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Global Hotel Chain Leads the Way On Sustainable Seafood Consumption



In 2019, Gloria Fluxa, the vice chairwoman and chief sustainability officer at Iberostar Group, asked visitors to her Dominican Republic hotels not to eat 34 kinds of seafood.

The request was merely the beginning of a sweeping new effort for the global hospitality company, which has embarked on a massive campaign to educate both staff and guests about the critical importance of making more sustainable food choices.

Iberostar’s efforts come in response to startling and deeply concerning changes taking place around the planet that are borne out by research.

For instance, according to the United Nations, one-third of the world’s oceans are now overfished.

What’s more, hotel chains are among the largest buyers of seafood on the planet, says Eachmile Technologies, a company focused on transforming the global seafood and agriculture supply chains. In fact, some major hotels and integrated resorts consume more than one ton of seafood and feed as many as ten thousand staff meals every single day.

In other words, the type of seafood that hotel companies purchase can have a profound impact on the state of world fisheries. And when hotels purchase that seafood from poorly managed fisheries, fish and shellfish can decline and the habitat they live in can be damaged, says Eachmile.

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None of these facts are lost on Iberostar, a company that hosts eight million guests each year at its 120 hotels and restaurants in 19 countries

With such realities in mind, Iberostar has already converted 15 percent of its total seafood procurement to suppliers that are certified by partner organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). The company’s goal is to push that conversion rate to 25 percent.

Throughout its locations around the world, Iberostar currently serves about 19,000 pounds or 86,000 servings of MSC-ASC-certified seafood a month. The company is also working with the World Wildlife Fund-US and FishWise to improve the sourcing of 100 percent of its seafood and to train many of its 32,000 staff members about responsible seafood consumption.

Iberostar is also embracing local seasonal regulations—including the recent banning of 34 species of seafood from its menus in the Dominican Republic.

“As a family business that has become a part of the communities we’ve served for decades, we believe the hotels play a critical role in ensuring the sustainability of the environmental resources of this country for generations to come,” said Fluxa, fourth-generation leader of the 63-year-old family-owned tourism business.

By operating MSC-ASC certified restaurants, Iberostar assures guests they’re supporting fishermen and businesses who share their environmental consciousness, a point that has never been more relevant, as sustainability is an increasingly important factor in the choices made by countless travelers.

Iberostar’s own study found that when choosing a hotel, 68 percent of guests considered the property’s sustainability policy in their decision.

“We see this as one step in a larger commitment,” said Dr. Megan Morikawa, director of sustainability for Iberostar. “Getting MSC and ASC Certifications where we operate to allow for the traceability of key seafood products is one step in a larger commitment, where dozens of suppliers, thousands of staff, and millions of clients are guided by best seafood practices and join in this movement with us.”

Ultimately, the question Iberostar is seeking to answer is whether the food consumption of eight million tourists can make a difference in the worldwide seafood industry.

Iberostar believes the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

This post was published by our news partner: | Article Source

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Las Vegas Sands Donating Two Million Pieces of Personal Protective Equipment



WHY IT RATES: With the Palazzo and Venetian shuttered in Las Vegas, parent company Las Vegas Sands continues to pay some 10,000 furloughed Team Members and provide full health-care benefits, and has just announced a fresh donation of two millions pieces of personal protective equipment to support the work of those battling coronavirus on the ground in New York and Nevada. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer

Las Vegas Sands today announced it will donate two million medical masks and 20,000 protective suits to help health-care professionals, first responders and nonprofit organizations in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Medical mask donations will be distributed in the company’s corporate headquarters of Nevada as well as New York, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Each state will receive one million masks. The 20,000 protective suits will be donated to hospitals and first responders in Nevada.

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“Hopefully our donations will help protect people on the front lines so they can continue their invaluable work, and we can start to see the numbers of people affected begin to diminish,” Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson said. “Our properties in Las Vegas may be empty right now, but our hearts are full of hope for the future. The determination and courage I have seen in our Team Members, which I know is the same throughout this country, gives me every confidence we will get through this unprecedented crisis.”

This contribution marks the second round of personal protective equipment donations Sands has made. The company previously provided 100,000 masks to the Las Vegas health-care community and 5,000 masks to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. It also donated 1,900 coronavirus test kits to the state of Nevada.

Mr. Adelson said the one million masks being sent to New York will help health-care professionals and first responders in the state currently with the most cases of coronavirus.

“People are looking to New York as a bellwether for what comes next, both in terms of the pandemic’s impact and for how quickly the region, particularly New York City, is able to recover from the aftermath of the virus,” he said. “It’s important we steer resources to the places where the need is the greatest and most urgent.”

In addition to the protective gear donations, Sands is fulfilling its pledge to give $250,000 to several important local organizations during this time of need. The company is making contributions to ‘Three Square’, Southern Nevada’s largest hunger-relief organization; ‘Communities In Schools’, which is helping provide meals to students who would otherwise be participating in their school’s free and subsidized meal programs; and ‘Share Village Las Vegas’, a veterans assistance organization that also runs a community food pantry.

Sands also has donated 60 pallets of food and more than 55,000 bottles of water to local organizations. In addition, the company is currently paying each of its nearly 10,000 Las Vegas Team Members, along with providing full health-care benefits, while its properties remain closed.

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SOURCE: Las Vegas Sands Corp. press release.

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