Meeting the global demand for environmentally friendly products starts with CSR

By Kevin Robinson 19-Nov-2019

Sustainability is a growing topic in today’s natural products industry, especially as consumers around the globe continue to seek out environmentally friendly products and companies with a purpose greater than their profits

Aker BioMarine, a krill oil leader, is continually looking at its sustainability efforts and ways to improve each and every day. Ambitious goals are essential to overcoming the global challenges that will impact and drive the future of Aker BioMarine’s business.

From loss of biodiversity and resource scarcity to lifestyle disease threats and climate change, the company intends to be part of new solutions to face these challenges. In fact, the team at Aker BioMarine is on a mission improve people’s health without compromising the well-being of our planet and its oceans.

The ocean plays a critical role in the world’s future

Seventy per cent of the planet is covered by oceans, but only 2% of the food consumption and 0.5% of FDA-approved pharmaceuticals comes from the seas. As a unique and diverse system, the ocean plays a critical role in the world’s future. And, with its myriad of health-promoting ingredients, such as krill, companies including Aker BioMarine rely on the ocean for its business opportunities.

By 2050, there will be 9.7 billion people in the world; that will require a 69% increase in the world’s food production. To that end, krill has the potential to be a part of necessary solutions.

“The global demand for environmentally friendly products has helped to steer the supplements market into a more positive direction,” said Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker BioMarine. “To us, sustainability has been a core strategic priority since Aker BioMarine’s formation in 2006. We see our efforts being increasingly valued in the customer space.”

“We believe in a world where everyone has access to quality nutrition and good health … but it comes with accountability. To be a steward of the ocean, you need to set a good example and be the change you want to see in this world.”

Krill fishery receives an “A” rating for the fifth year in a row

Creating long-term worth and success in a global fishery requires a business approach that values both opportunity and responsibility.

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), an independent non-profit organisation that analyses and evaluates the sustainability of reduction fishery stocks worldwide, recently released its annual Reduction Fisheries Sustainability Overview. For the fifth year in a row, Aker BioMarine has received an “A” rating from the SFP, meaning that its krill fishery is in “very good condition.”

“The important work of SFP leaves no doubt that we need a new kind of leadership at sea. We know that we need to harvest the oceans more. But, at the same time, we need to do so in a much more sustainable way,” said Runa Haug Khoury, Director of Sustainability, Aker BioMarine.

Developing Antarctic krill management

There is great potential for the krill oil market, but to succeed and sustain, you need to be proactive and willing to invest in science and sustainability. New clinical studies are important to help substantiate the effectiveness of krill oil; equally important, however, is our knowledge about the oceans, its inhabitants and the krill biomass.

New international research that surveyed the krill biomass around the Antarctic Peninsula for the first time in 19 years has determined that the krill biomass is healthy. In fact, the numbers are up by more than two million tonnes since the last large-scale krill survey was conducted in 2000.

In 2019, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) made important steps forward to reform the krill management system, which is a welcome development by the industry. Aker BioMarine has been a major part of this development and will continue to be a positive force in the management of krill in the Southern Ocean, working side by side with an international community of states, scientists and NGOs.

Big data is the future of fisheries and sustainable fisheries management

Some experts believe that big data is the future of sustainable fisheries management. Live data and machine learning will allow fisheries to better optimise and manage harvesting patterns, production flow and maintenance to increase efficiency, including the reduction of fuel consumption.

Aker BioMarine is digitalising its harvesting and manufacturing operations to further improve the company’s sustainability efforts. With big data, the team can collect and collate data, giving the fishery managers better decision-making tools.

“We continue to invest in new technologies, innovation, big data and ocean driven research, allowing us to be more productive while helping to reduce our carbon footprint,” Johansen concludes.