Skret­ting gives it­self ‘more to do’ on sus­tain­abil­ity

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Skret­ting has put sus­tain­abil­ity at the heart of its fu­ture plans

Skret­ting, the feed gi­ant owned by nu­treco, is in the process of set­ting new tar­gets aimed at push­ing the com­pany’s and the in­dus­try’s bound­aries on sus­tain­abil­ity.

in an in­ter­view with in­traFish, Skret­ting SeO therese Log Bergjord was can­did about the com­pany’s fail­ings in the area:

‘We have not done enough, we laid out some good ground work and are set­ting up crisp tar­gets go­ing for­ward, which are am­bi­tious and rel­e­vant for the whole in­dus­try,

‘We are here for the long-run and we are tak­ing the foot­print that we leave be­hind very se­ri­ously. it has to be sus­tain­able.’

Launch­ing its lat­est sus­tain­abil­ity re­port, Skret­ting mea­sured it­self against a range of met­rics, in­clud­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, emis­sions, water us­age and hu­man cap­i­tal.

While it showed progress in some ar­eas, in oth­ers the nee­dle moved in the wrong di­rec­tion. For ex­am­ple, Skret­ting con­sumed 2 per­cent more en­ergy per met­ric ton of feed pro­duced in 2019 com­pared to the year prior, and CO2 emis­sions in­creased four per­cent year-on-year to 81 kilo­grams of CO2 per met­ric ton of feed.

While the fig­ures can lack con­text -- the shut­down of its Uk op­er­a­tions im­pacted over­all num­bers, for ex­am­ple -- Skret­ting is es­tab­lish­ing more ag­gres­sive sci­ence-based tar­gets to reach the goals of the Paris agree­ment of lim­it­ing global warm­ing to be­low 2 de­grees Cel­sius.

the com­pany is as­sess­ing ex­actly how much it needs to cut its CO2 emis­sions from both its fac­to­ries and raw ma­te­rial sourc­ing, Skret­ting Sus­tain­abil­ity Man­ager trygve Berg Lea told in­traFish.

the ini­tial tar­get will be set for 2030, but the ex­act re­duc­tion in per­cent­age terms will be de­fined in the next six months, which will lead

to a fo­cus on more tan­gi­ble re­duc­tion, Berg Lea said.

CO2 re­duc­tion can re­quire out-of-the-box think­ing, in­clud­ing tak­ing ac­tions that may ben­e­fit other com­pa­nies as well.

Last year, Skret­ting part­nered with ri­val feed gi­ant Cargill to trans­port the two com­pa­nies’ nor­we­gian feed prod­ucts on the same ves­sels, not only to de­crease ship­ping traf­fic and costs, but to cut green­house gas emis­sions as­so­ci­ated with the trans­porta­tion of fish feed by one-fifth.

Flex­i­bil­ity in feed pro­duc­tion and in­gre­di­ents has al­ways been one of the most im­por­tant top­ics for Skret­ting, and the com­pany has been eval­u­at­ing changes in its raw ma­te­rial sup­ply chain, Berg Lea said.

In 2019, 27 per­cent of fish­meal and fish oil in Skret­ting orig­i­nated from trimmings and by-prod­ucts, while the re­main­der was from whole fish. Skret­ting aims to trace all fish oil and fish­meal pur­chased back to Mar­inTrust cer­ti­fied fish­eries by 2025.

‘Many ques­tion the dan­gers in be­ing re­liant on sources far away, which means we might need ad­di­tional fo­cus on re­gional and na­tional food se­cu­rity,’ Berg Lea said.

In ad­di­tion to fish­meal and oil be­ing sourced from far-flung lo­ca­tions such as Peru, the com­pany is also re­liant on vi­ta­mins and a range of other feed ad­di­tives mostly pro­duced in China.

‘the coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion showed how vul­ner­a­ble we are if we got a com­plete shut­down in China ... it’s com­plete dis­rup­tion,’Berg Lea said.

How­ever, how this ac­tu­ally plays out is de­pen­dent not only on Skret­ting, but on politi­cians and reg­u­la­tors as well, Berg Lea noted.

Skret­ting does ad­mit some holes in sus­tain­able sourc­ing, es­pe­cially with wild fish stocks and soy, which are right at the heart of the feed sus­tain­abil­ity chal­lenge.

‘As of today we do not have a reg­u­lar and manda­tory sys­tem to trace soy prod­ucts back to the coun­try or re­gion of soy­bean cul­ti­va­tion,”’the com­pany said in the re­port.

Last year, Skret­ting met with other ma­jor feed pro­duc­ers -- Cargill Aqua nu­tri­tion, BioMar and Mowi -- in Brazil to dis­cuss im­prove­ments in trace­abil­ity and trans­parency in their sup­ply chains and soy sourc­ing, right af­ter the ma­jor Ama­zon de­ba­cle, in which for­est fires were linked to Brazil­ian soy pro­duc­tion.

The pro­duc­ers teamed up with cer­ti­fi­ca­tion body Proterra and soy pro­tein con­cen­trate (SPC) pro­duc­ers Cara­maru, im­copa and CJ Selecta to cre­ate the Aqua­cul­ture Di­a­logue on Sus­tain­able Soy Sourc­ing from Brazil.

Since the Ama­zon fires, South Korea-based CJ Selecta stepped up its sus­tain­abil­ity ef­forts by fo­cus­ing on seven tar­gets, which in­clude es­tab­lish­ing a sus­tain­abil­ity depart­ment, end­ing soy sourc­ing from the Ama­zon by 2022, have all farm ar­eas au­dited by 2022, to name a few.

‘We put a lot of work to­gether with our Brazil­ian soy pro­duc­ers and CJ Selecta is one that has re­ally stepped up its sus­tain­abil­ity per­for­mance,’ Berg Lea said.

‘i think it is re­ally nice to see that when we en­gage con­struc­tively chal­leng­ing them, they are re­ally able to step up their per­for­mance and that’s re­ally re­ward­ing for me as a sus­tain­abil­ity man­ager.”

Skret­ting’s sus­tain­abil­ity goals in­clude its in­ter­nal staff make up as well. Cur­rently, more than 25 per­cent of lead­ing po­si­tions at Skret­ting are filled by women.Though that level is promis­ing in a male-dom­i­nated sec­tor, the com­pany is push­ing for that per­cent­age to grow to 30 per­cent by 2025.

‘We are very aware and our own­ers are very sup­port­ive of the fact that we need young women and young tal­ent to step up and take the stage,’ Log Bergjord said.

this also in­cludes poach­ing tal­ent from dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries, such as the oil in­dus­try, an in­dus­try fac­ing an up­hill bat­tle in today’s econ­omy, Log Bergjord said.

Therese Log Bergjord

nor-Fish­ing has gone vir­tual

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