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Read more about Sustainability

Responsible footprint

Our goals and ambitions for a sustainable footprint are based on UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 12

We will maximise the degree of utilisation by creating new food products from the fish and shellfish that we produce. We will minimise our environmental footprint through responsible consumption and circular handling of non-renewable resources.

Within the priority Responsible Footprint, we focus on 5 subareas:


1. Energy Consumption 

Energy consumption at processing plants and in fisheries are key focus areas for Royal Greenland. 

Actions and results 2022  

The Group’s energy consumption is influenced by many factors. For each unit, there is significant basic consumption, and the smaller the volumes fished or produced per unit, the higher the relative consumption per unit. The ocean-going trawlers, which consume energy for sailing, fishing, processing and freezing on board, account for the largest share of the Group's energy consumption. The Group’s total energy consumption in 2022 was approximately 465 GWh, an increase of 16% from 2021, compared to an increase in raw materials by 8%.   

Investments in new vessels have, however, made the consumption of fossil fuels as efficient as possible by switching from hydraulic to electrically powered winches, using triple trawl nets instead of double trawl nets, and larger cargo holds that reduce the scope of transport shipping. The increased consumption must therefore primarily be seen as a result of a changed activity pattern.   

2. CO2 Emissions 

At Royal Greenland and in industry in general, a lot of effort is currently being devoted to calculating Scopes 1, 2 and 3 for CO 2 emissions and to developing and testing Carbon Footprint calculation methods. 

Actions and results 2022  

The Group's emissions in 2022 totalled approximately 128,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. The larger ocean-going vessels account for approximately 78%.   

In 2022, the factory trawlers’ emissions of tonnes of CO2e per tonne of volume fished increased. This was due to several yard visits, engine failures, and a long distance to fish in the Barents Sea and Melville Bay. Furthermore, none of the vessels functioned as catch landing vessels, as was the case in 2021. The result was thus affected by several parameters and unforeseen events. 

3. Maximum Utilisation of Resources 

Since fish in the oceans is a limited resource, we need to make the best possible use of the fish once it has been caught. 

Actions and results 2022  

2022 was another good year for sale of cod heads from Maniitsoq, which are sold for drying and as fishing bait.   

In Newfoundland, processing of dried fish skin into pet food has been tried out. This really fine product has been tested and has proved to be a viable idea to develop further.  

An innovation department was established in 2022, with the task of developing raw materials into new products, including by promoting the degree of utilisation of the raw material resources. 

4. Paper, Carboard & Plastic 

Finished products need to be packaged in order to be transported hygienically and efficiently and to preserve their shelf life. However, the type of packaging used is not irrelevant. 

Actions and results 2022  

In 2022, the extensive work continued of mapping and registering the material composition of all packagings, in order to build up an effective digital reporting system in time for the phasing-in of the Extended Producers Responsibility.   

Coordination of production testing is now part of the new innovation department. The focus will continue to be on consumer packaging and subsequent semi-finished and industrial products. 

5. Water Consumption 

Fresh water of good quality is an important resource for all our production units. 

Today, Royal Greenland uses Marine Gas Oil (MGO) on all vessels. The advantage is that MGO has a very low sulphur content (< 0.1%) and therefore pollutes less than Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). MGO also has a lower volume of black particle emissions. The CO2e emission rate is the same for the two types of oil.  

Research and testing within alternative energy sources and fuels are followed with interest, while security of supply is crucial to the day-to-day operations of a company like Royal Greenland.    

Actions and results 2022  

Water consumption per tonne of end-product at Group level increased from 2021, but was generally stable in the three preceding years. The reason can be traced back to one processing plant, which contributed more than 70% of the increase. 

For a full elaboration of our activities for Responsible Footprint, please visit our global website here.

See also

Read more about Healthy working lives