Sustainability and the Environment

Sustainability and the Environment

Brim’s Sustainability and Environmental Policy

Brim is one of the fisheries companies that signed SFS’s joint policy on corporate social responsibility in 2020. The policy is based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

By signing, the company commits to working according to the policy, which is divided into three main parts: improving the cycle, minimising the footprint and energy efficiency and energy switching. The policy outlines ways to achieve these goals.

For many years, Brim has been at the forefront of environmental issues and is constantly looking for new ways to complete products and reuse or recycle all waste. Energy consumption and energy switching are the company’s concerns, and ways are constantly being sought to reduce oil consumption and increase the use of renewable energy.

Brim’s Goals in Environmental and Sustainability Issues

For decades, Brim has been concerned with taking good care of nature and has achieved good results in reducing the environmental impact of fishing and the company’s processing. There is always room for improvement, and the company has set the following goals in environmental and sustainability issues for the next three years. Emphasis will be placed on reducing oil consumption by increasing electricity and hot water consumption, as well as reducing operational waste.

  • By 2025, Brim has set itself the goal of increasing the relative use of land-based electricity for ships when they are in port by 10–20% instead of oil. In 2020, consumption went from 571 MWh to 631 MWh, or an increase of 10.5%.
  • By 2025, Brim has set itself the goal of increasing the relative use of hot water for ships when they are in port by 30–50% instead of oil. In the year 2020, the hot water consumption for ships was 1,852 m3 but increased to 3,741 m3 in the year 2021, or an increase of 102%.
  • The aim will be to install an electrical connection for pelagic vessels on the quayside in Vopnafjörður before the end of 2024.
  • The aim is for the oil consumption of each of the company’s fishing vessels to decrease by 2% per year in the coming years.
  • When renewing the company’s vehicles and heavy machinery that use oil or petrol, vehicles that use renewable energy will be chosen if possible.
  • The replacement of most freon refrigerants for more environmentally friendly refrigerants will be completed by the end of 2025.
  • The proportion of recyclable operational waste will increase by 3% per year until the year 2025 through targeted efforts.
  • Ways will be sought to increase the proportion of operational waste in the circular economy.
  • The company’s environmental management system will be used to control the utilisation of electricity, cold and hot water in the most efficient way and reduce waste.
  • Brim aims to become an active participant in certified carbon sequestration in Iceland through forestry, wetland restoration and/or by other methods by 2025.

Issuance of Green and Blue Bonds

In recent years, Brim has invested in sustainability projects and systematically reduced the environmental impact of its operations. For years, sustainability and environmental issues have played an important role in the company’s operations, and the company has annually reported on the non-financial aspects of its operations in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative GRI100-400 and Nasdaq’s UFS guidelines.

Brim was awarded the SA Environmental Award in October 2019.

2021 Green and Blue bond Allocation and Impact Report

The Clear Value Chain of the Fisheries Industry

In recent years, Brim has worked according to a responsible environmental plan under the heading “Clear Value Chain of the Fisheries Industry”,  where the systematic mapping of all the aspects of environmental impact from the company’s operations throughout the value chain, from fishing to the market, takes place. On that basis, Brim works on innovation and design of new solutions to manage the ecological footprint of products. The objective of this plan is to use technological knowledge to develop new and improved processes at Brim that will revolutionise the ability of the company to manage its operations in tune with goals in the field of environmental and climate issues.

Brim’s New Environmental System Put into Operation

During the year, Brim designed its own environmental system. The system maps the company’s total carbon footprint, where information from the main aspects of the company’s operations flows electronically into the environmental database (SQL), where the main measurement elements are then displayed in the dashboard and used as important management information.

The main aspects of operations are oil and refrigerants, export of products, domestic transport, waste, electricity, hot and cold water. The project has always been carried out on the basis of operational criteria within the company. From day one, we have placed great emphasis on creating electronic information that flows directly from the aforementioned operational aspects. In this way, we connect environmental issues and financial benefits, i.e. with cost reductions, new revenue opportunities and streamlining projects, and will be able to shape the company with environmental considerations. In this way, we weave the two together into the company’s strategy for the future.

This new approach that Brim has designed and developed in the new environmental system is based on good accounting practices that we are familiar with from the work of auditors in the presentation of financial information.

In 2021, the company published information from the environmental financial statements every 3 months in parallel with the publication of information from the interim financial statements.

EFLA Engineering has reviewed the presented data for the years 2021 and 2020, calculations in the system and criteria of standards and signed the report as an inspecting party after reconciling the data with the financial statements.

When looking at the company’s total carbon emissions, compared to emissions from the base year, when the company first started calculating the company’s footprint in 2015 when company released 71,688 tCO2 equivalents, but this decreased to 66,965 tCO2 equivalents in 2021, which is a decrease of 4,723 tCO2 equivalents, or 7.1%. A change in the company’s purchasing policy for oil purchases was one of the factors that influenced this result.

Energy Use

Environmental Impact on the Catch

The greatest environmental impact of the operation of Brim is due to the fuel use of the fleet. In recent years, the company has systematically worked on analysing carbon footprints from fishing to processing, together with increased use of environmentally friendly ship fuels. It should be borne in mind that a number of variables can affect the calculation of oil consumption, such as the composition of catches, catches and fishing patterns of individual vessels, as well as the weather. It is important to take these assumptions into account when making conclusions about the results based on figures published here and comparisons between years.

