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Skretting goes “beyond sustainability” with their Impact Report

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Aquaculture Magazine reports:

This year, in the presentation of the new Impact Report, Skretting have decided that they want to broaden their definition of sustainability and talk about impact. The releasing of their first-ever Impact Report for 2023, building upon the theme of transparency that was the focus of their 2022 Sustainability Report. Just two years away from reaching the milestone year of 2025 for the targets set out in their Sustainability RoadMap, “we are taking an honest and critical look at our progress and what still needs to be improved,” they said.

There are notable achievements in 2023. While scope 1 and 2 (energy, water and waste) emissions increased by 4.1% between 2018 and 2023, scope 3 emissions (feed raw materials) decreased by 11.1% in the same timeframe, leading to a total carbon footprint reduction over all three scopes by 10.4%.

“The report shows not only our global absolute greenhouse gas emissions, but also the main drivers per business unit and within our main species. We are continuously increasing our knowledge and will keep reducing our impact through efficiency improvements, better data quality, changes in raw material compositions and sourcing,” said Bastiaan van Tilburg, Skretting’s CEO.

Suppliers play a critical role

Recognising that suppliers play a critical role in facilitating the production of sustainable seafood, Skretting has partnered with EcoVadis, a globally recognised sustainability rating platform. By using EcoVadis, Skretting is getting better insight into its suppliers’ sustainability initiatives – particularly those who operate in regions or industries where sustainability risks are more prevalent – identifying areas for improvement in order to catalyse positive change throughout its supply chains.

Although the milestone was obtained in January 2024, the report also highlights Skretting Chile’s achievement as the first salmon feed plant in the world to be certified according to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council Feed Standard.

According to them, they are continuously increasing their knowledge and they will keep reducing their impact through efficiency improvements, better data quality, changes in raw material compositions and sourcing.

Source 100% of its marine ingredients from certified origins

On the improvement side, one of Skretting’s goals has been to source 100% of its marine ingredients from certified origins, or else from a Fishery Improvement Project, by 2025. In 2023, a combination of reasons such as a lower amount of certified ingredients due to fishing quota in Peru, fisheries losing their certification and few fisheries entering into FIPs, led to a record high cost of fish oil, which had an impact on the cost of feed. As a result, 77% of the marine ingredients purchased were certified or from a FIP – down from 84% reported in 2022.

Skretting recognizes that this step backwards needs to be the exception to the rule, but that it needs the industry to move on the same direction to reach its ambitious targets.

“If we look at the volume of uncertified ingredients in 2023 alone, paying the premium to replace them with certified would have cost our global operations around €70 million more, and that’s something that we can’t absorb on our own. We need the industry to come together and share the responsibility to create a positive environmental and social impact,” added van Tilburg.

Call to arms

According to them, Skretting’s Impact Report is a call to arms; the value chain needs to move in the same direction, sharing both responsibilities and costs. Certification bodies are asked to be stricter during audits, with clear-cut distinctions between what is or isn’t certified. Feed producers must innovate to lower cost and reduce dependency on certain ingredients, and engage in new FIPs to find new certified marine ingredients. And the industry must be steadfast in its drive to be more sustainable, which will go a long way to helping eradicate risks such as Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, child labour and modern slavery, among others.

In a bid to enhance transparency in the organisation, Skretting has disclosed the number of cases reported through Speak Up, its whistleblower and grievance mechanism that is open to both internal and external stakeholders. The total number for 2023 stands at 10. Skretting aims to increase awareness of this tool, and also consistently invite its stakeholders to provide feedback, both on what is going well, and what ultimately needs to be done better.

Acknowledging that progress can only be done in collaboration with other stakeholders, Skretting also invited customers, suppliers, certification bodies, NGOs and other partners to share their views on the challenges that aquaculture faces and the possibilities to improve.

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