“By agreeing to work pre-competitively to mitigate environmental impacts, the GSI will help push the entire industry toward sustainability at a much quicker rate than would otherwise be possible” Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Market Transformation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
How did it begin?
In 2012, a small group of CEOs from salmon farming companies from Norway, Chile and Scotland attended a talk about improving environmental reputation. Inspired by stories from other sectors, these CEOs decided to continue the discussions and look at ways they could break down barriers to environmental improvement in the salmon aquaculture sector.
Those leaders quickly realized that when one company performs poorly, it harms the reputation of all, and instead of using environmental performance as a means of competition, they would secure greater advantages and economic success by working together to lift the performance of the sector as a whole.
The GSI was launched in August 2013. Now with 15 members, with operations covering 8 countries – Australia, Canada, Chile, Faroe Islands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom the group represents approximately 50% of the global farmed salmon sector.
What it means to be a member of the GSI
The GSI is founded on three clear principles:
- IMPROVED SUSTAINABILITY
The global population is set to reach over 9 billion by 2050, and a key question in today’s society is how are we going to produce enough food to feed everyone? With a growing global population and an increasing demand for protein, it’s clear that we need to produce more; more importantly, this needs to be done with minimal environmental impact if it is to be sustainable for the future.
Acknowledging that progress could be seen much quicker by working together to share information and best-practices when it comes to the environment, the GSI established 4 work-streams where we believed we could make significant improvements in industry performance:
- Achieving the highest level of environmental and social standards:
- The GSI members have committed to achieving the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification across 100% of farms by 2020
- Improving biosecurity (disease management)
- Securing sustainable sources of feed ingredients
- Improving industry transparency:
- In 2015, the GSI launched the first industry-wide annual Sustainability Report, transparently sharing key sustainability data for all companies and all regions
Our cooperation partners:
- Benchmark Holdings
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN)
- World Wildlife Fund
To see real progress, we recognize that we need to see change on a greater scale: this doesn’t happen company by company, but by working together. As the GSI continues to evolve, we have welcomed the support of a number of stakeholders as well as members of our supply chain.
Since the GSI was established, we have accomplished a great deal across our three focus areas, and we are optimistic about our continued progress. However, we remain realistic that there is still a lot to be done, and we must continue to concentrate on where we can drive progress.