The total use of the fleet during the year was almost 22.7 million litres, which emitted 64 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents when fishing for 147 thousand tonnes from the sea. This is approximately 95.5% of the total emissions of the company, which is 71.8 thousand tonnes (Scope 1 and Scope 2). All Brim vessels now only use MGO or DMA fuels which have a sulphur content of 0.1%.

  • The share of the wetfish trawlers in the emmission of CO2 equivalents is 17.7 thousand tonnes, or approximately one-fourth. When the energy intensity of fishing is measured, i.e. how many litres of fuel are required to catch one tonne of fish, the wetfish trawlers are seen to use 239 litres. This is 676 kg of CO2 equivalents per caught tonne.
  • The share of the freezer trawler in carbon emissions during the year was 25.3 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents. Energy intensity for fishing on freezer trawlers is somewhat greater, or 353 litres for each tonne. This is approximately 1,006 kg of CO2 equivalents per caught tonne.
  • The share of pelagic vessels in carbon emissions during the year was more than 21.3 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents. The energy intensity of fishing was 79 litres of fuel per caught tonne, or 223 kg of CO2 equivalents.

Numerous variables can affect ships’ oil consumption, most notably:

  • Condition of fish stocks
  • Catch composition
  • Fishing patterns along with distances
  • Weather

When comparing oil consumption between years, it should be borne in mind that the catch composition in 2021 is very different from 2020. Less blue whiting and mackerel were caught in 2021 than in previous years, but this was offset by almost 30,000 tonnes of capelin and an increase in herring fishing of 10,000 tonnes. Mackerel and blue whiting fishing is generally much more energy intensive than capelin fishing. Herring fishing in 2021 also took place mostly on the continental shelf outside Vopnafjörður. The consumption of oil per tonne therefore decreased between years, although the total consumption was similar.

Fuel for Vessels Ordered Via a Mobile App

One of Brim’s innovative projects in 2021 was the design and implementation of a fuel ordering system for vessels. Now, staff who order oil for vessels can perform that task through a mobile app regardless of location. The carbon footprint (CO2) of the fuel volume is registered directly in the company’s environmental base as soon as the order is processed by the seller.

Further information about the project can be found in the Annual and Social Report under the section Operations – Innovation.

Energy Use

Fuel Use of Fishmeal Plants

The company’s fishmeal plants, previously run on fossil fuel, are now for the most part electrified. Every effort is made to use electricity instead of fuel when availability allows. The fuel use of fishmeal plants decreased from 464 thousand litres in 2020 to 751 thousand litres in 2021, which can be traced mainly to a reduction in unsecured energy from electricity vendors. This year, as in the previous year, all DMA oil (distillate marine A) was used, which has a 0.1% sulfur content.

 

Fuel use per produced tonne of fishmeal from the company’s plants increased between years and went from 6.2 litres per tonne to 9.0 litres per tonne in 2021. The reason was a reduction in electricity on unsecured energy from electricity vendors to the plant in Vopnafjörður.

The total carbon emissions from oil consumption from the company’s plants in 2021 were 2,164 tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

The goal of the company is to use environmentally energy sources. Through agreements for competitive electricity prices to fishmeal plants, we can expect the share of electricity use to increase even more at the expense of fuel use in the future.

Promote the Increased Use of Renewable Energy

Icelandic fishmeal and oil processing manufacturers have, over past decades, used both fossil fuels and electricity in their operation. In recent years, fishmeal manufacturers have purchased reducable transmission and distribution of electricity. Due to the limited security of transmission and distribution in the electrical system, insecure availability of electricity and fluctuating demands from fishmeal manufacturers, fossil fuels have been a necessary back-up source of power in the operation and have replaced electricity when needed. To achieve full electrification, however, significant investments will have to be made in the electricity transmission system in Iceland.

The Association of Icelandic Fishmeal Producers (FÍF) has, by signing declarations of intent, entered into an agreement with Landsnet, Rarik and HS Veitur, on the one hand, and Landsvirkjun, on the other hand, with the aim of promoting increased electricity consumption during processing. This way, it will be possible to reduce the use of energy sources that emit greater carbon footprints and at the same time increase the likelihood that the goals of the Paris Convention and the action plans of the Icelandic government as regards climate goals will be achieved.

At the beginning of December 2021, Landsvirkjun announced its decision that the reduction in the supply of electricity to fishmeal factories would take effect immediately. This will have the effect that the company will have to resort to oil consumption instead of electricity well into the spring, now that some of the biggest capelin seasons in years are ahead.

Since March 2017, Landsvirkjun and FÍF have been working on a joint declaration of intent which stipulates that they will promote the continued use of renewable energy in the fishmeal industry. During these five years (2017–2021), 901,783 MWh of electricity were used, thus saving the combustion of 87.3 million litres of oil. This reduced the carbon emissions of the fishmeal plants by 260 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents. Brim’s share of the total consumption was 194,885 MWh, or 21.61%, which saved the combustion of 18.9 million litres of oil. As a result, the company’s carbon emissions decreased by 56 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalents during the period.

