Newswise — SEATTLE – (July 28, 2014) – Virginia Mason announced today it is the first hospital in the United States to earn Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its commitment to serving seafood grown and harvested by certified, environmentally sustainable methods.

“MSC is pleased to be part of Virginia Mason’s commitment to implementing green business practices to support a healthy environment and community,” said Geoff Bolan, MSC region commercial director, Americas. “We hope today’s announcement will serve as an inspiration for other medical centers nationwide to follow Virginia Mason’s bold environmental initiatives in the health care industry.”

MSC-certified seafood is regularly served in the hospital’s cafeteria and it is an in-room menu option for hospitalized patients every day.

“Our Food and Nutrition team members are passionate about protecting ocean resources and reassuring our customers – who are patients, families and staff – that the seafood they are eating is of the highest quality and harvested sustainably,” said Brenna Davis, director of Sustainability at Virginia Mason.

Virginia Mason also serves locally grown organic produce, local grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken, cage-free eggs and rBGH-free dairy products in its cafeteria, food kiosks and patients’ rooms.

The Marine Stewardship Council, an international nonprofit organization working to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis, maintains a widely accepted certification and eco-labeling program for wild-capture fish. Its fisheries standard is based on three principles: health of the stock; impact on the marine ecosystem; and management of the fishery. The MSC Chain of Custody certification awarded Virginia Mason ensures full traceability through the supply chain. Virginia Mason is designated as one of the 50 Greenest Hospitals in America by Becker’s Hospital Review. Its award-winning EnviroMason initiative empowers team members to reduce their environmental impacts in every aspect of their daily work. Virginia Mason’s robust green programs include recycling, composting, conserving energy, promoting alternative forms of transportation, and donating surplus food from the cafeteria to local food programs that serve individuals in need.