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In fact, rather than running on petrol, diesel or natural gas, they run on salmon waste! The salmon waste is the remains of the fish that people don’t eat or use. And where does it come from?
Lerøy’s own factory on Hitra, naturally. From there, it is transported to Hordafôr, where it is mixed with other waste. The resulting mixture, which is called silage, is sent on to Biokraft, who turn it into biogas, before selling it on to the energy company Gasum. Finally, it ends up as biogas in the buses.
“That’s a classic win-win scenario. Our waste is helping to make Norway greener”, says Anne Hilde Midttveit, the head of sustainability at Lerøy.
Lerøy aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. Using fish waste like this is good for both the environment and the climate.
The biogas buses are much more environmentally friendly than ones that run on petrol or natural gas. This is because biogas is completely climate neutral, which means it doesn’t contribute to the greenhouse effect like fossil fuels do. According to the transport company AtB, which operates the buses, the feedback has been very positive.
“The general feedback is that people are pleased we are focusing on the climate and environment in our procurement”, says Lovise Kjørsvik, a communications executive at AtB.
In parallel with population growth, demand for transport services has also risen. It is therefore probably not surprising that road traffic is responsible for a high proportion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Biogas makes it possible for heavy vehicles to have a long range, which increases the areas of application for green transport solutions.
“As well as the environmental benefits, biogas is both safe and reliably available”, says Kjørsvik.
It is Trøndelag County Council which specified that its buses, in so far as possible, shall be climate neutral. The county council required the buses to be fossil fuel-free, but the bus operators were entirely free to choose which alternative fuel they wanted to use.
126 of the buses, or 60%, ended up running on biogas. The biogas made partly from Lerøy’s salmon waste is actually also used for other purposes entirely, such as producing heat and power.
Using fish waste that might otherwise have been discarded in this way is helping Lerøy to achieve its vision of being the world’s most sustainable seafood producer. We will soon be publishing more stories about how Lerøy makes use of the whole fish for a variety of purposes.
The parts of a fish that are not considered edible in one country are often a delicacy somewhere else. As a world-leading seafood company, Lerøy wants to minimise food waste, which includes finding markets where it is possible to exploit the full potential of its fish. By doing so, it can help the seafood industry to become more sustainable.