It was decided by signature on 22 June 2020 to extend the previous declaration, as the parties agree to continue working towards the goals described in the previous declaration by Landsvirkjun contributing as much as possible to an increased supply of reduced energy, and Landsvirkjun has in this connection submitted an application for an exemption to the Competition Authority. FÍF will also continue to encourage members to make more use of renewable energy sources in their operations.

A declaration of intent between FÍF and Landsnet, Rarik, HS Veitur, on the transmission and distribution of electricity, where the parties will work together to improve climate performance with more efficient use of investments and infrastructure in mind, was signed in 2018 and is still valid.

Energy Use

Carbon Surcharge on Fuel

The aim of the government with the imposition of a carbon surcharge is to harmonise the taxation of fossil fuels with the aim of encouraging energy switching, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and systematically contributing to energy savings in all areas. Carbon surcharge is a tax levied on all fossil fuels and is calculated per litre of fuel. Thus, the amount of the carbon surcharge for the year is ISK 11.75 per litre of gas and diesel for ships. Comparison shows that from 2015 to 2021, the carbon surcharge on oil consumption has almost doubled.

The table below shows the development of the surcharge on individual species as well as the calculation of the carbon surcharge over the past seven years.

Carbon surchargeUnits2015201620172018201920202021
Carbon surcharge, gas and diesel
ISK/liter
5.84
6.00
6.30
9.45
10.40
11.45
11.75
Carbon surcharge, petrol
ISK/liter
5.10
5.25
5.50
8.25
9.10
10.00
10.25
Carbon surcharge, fuel
ISK/kg
7.23
7.40
7.75
11.65
12.80
14.10
14.15
Carbon surcharge, crude petroleum, etc.
ISK/kg
6.44
6.60
6.90
10.35
11.40
12.55
12.85
Total carbon surcharge
Thousand ISK
139,087
138,451
127,043
197,427
255,588
263,643
273,114

Energy Use

Vehicles and Equipment

Fuel use of vehicles and equipment is insignificant when compared to that of vessels and plants. In the years 2020 and 2021, there was a slight increase from 44,430 litres to 44,965 litres. A total of 21 vehicles were in operation, which was the same number as the year before. Brim plans to increase the use of electric vehicles and hybrid cars over the next few years. At the same time, the company has installed charging stations for the vehicles of the company, its employees and guests.

With the Environment Agency’s decision in 2020 to classify waste oil as a recyclable product in the circular economy, the company’s carbon footprint decreased by 155 tCO2 equivalents between years.

Circular Economy

Brim Increases the Proportion of Recycled Waste in the Circular Economy

During the year, the company has achieved remarkable results in waste management, even though general operational waste increased during the year by over 131 tonnes since 2020. Despite this, the proportion of operational waste that goes to recycling has increased from 65% in 2020 to 73% in 2021. The increase in recycled waste was therefore 174 tonnes, resulting in a lower carbon footprint of 226 tCO2 equivalent between years. From 2018 to 2021, this reduction has amounted to 392 tCO2 equivalent.

In the second half of 2020, the Environment Agency issued an advisory opinion on waste recycling for the production of so-called factory oil, which is extracted from waste oil. Waste oil should be classified as a recyclable product after going through a specific recycling process that must meet the Agency’s requirements. The aim is to promote a cyclical economy and more sustainable resource utilisation where raw materials remain within the economy. This decision by the Agency leads to the carbon emissions of waste oil as general operating waste, reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 155 tCO2 equivalent between years.

Fishing gear has always been a big part of the fishing industry’s waste. One of the things the company buys for the operation are so-called rockhopper strips that the company’s trawlers have used for more than three decades. At the end of their life cycle, they are sent to landfill.

One of Brim’s goals last year was to find, in collaboration with suppliers, a recycling channel for this raw material instead of landfill and thus bringing rockhopper strips for recycling within the circular economy.

Rockhoppers are made of steel and rubber and once replaced the traditional bobbin strip used at the front of the lower side of the trawl. Rockhoppers are made from old and used steel-reinforced heavy machinery tires.

In the beginning, it proved difficult to find a company, in Iceland and abroad, that managed to process a usable product from the steel-reinforced rubber. Finally, a company was found in the Netherlands that took the raw material and recycled 75 tonnes of rockhoppers from Brim during the year. This results in a reduction in the carbon footprint by 66 tCO2 equivalents.

The Environment and Food Agency publishes guidelines on which emission factors should be used to calculate emissions from the main sources of greenhouse gases in the operation of companies. The aim is to assist in the compilation of emission data and that the data is in accordance with the National Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which the Icelandic government compiles and submits to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This is the second year in a row that Brim’s environmental statement follows these criteria when publishing the company’s environmental statement, where applicable.

The emission factor for landfilling of waste decreased in 2021 and went from 1.30 to 0.88. The previous emission factor was estimated based on the average composition of landfilled waste in Europe, but the new factor uses the average composition of waste that has been landfilled in Iceland over the past 20 years. This change results in a reduction in the carbon footprint of waste by 166 tCO2 equivalents during the year.

In recent years, Brim has regarded sorted waste as a valuable raw material from operations. Methods to recycle sorted waste are always being developed. For instance, almost all plastic generated by Brim today is recycled. Of the 52 tonnes of plastic generated during the year, 23 tonnes of plastic were recycled, or 44%. This lowers the company’s carbon footprint by 20 tCO2 equivalents during the year. 

