We can now declare CO2 equivalents on our feeds
By now, most people are aware of the negative impacts of human production in terms of CO2 emission. Sir David Attenborough recently addressed the COP26 climate summit delegates. He opened his speech by stating that the number of total carbon emissions is the only number that matters now. Carbon emissions heavily influence global warming. The increasing CO2 emissions worldwide make it is evident that things must change.
Henrik T. Halken (Group Vice President, CPO/CCO) explains: “It has been important for us to get this right, and to have a declaration that customers can relate to. We want to be transparent. We want to enable our customers to compare CO2 emissions between competing products. Therefore, we work with aquaculture stakeholders to create a standard across the sector. This is also why it was important for us to obtain verification before launching. Food and feeds already have many labels. We want to create value by ensuring that our chosen system is widely applicable. At the same time, it must be relevant for the end consumers. The CO2 equivalent calculated on all our feeds enables all that.”
The verified CO2 numbers are our baseline and ensure our focus on emissions. From here we can start making choices about our raw materials. Feed performance and price is our priority. However, when we can lower the CO2 equivalent without compromising on quality or increasing the price, we will. We took the first step by phasing out the use of South American soya for our European factories.
Displaying our CO2 equivalent is a way for us to be transparent, whilst the verification validates our methods and results. Consumers increasingly request transparency about the food they buy. In the aquaculture value chain, we should be ready to meet these requests. We are proud to be first movers and hope to start a dialogue about the impact of production in the sector.
The idea for declaring CO2 equivalents came from looking at trends in other food sectors. It also came from our wish to create transparency, and a desire to be ready with emission data when our customers need us to be.
Therefore, we have taken bold steps to get to where we are today:
1. We changed our procurement to exclude South American soya for our European factories:
2. We declared that we would determine the CO2 equivalent of our feeds and display it on our products:
3. We achieved verification of our data by Bureau Veritas: 4. We can now label feeds from our factories in Denmark, Germany, and Poland. The rest of our factories will follow in the foreseeable future.
We hope to start a dialogue about emissions, that will spark interest and awareness in the sector and beyond. We want to help develop the entire aquaculture sector in a continuously sustainable direction. We know that sustainability is much more complex than choosing a low emission feed. However, in the aquaculture sector, we must discuss the parameters of sustainability as the foundation for the choices we make – including CO2 emissions.