Sustainability Indicators

Cermaq reports in accordance to a wide selection of sustainability principles. We measure our performance against these principles and seek continuous improvement.

Cermaq reports on topics that have been found material for our operations and to our stakeholders. How we define our material topics is described in further detail in our Materiality Analysis. We use the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework to identify specific indicators to report on for each material topic, and these are presented under "GRI indicators" on this page, categorized in Economic, Environmental and Social aspects. In addition, we have developed a separate set of material indicators which are made specifically for our industry and our operations. These can be found on this page under "Cermaq indicators".

Here you will find Fish Health, Environmental, Economical, Social and Compliance information of our operations in Norway, Chile and Canada.

Cermaq Indicators


Fish mortality is a key measure to evaluate fish health in production. To monitor fish mortality, a 12 months rolling rate was introduced in 2012. The rate measures mortality for the last 12 months as a proportion of an estimated number of fish in sea the last month (adjusted for harvest and mortalities). The benefit of a 12-month rolling rate is that seasonal variations are eliminated. The indicator is a more precise measure and a better “steering wheel” for management.

Reduction in mortality is a key target in Cermaq and mortality is defined as a Key Performance Indicator. This means that it is reported monthly to the Central Management team and the Board of Directors.

The 12 months rolling fish mortality for Atlantic salmon was 6,3 percent of fish in sea at the end of December 2015 for the Cermaq Group, compared with 6.8 percent at the end of 2014. Cermaq Chile achieved a significant reduction in mortalities compared with 2014 and had the lowest mortality rate within the Group this year (6,0 percent), largely due to a continued and focused effort on fish health management. Cermaq Norway had 6,2 percent fish mortality and Cermaq Canada 7,2 percent.

Fish Mortality (Atlantic salmon)

In addition to Atlantic salmon, Cermaq Chile is farming Coho salmon and Rainbow trout. At year-end 2015, the 12 month rolling mortality rate for Coho increased to 8,5 percent (from 6,5 percent in 2014) mainly due to challenging biological conditions including SRS. The mortality rate for Rainbow trout was significantly reduced from 10,6 percent in 2014 to 2,5 percent this year.

Cullings as a result of disease epidemics are not included in the 12-month rolling rate. In 2015, no cullings were reported in Cermaq Group.

The stocking density is compliant with national regulations which are 25 kg/m3 in Norway and 17 kg/m3 in Chile. Canada does not have a regulatory limit, however Cermaq Canada’s normal stocking density is 20 kg/m3.


Controlling sea lice levels is a high priority in all regions where Cermaq operates because high levels of sea lice negatively impact the immune systems of farmed fish. It is also a priority to keep lice levels low to ensure there is no potential risk of negatively impacting wild salmon stocks.

Lice occur naturally in the marine environment. There are two species of lice that affect farmed salmon: Caligus sp. and Lepeophtheirus salmonis . Caligus in general is not host-specific and infects a wide range of marine fish species such as herring, Atlantic cod and Zaithe, as well as salmonids. There are different subspecies of Caligus that dominate in each region: Caligus elongatus in Norway, Caligus clemminsi in Pacific Canada, and Caligus rogercresseyi , in Chile.

L. salmonis, on the other hand, is specific to salmonids. It has several life stages: (1) free swimming larvae in the water column, followed by (2) stages that attaches to the host when they encounter a fish - typically the skin, fins, the gills and (3) finally developing into movable stages of adult and mature lice on the fish that can produce new progeny.

Both species lives off the mucus, skin and blood of their fish host, and consequently irritate infected fish.

Heavy infestation by either lice species may result in stress and reduced immune competence, making the fish more susceptible to other infections. Therefore, effective lice-management is a very important measure in preventive fish health work, and is a pre-requisite for sustainable aquaculture.

Sea lice counts Cermaq Chile

In Cermaq Chile the status of Caligus for Atlantic salmon and Trout has improved since the peak in April 2013. For Coho salmon, adult sea-lice are not a challenge to the same degree as for Atlantic and Trout and the level has remained low in 2015. In total, the average count for adult female lice in Cermaq Chile (all species) was 1,41 in 2015 compared to 1,25 in 2014. There were somewhat higher counts in Q4 in 2015 compared with Q4 in 2014 (1,37 vs. 1,07).