Þjóðþrif – certification for recycling of plastic

Responsible Fishing

Disposal of Fishing Gear Waste

As before, Brim recycles all fishing gear that can no longer be used for fishing, in collaboration with Hampidjan. The crews of ships and the staff of the company’s sorting stations remove the part of the fishing gear that can be recycled or reused within the company, but the rest is returned to Hampidjan, which cuts off other useful objects, removes non-recyclable pieces of material that are landfilled and sells material other to foreign recyclers. Abroad, recycled fishing gear is used to make plastic.

Hampiðjan works closely with Fisheries Iceland (Samtök fyrirtækja í sjávarútvegi, SFS) and submits to SFS figures on the exported volume of fishing gear waste from Brim and other fisheries companies. SFS then forwards the information to the Recycling Fund according to an agreement with the Fund. SFS has an agreement with the Recycling Fund under which the association is responsible for ensuring that waste fishing gear made of synthetic materials is recycled. At the same time, authorisations for exemptions from recycling fees levied on fishing gear made from synthetic materials are utilised.

There were no mishaps in 2021 where fishing gear was lost at sea.

Disposal of fishing gear waste in 2021

Type of fishing gearkgRecycled and ReusedSent to landfillContractors
Trawls PE/PP/PEP
24,477
24,477
Flottroll PA Multifilament
2,351
2,351
Nótaefni PA Multifilament
5,108
5,108
Netaafskurður PA Monofilament
1,200
1,200
Lina PA Impregnated
Net rods and cables PES/PE/PA
Flot
Rockhoppers
74,764
74,764
Scrap metal - iron
20,781
20,781
Total
128,681
123,573
0
5,108

So-called rockhoppers are part of the fishing gear of ships, made from steel-reinforced heavy machinery tires, which are used at the front of the lower side of the trawl. Brim exported 75 tonnes of this raw material to the Netherlands, which otherwise went to landfill, and this resulted in a reduction in the company’s carbon footprint by 66 tCO2 equivalents.

Refrigerants

Emissions from refrigerants were 4,801 tCO2 equivalents during the year, which is an increase from the previous year, when the emissions were 2,834 tCO2 equivalents in 2020.   Brim has set itself the goal to complete the replacement of most freon refrigerants for more environmentally friendly refrigerants by the end of 2025. 

Waste recycling increased by 174 tonnes compared to previous years. This had an impact on reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 226 tCO2 equivalent between years. From 2018 to 2021, this reduction has amounted to 392 tCO2 equivalents.

Transportation

Shipping of seafood products to foreign markets is a major part of Brim’s operation. The table below shows an analysis of the company’s carbon footprint due to the shipping of fresh fish and frozen groundfish products to buyers in foreign markets. The exported volume of frozen and fresh groundfish products in 2021 was around 43 tonnes. The total volume of the export that carries carbon emissions amounted to 22,113 tonnes, or 5,018 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, which is almost 7.0% of the company’s total emissions.

Carbon Footprint of Major Groundfish Species

NameQuantity tonnesQuantity kg%tCO2etCO2e %Kg CO2e per tonne of product
Cod
8,795
39.8%
3,107
61.9%
354
Redfish
6,728
30.4%
1,154
23.0%
171
Saithe
5,139
23.2%
643
12.8%
125
Haddock
1,149
5.2%
98
2.0%
85
Other
302
1.4%
16
0.3%
50
Total
22,113
100%
5,018
100%
227

 * The table shows the average calculation of CO2 equivalents of the exported total amount of groundfish, which includes the calculation of CO2 equivalents. The carbon footprint of individual species is determined by different processing methods, transport methods, delivery terms and market areas. It is important to take these assumptions into account when making conclusions about the results based on figures published here and comparisons between years.

**The calculators of Eimskip, Samskip, Icelandair, Pier2Pier.com and sea-distances.org are used to calculate the estimated CO2 equivalents.

When looking at the carbon footprint of the transport of individual fish species, it becomes clear that the largest carbon footprints are from the transportation of cod, redfish and saithe from the processing plant of the company to the customers. Exports of these three species amounted to 20,662 tonnes, or 47.9% of the total exports of Brim’s groundfish products in 2021.

If the carbon footprint of these species is calculated for each kg CO2 equivalents per tonne of product, this reveals that cod accounts for an average of 354 kg, redfish for 171 kg and saithe for 125 kg for the year 2021.

The export of 22,113 tonnes of Brim groundfish products emits, on average, approximately 227 kg of CO2 equivalents per tonne of product.

Carbon Footprint of Transport of Frozen and Fresh Groundfish Products

ProductsShipAirTotal
Frozen at sea
Quantity tonnes
11,233
11,233
tCO2e
1,538
1,538
CO2 tonnes %
100%
100%
Frozen on land
Quantity tonnes
4,789
4,789
tCO2e
392
392
CO2 tonnes %
100%
100%
Fresh fish
Quantity tonnes
5,324
767
6,091
tCO2e
519
2,569
3,087
CO2 tonnes %
87%
13%
100%
Total quantity in tonnes
21,346
767
22,113
Total quantity in %
96.5%
3.5%
100%
Total CO2 equivalent in tonnes
2,449
2,569
5,018
Total CO2 equivalent in %
48.8%
51.2%
100%

*Emission of greenhouse gases is usually measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (tCO2e) A carbon dioxide equivalent is a unit of measurement that describes the volume of carbon dioxide that has the same GWP (Global Warming Potential) as a specific mix of other greenhouse gases. For instance, methane is equivalent to (CH₄) 28 CO2 equivalents and nitrogen oxide (N₂O) to 265 CO2 equivalents.

