Cornell becomes first Ivy League university to earn MSC certification
Jul 13, 2012
Cornell University chalks up another first today by becoming the first Ivy League
university to obtain the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Chain of Custody certification, enabling their on-campus food service operation to serve MSC certified sustainable seafood to its students, faculty, staff, and guests.
Leaders in sustainability
The MSC certification is an important element of Cornell’s leadership in the area of sustainability and responsible sourcing for Cornell Dining’s 32 food service locations that serve more than 27,000 customers per day. The university’s commitment to sustainability includes “trayless” dining in select locations, sourcing fair trade coffee served in reusable mugs, biodegradable packaging in grab-and-go items, and even transforming over 515 tons of food scraps and organic waste into compost. Cornell Dining coordinates with the School of Agriculture to harvest more than 50,000 lbs. of potatoes and 1,200 bushels of corn every year from campus farms. Fresh yogurt and ice cream is produced during the school year at the Cornell Dairy.
The MSC certification process included an audit of seafood inventory handling conducted by a third party certifier as well as training of front line staff. MSC’s Chain of Custody verifies that in every step of the supply chain – from the fishers, to the processer, to the distributor, and the customer – MSC certified seafood is not mixed with or substituted for non-certified seafood.
What Cornell Dining says
“We see our MSC Chain of Custody certification as the logical next step in our commitment to running a truly sustainable food service operation at Cornell,” said Steven W. Miller, CEC, CCA, Senior Executive Chef for Cornell Dining, “and sourcing seafood that’s certified sustainable is important to our students, staff, and faculty.”
What the MSC says
“We congratulate Cornell Dining in obtaining its Chain of Custody certification,” said Kerry Coughlin, MSC Regional Director, Americas. “This is an institution that is famous for encouraging leadership-level thinking and this is no exception. Students across the country are highly interested in the sustainability of their college and university campuses in every aspect and we anticipate many more dining facilities will join Cornell and other higher education institutions participating in the MSC program as a way to ensure and demonstrate that their environmental responsibility extends to the seafood they serve.”
The MSC maintains the most widely respected and accepted global standard for the certification of wild capture seafood. The program is based on a rigorous science-based standard and independent, third-party assessment by internationally accredited certification bodies. The MSC standard is defined by three core
principles: the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem, and the management system overseeing the fishery. The distinctive MSC blue ecolabel is a trust mark to buyers and consumers worldwide confirming that the seafood comes from a sustainable fishery that has been awarded MSC