Benchmark given credit for being green
Aquaculture biotechnology company Benchmark has converted an existing NOK 190 million (£16m) loan with Nordea Bank related to its salmon egg facility in Salten, Norway into a green loan, which has a marginally lower interest rate.
The conversion required UK-registered Benchmark to meet key ESG (environmental, social, and governance) criteria, including water management and the use of sustainable raw materials from deforestation-free sources.
Benchmark said its land-based production facility in Salten, Norway is designed for high biosecurity and high environmental standards. Access to salmon eggs with specialist genetic traits is a crucial first step in the value chain to produce sustainably grown salmon.
Net Zero targets
Chief executive Trond Williksen said: “The conversion of our existing loan with Nordea into a green financing facility is a testament to Benchmark’s commitment to ESG and sustainability, as well as to the successful development of our salmon genetics infrastructure and practices. We will continue to utilise green finance where appropriate whilst furthering our ESG and sustainability aims.
“Benchmark’s commitment to sustainability is further underpinned by our Net Zero targets and the work under way to improve our energy efficiency and access to renewable energy sources.”
Clean lice treatment
Benchmark’s other products include the salmon lice treatment Ectosan Vet, which is designed for use in wellboats and only in conjunction with the company’s CleanTreat system that removes medicine residues from treatment water before it is returned to the sea.
Last year the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, one of the world’s most respected sustainability accreditation organisations, included Benchmark’s CleanTreat filtration system as a mitigation tool in its current “Weighted Number of Medicinal Treatments”. The ASC concluded that any treatments performed in a closed contained system, that then applies water purification steps to remove the veterinary medicine, will receive a score of zero – the best score possible.