**The calculators of Eimskip, Samskip, Icelandair, Pier2Pier.com and sea-distances.org are used to calculate the estimated CO2 equivalents.

The proportion of total exports of products with a CO2 equivalent is 96.5% by ship during the year, or 21,346 tonnes of products. The carbon footprint for transport by ship was 2,449 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, or 48.8% of the total emissions.

During the same period, air freight was 767 tonnes, or 3.5% of the total exported volume, and the emission of CO2 equivalents was 2,569 tonnes. This is 51.2% of the total carbon footprint for the transportation of Brim’s products to overseas markets.

It is quite clear that exports by ship are a much more environmentally friendly means of transport than by air freight.

In 2021, the Environment Agency reduced the waste emission factor from 1.30 to 0.88. The Agency’s system change, changing the average composition of landfills in Europe to the average composition of landfills in Iceland over the past 20 years, resulted in a reduction in the company’s carbon footprint by 166 tCO2 equivalents during the year.

Transportation

Carbon Footprint of Transport of Frozen Pelagic Products Along with Fishmeal and Fish Oil

The table below shows an analysis of the carbon footprint due to the shipping of pelagic products to buyers in overseas markets.

The exported volume of pelagic products during the year was 43,409 tonnes. The total volume of the export that carries carbon emissions in transportation amounted to 18,073 tonnes, or 737 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, which is almost 0.84% of the company’s total emissions.

TonnestCO2e
Fishmeal plants
Fishmeal and fish oil
18,073
737
Percentage of quantity and CO2 in %
98%
100%
Pelagic freezing
Frozen products
445
Percentage of quantity and CO2 in %
2%
0%
Total quantity and CO2 in tonnes
18.518
737

*Emission of greenhouse gases is usually measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (tCO2e) A carbon dioxide equivalent is a unit of measurement that describes the volume of carbon dioxide that has the same GWP (Global Warming Potential) as a specific mix of other greenhouse gases. For instance, methane is equivalent to (CH₄) 28 CO2 equivalents and nitrogen oxide (N₂O) to 265 CO2 equivalents.

**The calculators of Eimskip, Samskip, Icelandair, Pier2Pier.com and sea-distances.org are used to calculate the estimated CO2 equivalents.

The proportion of fishmeal and fish oil with a CO2 equivalent is 98% of the total volume, or 18,073 tonnes of products. The carbon footprint of the products was 737 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

The share of frozen pelagic products was 2% of the total volume, or 445 tonnes. Since the products in question were delivered in Iceland, the carbon footprint of that journey has been included in the environmental statement under the item Domestic Driving.

Tansportation

Carbon Footprint of Major Pelagic Products

HeitiMagn tonnMagn %Tonn CO2 ígildiCO2 ígildi %Kg CO2 ígildi á tonn afurð
Blue Whiting
9,329
50.4%
467
63.4%
50
Herring
7,735
41.8%
227
30.8%
29
Capelin
1,379
7.4%
43
5.8%
31
Capelin Roe
75
0.4%
0
0.0%
0
Total
18,518
100%
737
100%
40

 * The table shows the average calculation of CO2 equivalents of the exported total amount of pelagic species, which includes the calculation of CO2 equivalents. The carbon footprint of individual species is determined by different processing methods, transport methods, delivery terms and market areas. It is important to take these assumptions into account when making conclusions about the results based on figures published here and comparisons between years.

When looking at the carbon footprint of the transport of individual fish species, the largest carbon footprint is due to the transport of blue whiting, then herring and finally capelin.

If the carbon footprint of the transport of these species is calculated for each kg CO2 equivalents per tonne of product, this reveals that blue whiting accounts for an average of 50 kg, herring for 29 kg and capelin for 31 kg. Since the capelin roe was delivered in Iceland, the carbon footprint of that journey has been included under that item in the environmental statement.

The export of 18,518 tonnes of the company’s pelagic products emits, on average, approximately 40 kg of CO2 equivalents per tonne of product.

Carbon Footprint of Brim’s Products

Brim now presents for the first time the carbon footprint of the company’s products, which is based on data from the company’s environmental statement and according to ISO 22948: 2020 (Carbon footprint for seafood).

The following transport scenarios are presented:

  • Fresh produce by air to Paris
  • Fresh produce by air to Boston
  • Fresh produce by ship in containers to Rotterdam 
  • Frozen produce by ship in containers to Rotterdam
  • Emissions due to the transport of fishmeal and fish oil are taken from the company’s environmental statement

Carbon Footprint of Wetfish Trawler Products and Groundfish Processing

This is a processing of cod, saithe and redfish caught by the company’s trawlers processed in the freezing plant at Norðurgarður in Reykjavík.

