Veramaris has taken various measures to reduce its carbon footprint at Blair in Nebraska, US.
Veramaris has taken various measures to reduce its carbon footprint at Blair in Nebraska, US.

Algal oil producer pledges to lower emissions across the value chain

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Veramaris, which produces an omega-3-rich algal oil that can be used in feed for farmed fish and shrimp, has for the first time announced a Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) target to reduce absolute Scope 3 emissions by 22.5% by 2030, compared to a 2021 baseline.

Scope 3 emissions are the largest proportion of emissions in the aquaculture value chain and are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by a company, but that the company indirectly affects in its value chain. In other words, they are emissions passed on from one company to its customers, and in aquaculture are primarily a consequence of the volume of feed the sector uses.

Veramaris said its new targets will lead to lower emissions along the value chain and a more sustainable product for consumers. The new commitment comes after Veramaris registered a 27% lower product carbon footprint in an updated Environmental Product Declaration shared with its customers.

“We know how important it is for our customers to reduce the carbon footprint of the value chain, and we’re pleased to be improving our climate commitments. We’ll continue to take action as the demand for sustainably produced alternative ingredients in the aquafeed industry continues to surge,” said Veramaris chief executive Gertjan de Koning.

Emissions explained

Scope 3 emissions include all sources not within an organisation’s scope 1 and 2 boundary. Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse (GHG) emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organisation (e.g., emissions associated with fuel combustion in boilers, furnaces, vehicles). Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling.

The Scope 3 emissions for one organisation are the Scope 1 and 2 emissions of another organisation. Scope 3 emissions, also referred to as value chain emissions, often represent the majority of an organisation’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Veramaris has reduced the carbon footprint of its algal oil by 27%, and intends to reduce the emissions it passes on by 22.5% by 2030.
Veramaris has reduced the carbon footprint of its algal oil by 27%, and intends to reduce the emissions it passes on by 22.5% by 2030.

In August 2022, Veramaris committed to reducing its GHG emissions by setting a science-based target, which was approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) aimed at urgently limiting global warming to below 1.5°C. The new Scope 3 target strengthens these commitments.

The company has focused efforts on decarbonising its operations. It said the resulting emphasis on both technical and operational improvements, coupled with increasing productivity and capacity utilisation, all contributed to quickly reducing the product carbon footprint.

Veramaris uses corn sugar as a substrate for the fermentation of marine algae in a production facility in Blair, Nebraska, in the United States.

“From implementing more energy efficient facilities to supporting regenerative agriculture practices in our corn sugar supply chain, every step we make is a deliberate move to cut our footprint,” said Joanne Pedall, general manager of the facility.