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Climate change is affecting all businesses and Sealord is committed to playing its part. Our climate change response is grouped into two categories – mitigation and adaptation.

1. Mitigation – measuring and setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint through changing our operational approach.

2. Adaptation – understanding and responding to climate risk by developing plans to adapt to extreme weather and rising sea temperatures.

Sealord is committed to disclosing our progress toward reducing our carbon footprint and is a member of the Aotearoa Circle and Nelson Businesses for Climate Action groups.

During 2023, Sealord has been involved with the Aotearoa Circle in developing a Seafood Sector Adaptation Strategy with climate adaptation pathways proposed for hoki, salmon and snapper. A significant component of these pathways will require further work on understanding juvenile fish behaviour, the development of alternative fuels and reviewing fish regulations with regard to fish movements as the sea temperature increases. 

What are CO2e units?

A CO2e unit is the standard international measure for greenhouse gases. A CO2e unit bundles the different greenhouse gases into one common unit (carbon dioxide, or CO2).

The other gases, such as methane, are measured in terms of their equivalent CO2 global warming effect and included in the CO2e bundle. This provides a complete measure of greenhouse gas emissions than if we measured CO2 alone.

Reducing our carbon footprint

Since 2019, Sealord has measured its carbon footprint annually to better understand our effect on the environment. This footprint is independently audited by an environmental verification company, McHugh Shaw, each year.  Most of our footprint (approximately 79 per cent) comes from the fuel that propels our vessels. We have several initiatives in place to reduce this footprint; these align with international science-based carbon reduction targets (the Paris Agreement).

Sealord's fishing business has 2019 as a baseline year and the aquaculture business has a baseline year of 2022 recognising when full operational control occurred,

In early 2024, Sealord purchased 100% ownership of Independent Fishing Limited (IFL) which will operated as a wholly owned subsidiary.  IFL's carbon footprint is expected to add approximately 40,000 tCO2e to Sealord Group's carbon footprint. This will be included in 2026 (for the FY25 financial year). This will be utilised as IFL's baseline year. 

We have two areas of focus:

Firstly, our New Zealand operations represent the largest proportion of our footprint with our vessels fishing around New Zealand and our two factories in Nelson. In New Zealand, our objectives are to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions in line with international science-based targets that align with the Paris Accord.

Scope 1 emissions will be very difficult to full abate. We have plans to retire vessels as well as invest in new vessels, however new alternative fuel options are still some years away for fishing businesses, so Sealord are also developing long term carbon off set options.

Our scope 3 emissions are largely (77%) sea freight based. After analysis of shipping routes and carriers, Sealord has limited options to reduce these emissions. Our shipping partners need to introduce new propulsion technology onto vessels servicing routes to and from New Zealand. We have taken an active watching brief on these Scope 3 emissions and are encouraging shipping companies to consider new vessels into this region as they are built and put into service. Most global sea freight companies have Net Carbon Zero targets of between 2040 and 2050 and our carbon reduction glide paths model this expectation.

Our second area of focus are our Australian businesses in Tasmania (Petuna) and Queensland (King Reef). These are aquaculture farms growing salmon and barramundi respectively. Petuna emissions were added to the Sealord Group’s emissions in 2022 as it will be included within the Operational boundary methodology we have selected.  

With a significant proportion of these businesses’ emissions being Scope 3, with the use of fish feed on the farm, our focus is on total carbon emissions. As we are growing more fish, it is also appropriate that an intensity measure is considered as well (the amount of CO2e per kilogram of fish growth per kilogram). Our goal is that both measures should reduce over time aligned with science- based targets.

Our annual Emissions Inventory Report is available on request. Please use the Contact Us email for a copy.

NZ Operational Emissions

(tonnes CO2e)

In 2019, Sealord undertook to measure our carbon footprint as part of the sustainability policy. Our baseline emissions are detailed in the chart above as at the year ending September 30, 2019. These are broken down into Scope 1 94,016t CO2e, Scope 2 1,137t CO2e and Scope 3 19,003 tCO2e.

From this starting point we have developed programs to reduce this over time, in line with our commitment to address Climate Change.

In the year ending September 30, 2023, Sealord NZ achieved a reduction from 2019, of 23.1% of Scope 1 and 2 emissions to 73,235 tCO2e. Vessel fuel accounted for 93.9% of these emissions.

Since our baseline year within New Zealand, Sealord have removed just under 22,000t CO2e from our operations in line with the international science-based targets. This equates removing to over 5,000 vehicles from our roads.

Our scope three emissions in New Zealand were 19,533 tCO2e of which freight was 79%.

The pie chart shows the total emissions sources by operational area.

(tonnes CO2e)

Australia Operational Emissions

Sealord's aquaculture business has a baseline carbon footprint of 34,483 tonnes CO2e (Scope 1 2,213 tCO2e, Scope 2 5,289 tCO2e, Scope 3 26,997 tCO2e). Scope 2 emissions are high as fossil fuel being used to create electricity at the barramundi farm in Queensland. Scope 3 emission are largely fish feed with 89% from this source. The baseline intensity measure for aquaculture is 4.29 kgCO2e per kilogram of fish grown.

In the year ended September 30, 2023, the aquaculture business overall carbon increased marginally by 0.5% to 34,675 tCO2e. However, with improved net growth on the farms, the intensity of emissions decreased to 3.32 kg CO2e per kilogram of fish grown. This was in line with science- based targets.

In our salmon business this intensity measure was 2.8 kgCO2e per kilogram of fish grown.  This carbon intensity is the lowest in salmon aquaculture in Australia due to our unique land-based operations in Rowella.  Science based targets have been established for the Australian business on the total carbon footprint.

Pie chart Australia Emissions by Operational Category (tonnes CO2e)

Total Sealord Group

Sealord Group’s baseline emissions in the year ended Sept 30, 2019 were 120,090 tCO2e. New Zealand operations were 94.9% of this footprint.

In 2023, total emissions were 126,236 tCO2e and New Zealand's percentage is 72.5% of emissions. The increase is due to the integration of Petuna in 2022 and will also increase further once IFL is integrated in the FY25 year.

Pie chart total Sealord Group Emissions by Scope (tCO2e)

Science Based Targets

Sealord have established international science-based targets for the New Zealand operations from the 2019 baseline. These are designed to meet the requirements of maintaining global temperatures to a maximum of +1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. This is in line with the more aggressive guidelines established in the Paris Agreement (versus a +3.0 degree scenario). These targets deliver a carbon net zero position in 2050.

The graphs below represent the carbon reduction each year for the Sealord Fishing business in New Zealand since the 2019 baseline.  In 2023, Sealord did not meet the science-based targets, however cumulatively since the 2019 the business is below the agreed targets. This was driven by having more vessels fishing in 2023 than in 2022 as well as some issues with refrigeration gases on one of our vessels. in 2024, another vessel will be retired and not replaced which will assist in meeting the targets.

As detailed above, the aquaculture business meet the science -based targets in 2023 on an intensity basis.


Tonnes CO2e removed 2020


Tonnes CO2e removed 2021


Tonnes CO2e removed 2022


Tonnes CO2e added in 2023


Total tonnes CO2e removed since 2019

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