There is a significant difference in the carbon footprint of products depending on whether it is the transport of fresh products to a foreign market by air or by container vessel.  With increased quality and systematic management of fishing, processing and marketing, it has been possible to increase the share of container transport by ship significantly and thereby reduce the carbon footprint.  In 2021, 69% of fresh produce produced in the Norðurgarður fish processing plant was transported in containers by ship and 31% by air freight.  40% of the flights went to the USA and Canada.

Styrofoam boxes used as packaging for fresh products have a higher carbon footprint than packaging around frozen products, which explains the difference in CO2 footprint in processing depending on whether it is fresh or frozen products. 

The carbon footprint decreases from the previous year, which coincides with a reduction in oil consumption per tonne caught by the company’s trawlers, i.e. the fishing was more successful.  In 2020, there was a three-month stop at the fish processing plant in Norðurgarður due to the renewal of processing equipment.  Full processing took place throughout the year in the fish processing plant in 2021, and therefore more production and better energy efficiency, which is reflected in the lower carbon footprint. 

The results are in line with Matís’ life cycle analyses of fishing, land processing and cod transport, which show that the carbon footprint is very low compared to other food products.

Carbon Footprint of Freezer Trawler Products

The summary covers fishing and processing of all groundfish species that are caught and processed on board the company’s freezer trawlers.  CO2e/kg per product for transport is based on the transport of frozen products by container from Reykjavík to Rotterdam. If the product is then transported from Rotterdam to Qingdao in China, 0.40 CO2e/kg product is added.

The carbon footprint of freezer trawlers is considerably higher than the frozen footprint of wetfish trawlers and land processing. There is an insignificant change in the carbon footprint of frozen-at-sea products between years.

Carbon Footprint of Pelagic Fishing and Processing

The summary covers fishing and processing of all pelagic fish caught by the company’s vessels and processed in Vopnafjörður and Akranes, in addition to bones processed at the fishmeal factory in Akranes.

The transport of frozen products by container to Rotterdam is used, but the carbon footprint of the transport of fishmeal and fish oil is according to data from the company’s environmental statement. The carbon footprint decreases between the years 2020 and 2021, which is in line with more fishing per tonne of oil during the year.

Brim asked Matís to review the methodology and presentation of calculations and verify that they comply with ISO 22948: 2020 (Carbon footprint for seafood – Product category rules (CFP-PCR) for finfish), which is based on the methodology for Life Cycle Analysis (ISO 14040, ISO 14044). Matís also calculated the carbon footprint of transport, which is prepared according to CML-IA Baseline v3.06. The database is EcoInvent v3.6 and the programme is SimaPro v9.2.

Environmental Statement

Comparison Between Years

When looking at the company’s overall carbon footprint, the company considers it a more strategic method to look at measures that reflect a comparison of the company’s carbon footprint based on the base year, when the company first started calculating the company’s footprint. In the year 2021, the company emitted 66,965 tCO2e, and this had been declining since 2015, when the company emitted 71,688 tCO2,e or a decrease of 4,723 tCO2e, or 7.1%. The main variables that have influenced this development are several, although the company’s purchasing policy for oil purchases in recent years can be mentioned in particular.

Improved Information Supply on Scope 3

The innovation that appears in the company’s environmental report this year is carbon emissions, which is related to Scope 3. In recent years, we have published limited information on this aspect, but we believe that with the current information in this year’s report, we are covering 90% of the carbon footprint of Scope 3.

Scope 3 deals with greenhouse gas emissions that come from the company’s external operations and not directly from its work processes or assets. This refers to e.g. rental cars, staff flights, domestic transport of goods and raw materials, import and export of goods/products to and from the company, staff trips to and from work as well as information on the carbon footprint of each production unit of resources.

A production unit of resources is e.g. oil, lubricants, fishing gear and related products, packaging, styrofoam, wooden and plastic pallets, additives and cleaning agents.

As information on the carbon footprint of the above items is now included in the company’s environmental statement for the first time, this results in an increase in CO2 equivalents for the year 2021, compared to the statements of previous years.

