Could krill become a carbon-neutral aquafeed ingredient?
One of the world’s leading providers of krill for the aquafeed industry, Aker BioMarine, has pledged to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
One of a raft of new sustainability goals from the Norwegian company, they plan to achieve this through various means, including the use of green ammonia to power their fishing and processing vessels. They also plan to step up the use of ocean drones and flying drones, to minimise the time harvesting vessels need to spend searching for krill.
Other goals include reducing the CO2 emissions per tonne of krill oil produced by 50 percent by 2030 in their Houston production plant and increase support for AION, a newly launched circularity company that will repurpose all product and plastic waste into new products that are used in high volume, such as shopping baskets and food trays. AION is already working with customers such as McDonald’s, NorgesGruppen and Varner.
“We consider ourselves pioneers at Aker BioMarine, which for us means that we want to lead our industry in a more sustainable direction. As a company, we make no excuses when it comes to meeting our targets. We are forging a new and more planet-friendly path, tackling challenges, embracing technology, and making more sustainable choices than ever done before in our industry,” said the company’s CEO, Matts Johansen, in a press release.
At the end of February 2021, Aker BioMarine and Aker Clean Hydrogen signed an agreement and are teaming up with other key players to industrialise the production of green ammonia, in an industry first move. This will support Aker BioMarine’s mission to make the vessels completely carbon-free. For example, Aker BioMarine’s newest support vessel, Antarctic Provider, is equipped with the most energy efficient engine in the world, a hybrid engine that is convertible for greener fuels of the future.
“Green ammonia is the most promising sustainable fuel for the shipping industry. It is essential that the industry tests and develops solutions for ammonia on a large scale. This will make it possible not only for Aker BioMarine, but also for Norwegian suppliers and renewable companies, to be world-leading on greener solutions for a broad range of sectors,” says Christina Ianssen, sustainability manager at Aker BioMarine.
Aker BioMarine plans to have vessels that are using ammonia as fuel towards 2030, when the infrastructure for production and distribution of green ammonia is in place.
The company’s ambitions for reducing CO2 emissions are closely connected to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), specifically goal 13, which calls for urgent action to combat climate change and to slow and stop global warming. To achieve this, CO2 emissions must be reduced significantly in the near-term.
In the last ten years the company has cut its CO2 emissions per tonne of krill produced by approximately 50 percent. The goal is to redo this in the next ten years, through the implementation of analytical tools to reduce consumption of consumables and energy at the Houston manufacturing plant, reuse of energy and efficiency projects on the vessels.
Other sustainability commitments to be achieved by 2030 include:
- Ensuring full circularity on all of its principal waste streams.
- Making aquaculture production more efficient, by contributing to 1 billion extra servings of seafood produced annually.
- Combatting lifestyle diseases by delivering 5 billion doses of health promoting nutrients annually.
- Developing innovative products that play an integral role in sustainable diets and the future food system.
- Decarbonising aqua and animal feed by delivering low-carbon marine ingredients.
- Improving the sustainability of fisheries through contributing to data and science driven regulation and ocean management.
- Maintaining unconditional Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and ensure transparency in vessel operations.
“These sustainability goals support our overall purpose – to improve human and planetary health – and make this purpose even more tangible. Every single person working in Aker BioMarine is involved in achieving these goals, and we will work across the company’s entire value chain to make sure we lead the way to a net zero end,” added Johansen.