Average Sea Lice Counts Chile - Atlantic salmon

The sea lice counts for Atlantic salmon in Chile has keep a steady tendency during 2015, with slight higher counts in February with 2,1 adult female. The counts correspond to summer season were the parasites have better environmental conditions to develop. While the lowest average count was in September after winter with 1 female parasite, which is the month with coldest water temperatures.

Average Sea Lice Counts Chile - Coho salmon


Average adult female sea lice counts in Coho salmon in Chile also had a steady and low tendency with an average of 0,01 parasites. Coho salmon constantly shows that is less affected by the parasite, where the highest counts was of 0,1 female and was also recorded in summer season.

Average Sea Lice Counts Chile - Rainbow Trout

The sea lice counts for Rainbow trout in Chile has shown uneven tendency, nevertheless the adult female count for 2015 was 0,76 parasites, which is a decrease from the 2014 counts. The sea lice counts also are influenced by season, with the highest counts on January with 1,9 female parasites and the lowest al October with 0 parasites. During October and November two coordinated bath treatment were performed in Chilean Industry in which Cermaq participate. The outcome of the coordinated treatment, result in the lowest count of 0 parasites and due to a new strategy to stock Trout in XII region, where there is no sea lice.

Sea lice counts Cermaq Norway

In Norway, the Norwegian Food Safety Authorities (NFSA) has published a list of salmon producers according to traffic-lights based on the average time in weeks sites have had levels of female adult lice above the maximum allowed level of 0,5. Cermaq Norway is placed under the green traffic-lights.

There has been a good effect in 2015 from preventive sea lice measures like lice skirts and lump fish, however only a few sites are equipped. For the year, the sea lice levels remained low, however in Q4, there were higher counts compared to Q4 2014 (0,13 vs. 0,07 average) largely due to an increased load in Finnmark, which previously have had low sea lice counts.

Average Sea Lice Counts Norway - Atlantic salmon

The average adult female counts for Atlantic salmon in Norway has been low with the highest count in October with 0,23 parasites, thus seasonal tendency is also seen, were autumn was the most challenging time of 2015. The counts for the remaining months of 2015 have a low tendency.

Sea lice counts Cermaq Canada

Sea lice has been a rather insignificant fish health issue on the west coast of Canada. However, the level has risen steadily throughout 2015. In Cermaq Canada, the sea lice levels increased from 0,66 average adult female and mobile lice in 2014 to 1,7 in 2015. In Q4 2014, the counts were 0,57 compared with 1,04 in the same period in 2015. Elevated levels were largely due to higher than normal water temperatures, high salinity and large numbers of wild salmon.

Average Sea Lice Counts Canada - Atlantic salmon

Average adult female count in Canada has been influenced by season, where autumn was the most challenging time of 2015. In September adult female load reached 2,83 parasites, while mobile lice reached 3,06. The sea lice levels were strongly influenced by favorable environmental conditions which allowed parasite Development.

Sea lice are reported regularly in accordance with local regulations, see table of local action levels.

Local Action Levels (Mean number of lice per fish)

In 2015, sea lice counts were controlled below the local action levels for all Cermaq operations. The local action levels in 2015 are provided in the table below.

CEQ 02 - Local Action Levels, mean Level of Lice per Fish

  Chile Norway Canada
  Adult Females Adult Females Total lice (mobiles+adult females)
2015 3 0.5 3



All operations fully respected the fallow requirements defined in regulations in 2015.

CEQ 03 - Average Achieved Fallow Time Between Production Cycles (weeks)

Weeks Cermaq Canada Cermaq Chile Cermaq Norway
Statutory requirements - 12 8
2010 22 24 29
2011 13 12 17
2012 24 12 17
2013 27 12 14
2014 17 12 10
2015 55 12 25



Cermaq works systematically with preventive health measures in all our countries of operation. Screening programs for monitoring relevant pathogens, vaccines, functional feeds, stress mapping, more restrictive use of antibiotics, improving water quality, and more knowledge are key elements in our approach to ensure better fish health and welfare.

This has given us more tools to better forecast disease events and knowledge to lower the risk of disease outbreaks.

