Cargill helping salmon and trout farmers chart a path to net-zero emissions

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Monty Rakusen
© GettyImages/Monty Rakusen

Related tags salmon farming net-zero carbon emissions Cargill

Through its SeaFurther program, Cargill’s aqua nutrition business has identified ‘hot spots’ where salmon and trout companies can immediately improve their operations, to help reduce carbon emissions, one being feed formulation.

“Using our feed formulation tools, together with our life cycle analysis (LCA) data for individual raw materials, we are able to reformulate our feeds to have the same nutritional properties as before, but with a lower carbon footprint. This is done by drawing on the same raw material basket and suppliers, but in a different proportion to the least cost approach. 

“Through Cargill’s nutritional expertise, we know the limits of inclusion of individual raw materials in the diet and this gives us a window of opportunity to decrease the footprint. Using the optimization function of the formulation tool, we can force the carbon footprint of the feed lower than the original least cost formulation, creating a feed which will perform the same way in the fish, but with the lower footprint,”​ Dave Robb, program lead for Cargill’s SeaFurther sustainability initiative, told FeedNavigator.

The SeaFurther project, he continued, is based on the idea of creating a common approach and data to deliver sustainable supply chains for feed and farming. 

Carbon credits

Cargill is also working with suppliers to produce raw materials with lower emissions, while looking to ensure that carbon credits can be coupled to this reduction pathway, creating a credible net-zero fish, in line with the Science Based Targets initiative​ (SBTi) draft guidance, explained Robb.

“The SBTi has produced The Net-Zero Standard (2021) which sets out how a company may choose to set additional climate-related targets beyond the reduction pathway, such as achieving carbon neutrality or launching carbon neutral products. PAS 2060 offers an internationally recognized specification for carbon neutrality, outlining criteria for quantification, reduction, and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the corporate and product level; additional carbon neutrality related standards and guidance are still currently under development.

“To ensure credible action, it is recommended to pursue additional targets or certifications such as carbon neutrality only as add-ons to a robust, science-based climate strategy. It is also essential to use carbon credits from appropriate schemes to ensure a real carbon reduction through this approach. Cargill is linking our actions in SeaFurther to our carbon trading desk to ensure this connection is made, simply and credibly for our customers," ​commented Robb.

Less is more 

SeaFurther is also aimed at identifying ways to increase fish efficiency, getting the most out of production while using fewer resources and reducing the impact on the ocean, and developing fish nutrition that promotes and enhances the health and welfare of farmed fish.

Scotland-based trout producer, Kames Fish Farming Ltd, and Chilean salmon farmer, Salmones Aysén, have just signed up to the sustainability initiative.

Helene Ziv-Douki, president of Cargill’s aqua nutrition business, said: “Launched in salmon and trout, SeaFurther can also be applied to other species, where the impact will be even greater. The more our expertise grows between now and 2030, the more reductions we will be able to bring.”

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