification and the first SUNY location to attain certification, Sodexo previously rolled out the MSC certification program at client locations in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Those sites include National Geographic, National Academy of Sciences, National Aquarium, The Brookings Institution, International Monetary Fund, Gannett, Marriott International, Sodexo Headquarters (Rio Café), Marymount University, The University of Mary Washington and George Mason University. The estimated reach of these certified locations is more than one million consumers, helping Sodexo to raise awareness about its North American commitment to seafood sustainability.
“The commitment of Sodexo and Binghamton University to seafood sustainability is significant in helping to transform the global seafood market to a more sustainable basis,” said Maggie Beaton, MSC Americas region commercial manager. “By obtaining MSC Chain of Custody certification, Sodexo and Binghamton University are assuring consumers the MSC labeled seafood they are purchasing is the species identified and can be traced from their plate to a fishery that has met the global MSC standard for sustainability.”
Sodexo serves more than 15 million customers daily throughout North America. Its potential for contributing to a more sustainable fishing industry is significant. It specifically calls for the sourcing of sustainable fish and seafood as part of its Better Tomorrow Plan and through its partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices. Sodexo continues to work with its suppliers and distribution partners to phase out seafood that is not certified as sustainable.
For more information about Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo, contact Casey Slocum, Sodexo unit marketing coordinator, at 607 777 3014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Binghamton University is dedicated to student health and wellness as evidenced through its newly renovated Rec Center at the East Gym and Simple Servings program in the dining centers. In 2012, Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo placed second in the Most Innovative Nutrition Program category in the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) annual Nutrition Awards Program.