Environmental Statement

Unit2021202020192018201720162015
E1. Greenhouse Gas (GhG) Emissions
Scope 1
tCO2e
71,461
68,463
66,201
62,983
59,340
69,963
70,648
Scope 2
tCO2e
305
524
564
686
696
607
934
Scope 3
tCO2e
21,067
8,972
4,512
488
162
221
106
Total
tCO2e
92,833
77,959
71,277
64,157
60,198
70,791
71,688
Total CO2 footprint
tCO2e
66,965
66,153
63,617
62,400
60,198
70,791
71,688
E2. Emissions Intensity
Energy emission intensity
kg/CO2e/MWst
214
218
203
194
187
210
189
Employee emission intensity
tCO2e/full-time equivalent positions
87
87
80
81
72
82
90
Emission intensity per square meter
kg/CO2e/m²
1,127
1,113
1,174
1,152
1,014
1,192
1,207
Total emission intensity of total revenue
tCO2e/m. EUR
172
226
235
296
277
352
317
Change in emission intensity of total revenue (KPi1)
%
45.6%
28.7%
23.2%
6.6%
12.7%
-11.0%
-
Change in total emission intensity 
%
6.6%
7.7%
11.3%
13.0%
16.0%
1.3%
-
E3. Energy Usage
Energy due to the use of fossil fuels
KWh
244,827,077
239,483,301
249,982,922
244,186,930
243,089,969
271,398,866
283,230,751
Electricity use
KWh
50,034,359
49,065,946
50,231,379
64,333,016
62,907,370
50,318,907
67,357,940
Energy from hot water for central heating
KWh
17,982,088
14,693,256
13,866,060
13,608,598
16,155,210
15,811,409
28,848,550
Total renewable energy use
KWh
312,843,524
303,242,503
314,080,361
322,128,544
322,152,549
337,529,182
379,437,241
E4. Energy Intensity
Employees
kWh/full-time equivalent positions
408,412
394,334
393,584
416,725
383,972
392,933
476,082
Total revenue
kWh/m.EUR
806,506
1,037,081
1,158,113
1,528,849
1,482,524
1,679,250
1,678,926
Square meter
kWh/m²
5,263
5,106
5,798
5,946
5,424
5,683
6,388
Catches
kWh/caught tonnes
2,129
2,369
2,251
1,928
2,113
2,379
2,158
E5. Energy Mix
Vessel fuel use
%
78.3%
79.0%
79.6%
75.8%
75.5%
80.4%
74.6%
Renewable energy (KPi3)
%
21.7%
21.0%
20.4%
24.2%
24.5%
19.6%
25.4%
E6. Water Usage
Cold water
532,995
377,301
611,470
758,932
732,605
768,998
916,283
Hot water
310,036
253,332
239,070
234,631
278,538
272,611
497,389
Total water use
843,031
630,633
850,540
993,563
1,011,143
1,041,609
1,413,672
E7. Environmental operations
Does your company follow a formal Environmental Policy?
Yes/No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Does your company follow specific waste, water, energy, and/or recycling polices?
Yes/No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Does your company use a recognized energy management system?
Yes/No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
E8. Climate Oversight - Board
Does your Board of Directors oversee and/or manage climate-related risks?
Yes/No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
E10. Climate Oversight - Management
Total amount invested, annually, in climate-related infrastructure, resilience, and product development
Thousand ISK
86,636
486,388
78,798
429,493
209,735
104,629
78,189

Waste Management

Unit20212020201920182017
Total volume of waste
kg
1,251,368
1,688,805
1,028,549
986,414
1,126,676
Construction waste
kg
49,900
642,635
49,982
39,510
159,820
Organic waste from production processes
kg
94,817
70,514
40,212
144,558
131,186
General waste from operations
kg
1,106,651
975,656
938,355
802,346
835,667
Whereof sorted waste
kg
820,193
797,779
740,775
609,249
652,603
Whereof for recycling
kg
806,811
632,877
553,618
505,129
591,120
Whereof unsorted waste
kg
286,458
177,877
197,580
193,097
183,064
General operations waste to landfill
kg
299,840
342,779
384,737
297,217
244,547
Proportion of sorted waste from operations
%
74%
82%
79%
76%
78%
Proportion of recycled operations waste
%
73%
65%
59%
63%
71%
Total waste disposal
tCO2e
347
728
Whereof construction waste
tCO2e
0
171
Whereof general waste from operations
tCO2e
264
465
Whereof organic waste from production processes
tCO2e
83
92
Waste intensity
Employees
tonnes/full-time equivalent position
1.44
2.20
1.29
1.28
1.34
Revenue (KPi2)
tonnes/m.eur
2.85
3.34
3.59
3.81
3.85

Paper handling

Unit20212020201920182017
Weight of printed paper
kg
488
654
831
866
919
Total volume of printed paper
Pages
97,736
131,128
166,642
173,656
184,275
Whereof colour printed
%
58%
57%
56%
58%
71%
Whereof black/white printed
%
42%
43%
44%
42%
29%
Whereof printed on both sides
%
35%
29%
28%
29%
23%

Catches and Fuel Use

Unit20212020201920182017
Catches
Wetfish trawler catches
tonnes
26,198
19,177
22,410
29,302
24,140
Pelagic vessel catches
tonnes
95,590
1,582
88,725
119,950
109,281
Freezer trawler catches
tonnes
25,202
27,269
28,378
17,935
19,039
Total catches
tonnes
14,973
128,028
139,513
167,088
15,460
Fleet fuel use
Wetfish trawler fuel use
litres
6,255,537
5,689,281
5,650,710
6,796,381
5,956,214
There of scientific expeditions
litres
0
298,068
372,498
Fuel use / caught tonnes (CT)
Litres/CT
239
281
236
232
247
GHG emissions of wetfish trawlers
tCO2e
17,725
16,216
16,113
18,865
16,221
GHG emissions / caught tonnes (CT)
tCO2e/CT
0.68
0.80
0.67
0.64
0.67
Fuel use of pelagic vessels
litres
7,525,638
7,297,512
6,144,762
8,194,585
6,463,549
Fuel use / caught tonnes (CT)
litres/CT
79
89
69
68
59
GHG emissions from pelagic vessels
tCO2e
21,326
20,799
17,288
22,749
18,356
GHG emissions / caught tonnes (CT)
tCO2e/CT
0.22
0.25
0.19
0.19
0.17
Freezer trawler fuel use
litres
8,898,803
9,531,852
9,959,015
6,310,025
7,372,356
Fuel use / caught tonnes (CT)
litres/CT
353
350
351
354
387
GHG emission of freezer trawlers
tCO2e
25,326
27,168
28,392
17,515
20,525
GHG emissions / caught tonnes (CT)
tCO2e/CT
1.01
1.00
1.00
0.98
1.08
Total fleet fuel use
litres
22,679,978
22,518,645
21,754,487
21,301,291
19,792,119
Total fleet GHG emission
tCO2e
64,377
64,183
61,793
29,126
55,102

