Sustainable Seafood Project Places the Environment Front and Center

Panasonic corporate cafeterias feature fish farmed with sustainability in mind

Marine resources are under threat of depletion due to the world’s rising population. Panasonic’s corporate cafeterias are being used as a stage to enlighten people in a variety of ways, including the incorporation of “sustainable seafood”—seafood produced using sustainable practices—into their menus, which is also intended to contribute to the achievement of Goal 14 (Life Below Water) of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Image: Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 2: Zero Hunger, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 14: Life below Water, Goal 15: Life on Land, Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions, Goal 17: Partnerships for The Goals, these development goals will continue to be in agreement worldwide as we proceed toward 2030.

Over-fishing and aquaculture contribute to the continuous increase in the consumption of aquatic resources. If countermeasures are not undertaken, future generations may be unable to enjoy fish and shellfish. In order to preserve these gifts of the oceans and rivers for those who come after us, Panasonic has been introducing, since March 2018, sustainable seafood items into the menus at its corporate cafeterias. This initiative is the first of its kind for a company headquartered in Japan. 

Sustainable seafood refers to marine products for which the producers in the fishery and aquaculture industries have used sustainable methods of production, giving consideration to resource management, the environment, and society. As of January 2020, sustainable seafood has been incorporated into menus at 30 corporate cafeterias, and Panasonic aims to complete its introduction at all of the 100 or so cafeterias that serve its workforce of over 100,000 people in Japan before the end of fiscal 2020. 

Photo: The entrance to Panasonic’s corporate cafeteria. Sustainable seafood posters and banners are displayed. Many people are lined up.
Photo: A menu selection with sustainable seafood. Deep-fried oysters from Miyagi Prefecture. White rice and miso soup served on a tray.
Photo: Panasonic employees eating from the menu of the sustainable seafood corporate cafeteria.

Certifying sustainable seafood for consumption

One initiative for protecting marine resources that is being promoted worldwide is the process of selecting sustainable seafood. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) have been established as systems for certification. If consumers begin to choose marine products bearing the label of certification under one of these systems, the number of fishing industry operators looking to acquire certification will increase. This will lead to the protection of the rich bounty of the seas.

Image: The MSC certification mark. MSC certification is certified by Marine Stewardship Council for sustainably and properly managed fisheries. The mark is displayed as follows. “CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD, MSC, www.msc.org”
Image: ASC certification mark. ASC certification is regulated by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council for responsible fish farming to minimize the environmental load on the environment and society. The mark is displayed as follows. “Farmed Responsibly, asc certified, ASC-AQUA.ORG”

Panasonic faced daunting obstacles in its introduction of sustainable seafood. To be able to state that its corporate cafeteria menu offerings use sustainable seafood, all companies involved—not just marine product providers, but importers, wholesalers, processors, distributors, and caterers—must be compliant, across the breadth of the supply chain. The Chain of Custody (CoC) guarantees that traceability is secured, requiring that these companies satisfy a wide range of conditions in order to acquire certification.

Flow for provision of certified marine products

Image: “Chain of Custody (CoC) certification is required for all marine product processes.” This diagram shows the flow for provision of certified marine products. MSC certification or ASC certification is required for marine product providers. CoC certification is also required for importers, wholesalers, processors, distributors and caterers. After obtaining all of this certification, corporate cafeterias can serve sustainable seafood.

To maximize the impact of this initiative, Panasonic is accelerating its efforts outside of the company. The company is actively providing support to other companies, encouraging them to introduce sustainable seafood into their corporate cafeterias to dramatically expand recognition of this product. It is also providing support for the acquisition of CoC certification to members of the catering industry.

Panasonic hopes, through awareness raising activities, to inspire a major change in consumer behavior. A basic idea is for its employees to sample and appreciate sustainable seafood, and tell others about it. And, through the continued advancement of this and like initiatives, the company intends to contribute to the preservation of marine resources and to the realization of a sustainable society.

Photo: Service corner at the Panasonic corporate cafeteria. Sustainable seafood information posters are on display. The posters describe the “Special Sustainable Seafood Menu of the Day!”
Photo: Overall view of the Panasonic corporate cafeteria. A large number of people are eating.
Image: A Better Life, A Better World

Contact

Panasonic Corporation
Groupwide Brand Communications Division
Contact [Global Site]