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When Lerøy’s head of sustainability Anne Hilde Midttveit is asked which aspect of Lerøy’s work on sustainability in 2022 she is most proud of, she doesn’t take long to respond:
“I am most proud of the fact that so many of our employees now understand that cutting greenhouse gas emissions is important. It is great to see that they are starting to believe in something they previously thought was impossible.”
Before looking in more detail at what Lerøy’s staff did in 2022 to increase sustainability, Anne Hilde Midttveit reminds us what the term means:
“At Lerøy, we focus on all three pillars of sustainability: the environment and climate; social factors; and economic considerations. It is easy to focus exclusively on the environment and climate when discussing sustainability, but we do a lot of work within all of those areas”, she says.
Personally, she has spent a lot of time on the project “Day-to-day sustainability” in 2022. It is all about getting every single Lerøy employee to realise the importance of their own role and contribution towards making the group a market leader in sustainability.
Lerøy’s focus on sustainability – and particularly on climate change – is also being noticed outside the group. According to PwC Norway’s climate index for 2022, Lerøy one of the ten best companies in Norway in terms of carbon accounting. These ten organisations can document that they are cutting their emissions in line with the requirements and expectations that follow from the Paris Agreement.
These are some of the highlights of Lerøy’s sustainability activities in 2022:
Lerøy’s main climate target is to reduce its emissions by 46 percent by 2030. These cuts shall occur throughout the value chain, covering both direct and indirect emissions.
It is a challenging target. In 2021, the group’s emissions were eight percent lower than in the reference year of 2019. The figures for 2022 have not yet been finalised, but it is still some way off the 46 percent target. Nevertheless, Lerøy’s head of sustainability believes that they will get there:
“We expect the biggest reductions to take place in the final five years, when we have introduced new technology that will greatly cut emissions”, says Anne Hilde Midttveit.
In parallel with developing new technology, Lerøy is working on several fronts to improve its carbon accounting. That particularly relates to indirect emissions, which represent over 88 percent of the group’s emissions. Feed production is an important part of that. For years, Lerøy has been working to make its fish feed more climate-friendly and sustainable, for example by introducing alternatives to marine raw ingredients and by using (marine) raw ingredients with a lower carbon footprint.
A pilot project to use mussel meal as a raw ingredient for feed has produced promising results. Mussels grown locally have low food miles, and they capture nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous, as well as binding CO2. Great for the climate in every way. However, there is one catch: mussel production requires large areas of sea, which the industry doesn’t have access to at the moment. That is why Lerøy imports the mussels it uses for research purposes.
Transporting Lerøy’s products is another major source of indirect emissions. The group has initiated projects to reduce air transport and to find alternative fuels for its trawlers and well-boats in order to reduce diesel consumption.
Other activities related to climate/environment in 2022:
“In 2022 we had a particular focus on health and safety”, says Anne Hilde Midttveit.
This also includes our supply chain, where the group has put particular emphasis on ethical guidelines and human rights issues, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
“In order for our operations to be sustainable, we must also make money. Having good systems and corporate governance procedures, which keep us on top of what is happening, helps to ensure that”, concludes Anne Hilde Midttveit, Lerøy’s head of sustainability.