Carbon footprint

Climate change is a major threat to the health of the planet and humanity, but there are many innovations and solutions to address it. To mitigate its impact, all sectors, including salmon farming, need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to ensure a safe future.

Our climate commitment

As members of the GSI, we are committed to reducing our climate footprint across our operations and across our supply chain so we can deliver a nutritious, sustainable and climate-resilient food.

Role of blue foods

Global food systems contribute about one third to total carbon emissions. Blue foods, including farmed salmon, have low GHG emissions relative to other animal proteins and present an opportunity to contribute to more sustainable, climate-resilient diets. Yet, progress is still needed to further reduce emissions within the farmed salmon industry.

“It is always possible to set targets, what is difficult is actually reaching them. What we have learnt within GSI is that by pooling minds and resources we are better positioned to make ambitious targets, achievable. We can all acknowledge the critical need to further reduce GHG emissions, but to do so we not only need to be acting but we also need to be aligned in how we are measuring impact and progress. Within this project we can provide coordination in reporting across the supply chain so we can understand baselines and where to focus efforts, but also help provide the framework and tools to the companies to drive change. Creating a common language is crucial in driving long-term change at scale.”

Sophie Ryan, CEO, GSI

Our work

We are working in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to establish a standardized GHG accounting framework for the salmon farming sector – with the eventual goal of applying it to the broader aquaculture sector. Through standardized accounting and aligned data collection we will identify opportunities for mitigation and then use the GSI pre-competitive model to share better-practices and lessons learned to accelerate the reductions.

Climate Project Diagram

Aligned measurement and accounting: The first step in mitigating climate impacts is measuring them and doing so in a consistent form. There are currently several different methodologies to calculate the carbon footprint of a product, which means when assessing a company’s performance, you can’t always compare them as “apples to apples.” This is why we are using the Product Environmental 3 Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) feed and draft marine guidelines as our accounting framework.

Working closely with IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative and Blonk Sustainability, we are piloting data collection through a tool designed to support data gathering according to this framework.

Ambitious mitigation: Our work is GSI is designed to focus on continuous improvements, focusing on ambitious goals and delivering practical ways to reach them. While mitigation options are still nascent for aquaculture systems, we are working with our supply chain partners to help identify the hot spots for mitigation and coordinate expertise to deliver mitigation across all three scopes of GHG emissions.

Shared learning: Both measurement and mitigation will require iterative learning. Creating a platform for companies to share their experiences will enable scaling of effective strategies, and avoid duplication of time and resources on things that don’t work. We are well positioned to do this in GSI as we connect both farming and feed companies and already have an established working group who meet regularly to share learnings. We hope in time we can also transfer knowledge gained through this project with developing aquaculture species too.

Credible reporting: Our intention is to soon support GSI members’ reporting via this standardized framework so we can document progress towards reduced impact and play a part in supporting a more resilient food system and planet.

Our work is always evolving so do check back for regular updates on how we are progressing.

“We need to be very clever and strategic in thinking about where there are the levers that we can pull first and most effectively.”

Emily Moberg, Research Lead Specialist, WWF

Change at speed and scale

The 2020s are a critical decade of action for climate and sustainability. We do not have time to make the same mistakes twice. Effectively communicating what is working and what is not will be critical to ensure climate mitigation scales rapidly. This is why we strongly believe in collaborative efforts, such as this, will be a crucial element in helping drive measurable progress.

To see the food system changes and to meet the climate goals the planet needs, we need change at speed and scale. Working individually will see progress, but working together will give us the tools to accelerate efforts.

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