Business Travel

Business TravelUnit20212020201920182017
Air Travel
tCO2e
24
24
90
Rental cars
tCO2e
17
14
15
Total
tCO2e
41
38
105

Transportation of Packaging

PackagingUnit20212020201920182017
Purchased wooden and plastic pallets for products
tCO2e
92
103
100
75
Packaging use in processing plants and freezer trawlers
tCO2e
165
94

Key Numbers

Key figuresunit20212020201920182017
Total turnover
m €
388
292
264
211
217
Number of man-years
No. of man-years
766
769
798
773
839
Carbon tax
ISK million
263
226
197
127
Investment in sustainability
ISK million
86,636
486
79
429
210
Number of structures
no.
25
25
23
23
26
Size of structures
m2
59,439
59,394
54,174
54,172
59,394
Number of vessels in operation on average during year
no.
9
8
8
8
9
Whereof wetfish trawlers
no.
4
3
3
4
4
Whereof freezer trawlers
no.
3
3
3
2
3
Whereof pelagic vessels
no.
2
2
2
2
2
Number of vehicles
no.
21
21
22
22
20
Whereof electric cars
no.
2
3
3
3
3
Whereof hybrid cars
no.
3
2
1
3
2
Violations of environmental laws
yes/no
no
no
no
no
no
Environmental management system
yes/no
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
Agreements containing provisions on environmental issues
no.
20
19
17
17
13

Community Projects

The Icelandic Language

In 2021, Brim emphasised projects related to the Icelandic language. Around the middle of the year, a grant and co-operation agreement was signed between Brim and the Icelandic Literary Society. The agreement is for four years, and the grant will benefit the company in various ways. 

On the Icelandic Language Day (Dagur íslenskrar tungu), 16 November, Brim drew attention to proverbs and sayings related to the fishing industry and fishing under the name “Icelandic is an ocean”.

In December, all preschools and primary schools in the country received the first six books in the book series “The little people with the big dreams” as a gift from Brim. The book series is about people who have changed history in various ways in recent centuries.

Community Projects

Environment

A large group of Brim’s employees took part in Siminn Cyclothon during the year. The team cycled around the country in just over 44 hours and at the same time collected pledges that went to Landvernd.

Brim supported the sailing of the Seiglurnar around the country, but the purpose of the sailing was to mobilise women to sail around Iceland, and the title of the trip was “The sea is our environment”. 

Brim also supports the Blái herinn, which has been clearing the coastline of Iceland for years.

Brim is one of the sponsors of the Arctic Cicle conference which is held annually in Iceland.

Community Projects

The Community

Brim’s operating units are in Reykjavík, Vopnafjörður and Akranes, and Brim has supported community projects in these places in various ways, both directly and indirectly.

Search and Rescue Teams are operated in all municipalities and are run by volunteers who are available at any time of the day, when needed. The Akranes Search and Rescue Team, Ársæll and Vopni benefited from grants from Brim during the year.

Mothers’ aid societies in Reykjavík and Akranes are voluntary organisations that provide important assistance to low-income families all year round. This assistance cannot be provided without the support of companies that support the committees in various ways.

Brim has supported the Team Rynkeby cycling group in Iceland for the past 2 years. The group cycles from Rynkeby in Denmark to Paris every year and collects grants from members at the same time. All grants raised go to NGOs that support chronically ill children and their families. 

The Women Leaders Global Forum has been held four times in Iceland, and Brim is one of the sponsors.

Community Projects

You’re Never Too Young to Learn, Never Too Old to Change

  • The Young People’s Fisheries School was held for the second time in Reykjavík in the 2021. Various companies related to the fishing industry are involved in the project, in addition to Vinnuskóli Reykjavíkur and the Fisheries Centre of the University of Akureyri. The school has been operated in Brim’s premises in Reykjavík.
  • Brim supports Þorgrímur Þráinsson, author, to hold his lecture “Verum ástfangin af lífinu” (Let’s fall in love with life) in all Icelandic primary schools, free of charge.

Community Projects

Breið Developmental

On 2 July 2020, Breið Developmental was founded by Brim and Akraneskaupstaður in Breiðinn, which is the westernmost part of Akranes municipality.

The old fish processing plant offers facilities for all kinds of activities, and a number of individuals, companies and schools have settled there.

At the beginning of 2022, an idea competition was announced for the planning and development of the entire Breið area, and it will be interesting to watch the ideas that appear there.

The Fab Lab innovation centre in Akranes is based at Breið Developmental, which is 50% owned by Brim. The centre, which is a collaborative forum for schools and companies in the area, offers access to a variety of equipment that can be used for production and makes it easier for those who come there to implement their ideas. It will be possible to shape, design and manufacture objects with the help of digital technology.