University pledges to sustainably sourced seafood

Queen’s Housing and Ancillary Services enter contract to reduce global overfishing 

The policy came into effect in February.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

With the goal to combat global overfishing, a leading issue in the climate crisis, Queen’s Housing and Ancillary Services entered into a contract with Aramark Canada last summer for food services on campus.

“By committing to sustainable seafood, Queen’s will contribute to the protection of the world’s oceans and the preservation of underwater ecosystems,” Jessica Bertrand, wellness and sustainability manager, said in a press release. 

“As a university that provides meals to thousands of people on a daily basis during a typical year, our choices can have a real environmental impact, so it is important for us to promote sustainable food service wherever possible.” 

Part of that agreement included sustainability expectations, Bertrand said, including the sourcing of 100 per cent sustainable seafood at all campus food outlets operated by the University.

The press release also said these outlets include the three campus dining halls, the Lazy Scholar, and Location 21. 

The transition back to on-campus learning will result in the remaining Queen’s-branded retail locations, including the Donald Gordon Hotel and Conference Centre and Queen’s catering, also serving sustainable seafood.

Aramark will select seafood products certified by a recognized third-party sustainable seafood certifier for the University. The release said providing companies include Ocean Wise and the Marine Stewardship Council because they’ve been “identified by Canada’s SeaChoice Seafood Guide or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide.”

Sustainable seafood options on campus include tuna sandwiches available daily in retail locations, as well as salmon, haddock, and basa on a rotating basis in the dining halls.

The policy came into effect in February 2021. 

“Queen’s is committed to ensuring the University operates in a sustainable manner, and food service can have a major impact on sustainability,” Bertrand told The Journal.

Hospitality Services strives to help protect our environment through a progressive and creative sustainability program that also supports Queen’s Climate Action Plan and its Sustainable Development Goals.”

According to Bertrand, ensuring the sourcing of sustainable seafood is part of a larger Hospitality Services Sustainability Framework

Regarding long-term plans of sustainability, Bertrand said Housing and Ancillary Services works to raise awareness of how students can be more sustainable on campus through social media campaigns such as “Sustainable Sundays,” and provides resources in person and online

Bertrand praised the work of the Sustainability Office for on-campus campaigns, including the recent Sustainable Living Series

“We all have a part to play when it comes to sustainability – at home and on campus. [With] a new group of students living on campus each year, we are always looking to update and expand the reach of our education and programming.” 

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