Man working at the edge of a sea cage
Scottish Sea Farms site in Holms Geo, Shetland

Scottish Sea Farms won the Sustainability Award for its carbon footprint-friendly initiatives and steps towards a circular economy

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Scottish Sea Farms

The Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology (REA) named the salmon producer the winner of its Sustainability Award at its annual ceremony, held on Thursday 9 June at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens.

First launched in 2006, the awards seek to highlight the next “game changers”, recognising those organisations and individuals making real and measurable progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

In a category that included heavyweights BrewDog and Veolia, amongst others, Scottish Sea Farms was presented with the Sustainability Award for its carbon footprint-friendly initiatives: from increasing uptake of renewable energies through to rethinking waste to create circular economy products.

In attendance to accept the award was Scottish Sea Farms’ head of sustainability and development Anne Anderson who said, “it helps that salmon farming has one of the lowest carbon footprints of all the livestock farming sectors, which is a great starting point.

“At company level, we’re taking these strong credentials even further, working in collaboration with like-minded supply partners and customers to set a new bar for sustainability within the sector.”

Key initiatives include

  • Reducing single-use plastics by introducing returnable bulk bins, saving over 2 million plastic boxes since 2017
  • Making most efficient use of road miles by using return journeys to transport fish feed and other goods, and transporting salmon to export markets via the hold of passenger flights as opposed to freight-only planes
  • Repurposing fish waste into valuable by-products including pet food and fertiliser
  • Adopting greener energies including wind, solar, wave and hybrid across farms and facilities to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and lower CO2 emissions
  • Developing a greenhouse gas app to monitor energy consumption and identify other opportunities for efficiencies

Salmon farm in Oban, Scotland
Scottish Sea Farms site in Oban, Scotland

The company has reduced its reliance on single-use plastics, adopted greener technologies and re-processed fish waste to reduce its carbon footprint

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Scottish Sea Farms

Amongst the many partners working with Scottish Sea Farms to help bring about these advances is AMP Clean Energy who designed, installed and maintain the biomass energy system that helps heat the company’s flagship Barcaldine Hatchery.

Bruno Berardelli, head of asset services at AMP Clean Energy, said, “by using locally sourced wood chip to provide much of the facility’s heat and hot water, the 600 kw system saves 683 tonnes of carbon annually compared with oil, proving that biomass energy has a key role to play in net zero food production.

“To see that key role recognised as part of such a coveted award can only be beneficial in terms of helping raise awareness of what’s already available – and what more might be achieved through further collaboration.”

Awards judges were equally impressed with the salmon producer’s future sustainability plans, with several new greener technologies and sustainable practices in the pipeline.

Said Anderson, “each sustainability success fuels our ambition to do even more: from making provision for a hydro scheme at the Barcaldine Hatchery to reduce fuel consumption further, to connecting remote marine farms to mains power where possible – and where not, trialling the potential of wave and tidal generated energy. We’re also looking at repurposing fallow farms to support renewable energy projects.

“So, lots going on across the business already but with many more initiatives to follow.”

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