Technology and innovation are sustainable
SalMar’s fundamental principle is to leave the smallest possible footprint on the areas in which we operate. Salmon farming is one of the most environmentally friendly means of producing food, but food production accounts for a large amount of global climate emissions overall. SalMar will remain at the leading edge of developing an even more sustainable aquaculture industry.
This implies protecting the seas, reducing energy consumption and minimising greenhouse gas emissions from our business. The use of technology and innovation allow us to work continuously towards minimising our biological footprint, while maximising our production on the terms of the salmon.
At the leading edge
Salmon is one of the most sustainable sources of animal protein. This is due to low CO2 emissions, water consumption and area use. Nevertheless, there is a lot we do not know today, that we may know tomorrow. New knowledge is the key to protecting natural resources for future generations, while still producing enough food for a growing global population. SalMar works systematically to continue this progress. For instance:
We are using new ocean areas
SalMar wants to use the open ocean for food production. Therefore, we have developed the world’s first ocean-based farming facilities, along with our partners within aquaculture, offshore and relevant research. The Ocean Farm 1 pilot project has developed new and innovative technology that will benefit the entire industry. Offshore fish farming moves salmon to their natural habitat, which allows for farming at the terms of the salmon to a greater degree than is possible today.
We cut our greenhouse gas emissions
Local harvesting and processing are key areas of investment for SalMar. Processing the salmon reduces the weight and volume on products shipped out for transport, which in turn cuts CO2 emissions from transportation. By processing the salmon in Norway, we also contribute to creating local value and more jobs. We will therefore expand our capacity with new, larger facilities in the near future. We are also electrifying more sea facilities via onshore power, and were the first in the world to use an electrical boat and hybrid battery well boat. This reduces our greenhouse gas emissions, and we will continue the process of electrifying our value chain.
We reduce our freshwater consumption
Our newer smolt facilities are all based on recirculation technology which filters and recycles around 97 % of production water. Recirculation technology means higher production with lower use of freshwater, and all new capacity is built with this technology. In this way, the water consumption per volume produced will continue to shrink.
We choose locations with low climate impact
Biological conditions, including water quality, water flow and temperature, determine whether a given location can tolerate production. That is why we always choose new locations based on consequence analyses, which tell us what impact production will have on the environment. We also survey the seabed under all locations regularly.
We make maximum use of the raw material and take care of the waste
All offcuts from our processing activity are sent to Nutrimar for use in production of various oils, fishmeal and protein products. The slurry from our hatcheries is also sent to external facilities for use in production of fertilisers or biogas. Other waste from our locations is delivered to approved recycling stations. This is to ensure that raw materials and waste are handled properly, and that nothing goes to waste.
For more details on technology and innovation in SalMar, refer to our Sustainability Report for 2019.