Antibiotics used

In Norway, antibiotics use decreased in 2015 and remains low. In Canada, mouth rot is the primary cause of mortality in newly entered smolt sites and antibiotics are the main tool to combat this disease at present. Towards the end of 2015, increased treatments with antibiotics were necessary also to treat Piscirickettsia in Cermaq Canada, a situation that is expected to improve in the beginning of 2016.

In Cermaq Chile, the use of antibiotics continued to increase in 2015 as a result of the increasing number of SRS disease outbreaks in the industry (Piscirickettsia salmonis). One of the priorities of Cermaq’s global research team is to find alternative methods to fight the disease, among other measures a more effective SRS vaccine.

It is Cermaq’s policy to restrict the use of antibiotics as far as necessary, and only use it when strictly needed, and never as a preventive measure.

CEQ 4 -  Antibiotic used

g/Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) per tonne live weight (LW) produced


The antibiotic use has increased in Canada as well in Chile due to the sanitary challenges on each country, while in Norway has decreased by 74%. Sanitary Challenges that use antibiotic are those related to bacterial diseases outbreaks and are used to improve Health and Welfare of Our Fish .

  Cermaq Canada Cermaq Chile Cermaq Norway Grand Total
2013 10.20 230.27 4.38 127.15
2014 9.05 279.10 4.68 146.81
2015 220.08 513.39 1.24 265.86
2333% 84% -74% 81%

Sea lice treatment used

In Canada, in-feed treatment increased the past year to keep the sea lice counts below local action levels. Oral Emamectin  treatment remains effective. Bath treatment has not yet been approved for general use, and are consequently not used in Canada.

The use of in feed treatments remained low in Cermaq Chile. Bath treatments also decreased in Chile in 2015, although it increased towards the end of the year due to a higher lice load.

Cermaq Norway increased the use of baths the past year to reduce lice counts. The increase in bath treatments is mainly due to a more challenging sea lice situation in the second half of the year, particularly in Finnmark. Increasing sea lice resistance to treatment is a concern and alternative methods are tested. In-feed treatments have proven to be less effective in Norway with minimal use as a result.

Cermaq has policies and procedures in place to ensure that all treatments are conducted in accordance with local regulations and area management plans.

CEQ 4 - Sea lice treatment used in feed

The amount in grams of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (gAPI) per tonne live weight (LWE) of fish produced during 2015 was 0.09 for Norway, 0.01 for Chile and 0.27 for Canada. For Chile and Norway, the use decreased in 2015 by 14% and 10% respectively. While for Canada has increased by 95% due to challenging conditions and due to in feed treatment is the only approved tool to reduce parasitic loads.

  Cermaq Canada Cermaq Chile Cermaq Norway Grand Total
2013 0.28 1.75 0.04 0.99
2014 0.14 0.02 0.10 0.06
2015 0.27 0.01 0.09 0.08
95% -14% -10% 31%

CEQ 4 - Sea lice bath treatment

The use of sea lice bath treatment for Chile reached 4.46 gAPI/tonne LWE for 2015, which is a 26% decrease from 2014. For Norway the sea lice bath treatment use was 2.67 gAPI/tonne LWE, which is an increase of 173%, due to the challenging sea lice condition in the second half of the year.

CEQ 4 - Sea lice treatment used in bath


  Cermaq Canada Cermaq Chile Cermaq Norway Grand Total
2013 0.00 5.20 0.64 3.04
2014 0.00 6.04 0.98 3.46
2015 0.00 4.46 2.67 3.10
0% -26% 173% -11%

Non-medical treatments are also used to combat sea lice. Examples are functional feeds supporting fish health, sea lice skirts and lumpfish, and inclusion of fresh water in the cages. All methods show promising results. The non-medical preventive measures may reduce the need for medical treatments to maintain levels below local action levels.


Our experiences from the ISA crisis in Chile resulted in more systematic work with preventive fish health measures in all three countries. Screening programs for monitoring relevant pathogens, vaccines, stress mapping, more restrictive use of antibiotic, improving water quality and more knowledge are key elements in our approach to ensure better fish health and welfare. This has given us more tools to better forecast disease events and knowledge to lower the risk for disease outbreaks.

As an integral part of our preventive health measures vaccines are used, when they are assessed as effective for the species in the specific region. Examples of diseases we vaccinate against are IPN, Vibriosis, ISA, Furunculosis, SRS, IHN and Enteric Red Mouth Disease. Cermaq performs Research and Development projects to facilitate the development of more effective vaccines against SRS and other diseases.

