Subway became the 40th member of an international nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting sustainable tuna fisheries and supply chains.
Joining The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), Subway will advance the organization’s mission of supporting and developing tuna fisheries and supply chains to ensure that the demand for one-by-one caught tuna can be met without compromising sustainability.
Tuna is the only seafood sandwich that is on the more than 44,600 Subway menus worldwide, though the restaurant does have some local seafood offerings available, which it says are also sustainably sourced.
“The benefits of sourcing from non-threatened species and waters is that we can ensure that the fish stocks as well as bait fish stocks will remain plentiful for years and hopefully generations to come,” says Elizabeth Stewart, Subway’s director of corporate social responsibility. “Sustainable sourcing of seafood, and all our resources, is critical to make sure we have them in the future. The food service industry, and people in general, need to be aware of what the world’s limitations are and to use [and] share our resources responsibly.”
Subway is the only quick-service restaurant on IPNLF’s member list, and other international members include the U.K. retailer Sainsbury’s and several seafood canning companies and suppliers.
By joining the organization, Subway will continue to source from and support pole-and-line tuna fisheries, and the chain will also work with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to develop a commercially feasible plan to source its tuna solely from MSC or equivalently certified fisheries in the longer term.
“There are no long term impacts to our business. We have a benefit of making sure there is a lasting effect on the tuna stocks, bait fish stock, people and the environments we source from,” Stewart says. “It is about doing the right thing and not negatively impact our oceans and the business of our operators.”
Stewart says sustainability extends to other Subway practices, such as its use of sustainable palm oil and paper products made with recycled fiber or certified sustainable pulp.
By Alex Dixon