Back
Top sustainability score
When the world’s first sustainability index for protein producers (meat, seafood and dairy produce) was introduced in 2018, Lerøy and other Norwegian fish farming companies received a top score. Seafood is a winning product for the environment.

“We are delighted to be at the top of this index. It is proof that seafood and fish farming far outdo other forms of food production,” says Anne Hilde Midttveit, sustainability supervisor for Lerøy Seafood Group.   

The international Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index was developed by Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR). The index has been developed for a global network of investors who combined represent investment capital of approximately NOK 120 trillion. 

The index is a comprehensive assessment of the world’s 60 largest listed protein producers based on eight sustainability indicators, with each divided into different risk factors. The nine indicators are: 

  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Deforestation and biodiversity loss
  • Water scarcity and use
  • Waste and pollution
  • Antibiotics
  • Animal welfare
  • Working conditions
  • Food safety

The companies are listed on the index according to their total score for sustainable protein production. The purpose of the index is to provide investors worldwide with information on the companies and how they factor in sustainability in different areas, in turn demonstrating the financial risk involved in investing in the different companies.  

All 60 companies assessed are allocated a score as an investment object on a scale from low risk, through medium risk to high risk. Only five companies are classified as “low risk”. These five companies are at the top of the index as the most sustainable. Four of these are fish farming companies and three are Norwegian. At the very top are Lerøy and Mowi. 

“Our top score on the Coller FAIRR index is obviously a major acknowledgement of Lerøy, but primarily of Norwegian and Nordic fish farming,” claims Anne Hilde Midttveit. 

If you look at the climate footprint left behind by one kilogram of salmon flesh, compared with other types of meat, salmon and other fish species clearly come out on top. Then you have factors such as land use, energy consumption, the so-called feed factor (how much feed is required to produce one kilogram of meat), how much of the animal we can eat etc. Fish is the winning protein in all these areas. 

In other words, fish farming companies have every opportunity to produce food with low greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this, the industry continues to strive towards further minimising its climate footprint. Lerøy has made good progress on the work to introduce electric feed barges. More than 60 percent of the Group's barges already operate on shore power. It will not be long now before every barge operated by Lerøy will run on shore power or a hybrid system. 

“This move alone will reduce Lerøy’s emissions by 40,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. That's the same as the emissions from 20,000 cars running on fossil fuels, or two thirds of traffic in Tromsø,” confirms Anne Hilde Midttveit. 

Another example is Lerøy Midt’s new facility in Hitra, which opened in 2018. With time, the aim is for 70 percent of fish produced at the facility to be packaged fillets. Fillets take up less space than whole fish, allowing for a reduction in the number of trucks required for transport. The total reduction in the number of trucks per year transporting produce from Hitra is 1,200. Based on international standard figures for emissions from road transport, this represents a reduction of 14,500 tonnes of CO2e, or the emissions from 7,250 cars. 

One project often highlighted is Ocean Forest, a company founded by Lerøy in collaboration with Bellona. Ocean Forest cultivates seaweed and mussels for a number of purposes: Firstly, to create new feed ingredients, which you can read about in a separate article. Secondly, to create a market for seaweed as food for humans; and thirdly, because the seaweed sweet tangle absorbs emissions from fish farms. 

Fish farm emissions principally comprise nutrient salts (nitrogen and phosphor) and CO2. These are resources that are not utilised. The seaweed absorbs the CO2, phosphor and nitrogen. Sweet tangle has a high content of CO2, as much as 50%. At the same time, seaweed farming requires very little land use, no fresh water and no fertilisation. 

Lerøy works continuously throughout the value chain to improve sustainability in many different ways. 

“These include improvements to efficiency, reducing food waste, improving exploitation of residual raw materials, reducing plastic consumption, minimising our CO2 footprint, reducing our impact on local environments and many other areas. These are obviously all in line with our vision to be the world’s leading and most profitable global supplier of sustainable, high-quality seafood,” confirms Anne Hilde Midttveit. 

Creating new feedingredients

One project often highlighted is Ocean Forest, a company founded by Lerøy in collaboration with Bellona. Ocean Forest cultivates seaweed and mussels for a number of purposes: Firstly, to create new feed ingredients, which you can read about in a separate article. Secondly, to create a market for seaweed as food for humans; and thirdly, because the seaweed sweet tangle absorbs emissions from fish farms. 

Fish farm emissions principally comprise nutrient salts (nitrogen and phosphor) and CO2. These are resources that are not utilised. The seaweed absorbs the CO2, phosphor and nitrogen. Sweet tangle has a high content of CO2, as much as 50%. At the same time, seaweed farming requires very little land use, no fresh water and no fertilisation. 

Lerøy works continuously throughout the value chain to improve sustainability in many different ways. 

“These include improvements to efficiency, reducing food waste, improving exploitation of residual raw materials, reducing plastic consumption, minimising our CO2 footprint, reducing our impact on local environments and many other areas. These are obviously all in line with our vision to be the world’s leading and most profitable global supplier of sustainable, high-quality seafood,” confirms Anne Hilde Midttveit.

Lerøy works continuously throughout the value chain to improve sustainability in many different ways.