Aquaculture for all

GSI's latest salmon farming sustainability report goes live

Atlantic Salmon Sustainability +1 more

The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) published its annual sustainability report today, providing eight years of data across 10 environmental and four social indicators.

Since its formation in 2013, GSI members - who account for 40 percent of global farmed salmon production - have targeted their efforts on accelerating progress against the most significant environmental challenges facing the sector: biosecurity and sustainable feed sourcing, as well as motivating industry progress towards third-party certification.

The report suggests that these are the areas showing the most progress.

"It also demonstrates that the group’s platform of focusing and coordinating environmental improvement efforts is yielding measurable progress on a global scale," says GSI in a press release.

GSI says that its success has been driven by four key elements, applicable across other sectors: greater transparency, global action, supply chain engagement, and local capacity to implement. It aims to use these not only to help improve aquaculture, but also to create ripple effects across the global food system.

It is working with global partners to extend this momentum, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with whom it is developing an industry-wide reporting framework to measure greenhouse gas emissions for the aquaculture sector and identify ways to mitigate climate impact.

Commenting on the publication of the new report, Regin Jacobsen, Bakkafrost CEO and GSI co-chair, stated: “Sustainability reporting is part of normal business operations these days, but the GSI report is unique in that it provides data industry-wide and year on year all in one place. What started out as a means of making each of us members accountable has become a key tool in helping us identify where we need to make greater progress, and then challenging the GSI platform to find solutions and implement them – with the end goal of ensuring a more sustainable industry and a more responsible product for consumers.”

“Each year we assess both our GSI goals and the sustainability report to see how we can evolve and strengthen them to drive further environmental progress. As we are embarking on our new work with World Wildlife Fund on climate impact and mitigation, we are hopeful that soon we will be able to add more carbon-specific measures to the report to cement the sector’s role as a leading provider of eco-efficient and climate-friendly protein.”

Sophie Ryan, CEO of GSI, reflected: “The question we have to ask ourselves today is how we can develop a food system that provides the amount of healthy food we need while not destroying our planet. Salmon farming alone will not be the answer, but done right, it is definitely part of the solution. Our job within GSI now is to get it right. With the commitments of the members, we have created a framework to drive the necessary improvements industry-wide at speed and scale – and this report shows us where and how. The findings are not just for our stakeholders, but for our own members as we hold each other accountable and identify where we collectively need to work harder.”

Jason Clay, senior vice-president, markets & executive director at WWF’s markets institute, added: “What makes GSI stand out is that they brought together company CEOs and empowered technical staff to work together and do the hard work of addressing the sector’s critical challenges – feed, welfare and impact. Through information-sharing to find solutions and motivate environmental improvements, they flattened the learning curve for everybody on how to make the industry more sustainable. The model has proven to be successful and deliver results, and now we need other sectors to follow suit.”