Optimar steps up for sustainability
Optimar is a global leader in automated fish processing systems for use aboard fishing vessels, on land and in the aquaculture sector. In our 2022 Sustainability Report, we take stock of our impact on the environment and explain how we are contributing to more sustainable seafood production – worldwide – for the benefit of both customers and consumers alike.
We are living in challenging times, but Optimar believes there is no alternative to focusing on sustainability. So in 2022, we took a step back to examine where and in what areas we can do the most and make real changes in the seafood production industry. In doing so, we were acting in accord with our corporate mission: to create value for present and future generations.
Sustainability is no longer a project or initiative; it is the core of our business.
A challenging year
The situation in 2022 made it extremely difficult for us to achieve the ambitious targets we had set ourselves in the year before. The fallout from the ongoing war in Ukraine, combined with supply chain issues and rising prices, had a major impact on our market. In response, we were forced to make far-reaching organizational changes. But by taking action at an early stage, we were able to secure a sustainable financial footing for our business and secure the jobs of over 300 employees in Norway, Spain, Romania and the USA.
A few key highlights from 2022
- Increased focus on animal welfare. Through the year, we established close connections with several NGOs (non-governmental organizations) with the aim of improving animal welfare in the harvesting process.
- Hosting and organizing the Optimar Animal Welfare Week - a gathering of international professionals from the Seafood business field, coming together to share insights and expertise on animal welfare and sustainability practices: Optimar Animal Welfare Week - it was a great success
- Large focus on Optimar electric stunner - when promoting responsible fish farming, both in excisting, but also in new and emerging markets.
- Became a CatchID chosen partner and starting working with the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries on a common platform for sustainable fishing and reporting by the fishing fleet.
- Solar panels were installed at our facility in Spain, which reduced CO2 emissions from electricity consumption at that site by 65%.
- Mapped and performed risk assessments on our supply chain, and started work on a Supplier Code of Conduct – to be launched in 2023.
Safeguarding animal welfare
Each year, 2–3 trillion aquatic animals are caught and killed primarily for human consumption – vastly more than all farmed land animals combined. Despite this, however, animal welfare in capture fisheries is for the most part not legally protected. Nevertheless, animal welfare has become increasingly important within the industry, and several of our solutions are recognised as representing best practice in this area.
Treating fish and other sea creatures humanely is quite simply an ethical obligation and the right thing to do.
“No one wants to look back and see unnecessary pain and suffering being brought to millions of individual animals”.
BJØRNAR VIK | Head of Engineering Design, OPTIMAR
Progress with purpose: building a sustainable future
We are proud of what we have achieved so far with respect to sustainability, but we are under no illusions. Much more remains to be done. Our values, and the principles on which we have built our organization, will continue to drive us forward and underpin the choices we make going forward to a sustainable future.
Sustainability Report 2022
In our Sustainability Report for 2022, you will find a presentation of our sustainability strategy; a description of our actions and policies relating to human and labour rights, including in the supply chain; a breakdown of our environmental performance; details of our support for the UN Global Compact; which UN Sustainable Development Goals we are contributing to; and how we are exercising our corporate social responsibility.