Vaccination program in Cermaq (2015)

CEQ 05: Vaccines component




















Coldwater vibriosis




Winter ulcer












Enteric Red Mouth




Mouth rot









An Area Management Agreement is a written agreement between stakeholders in a defined area. Such agreements are tailored to the local situation and, typically, may include agreement on fallowing and sea lice management strategies, vaccination programs, containment and contingency plans, recapture management plans and disease control strategies in farmed and wild fisheries.

Area management is crucial for effective, preventive management.

In 2015, all Cermaq sites were engaged in area management agreements or located in areas fully controlled by Cermaq.


Escapes are treated as serious incidents with attention from management and Board of Directors. After three incidents of escape in Chile in 2013, Chile started to monitor the entire network installation by use of ROV (remotely operated vehicle). In addition, investments and initiatives were made to reduce the risk of new incidents; e.g. double nets. The work to prevent escapes is a priority and continues in all regions.

In 2015, there were two minor incidents of fish escapes in Cermaq Canada, each leading to one fish escaping during handling. In Chile, two incidents led to the escape of a total of 6844 fish. One escape incident was related to a sea lice bath treatment and the other was due to a sea lion attack causing a hole in the net, leading to the escape of 6767 fish. In Norway, 500 fish of an estimated average weight of 50 grams were lost and could not be accounted for when a tank on land bursted in July. It is likely that most of this fish did not escape in the ocean, but was lost due to predators and between rocks on land. However, the incident was still reported as an escape to the authorities as a precautionary matter.

In Norway, Cermaq has introduced DNA traceability for its smolt production, enabling to determine with certainty whether an escaped salmon is farmed by Cermaq or another company. The first smolt of this kind was transferred to sea in 2015.

Sum of Number of Escaped Fish OpCo      
Year Cermaq Canada Cermaq Norway Cermaq Chile Grand Total
2013 0 0 63273 63273
2014 21 0 0 21
2015 2 500 6844 7346


We recognize that Our operations impact our neighbors and local communities in various ways, and we take care to register all complaints to our operations in order to address the root cause and make improvements.

In total, six community complaints were reported in 2015, compared to five in total in 2014. One complaint was registered in Canada concerning noise, which was settled quickly. In Norway, there were a total of five complaints, of which one concerned noise, two were related to environmental issues and two involved concerns about visual pollution regarding the installation of new smolt tanks. The complaints were all followed up on and solved. E.g. the smolt tanks were painted to reduce reflection and visual impact on neighbors. To investigate the environmental complaints in Norway, an environmental impact assessment was conducted which found very good conditions.

CEQ 11 - Summary of Local Community Complaint Incidents, by Type and by Operating Company



In 2015, a total of five whistle blowing incidents were reported. For comparison, there were two cases of whistle blowing incidents in 2014. In 2013, a project was established to implement a whistle blowing channel for external stakeholders. Routines, procedures and a technical specification were developed and the solution was implemented in 2014.

  2013 2014 2015
Cermaq Norway 0 1 1
Cermaq Chile 0 0 1
Cermaq Canada 0 0 3
Cermaq Group AS 0 1 0
Cermaq Group 0 2 5


The aquaculture industry is characterised by a high level of operational risk. The greatest risk exposures include fish health, food safety, production related constraints, effects of climate change, environmental changes, and the health and safety of the group's employees and contracting parties.

The group has a policy stating that systematic management of operational risk shall be established through management systems which are certified in accordance with international standards. The standards impose requirements with respect to management responsibility, structure, reporting and allocation of responsibility in the organisation, regular risk assessment and action plans for ongoing improvement, internal and external communication, and the establishment of procedures and operational controls.

The group has defined the most important areas as being Quality (ISO 9001), Environment (ISO 14001), Food safety (ISO 22000) and Occupational Health and Safety (OHSAS 18001). All operating companies are required to have all standards in place and re-certification is a management responsibility. All operating companies had all standards in place in 2015.

As a part of Cermaq’s commitment to the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), the Group has furthermore developed plans for all regions to be ASC certified by 2020.

Other certifications

Cermaq Chile has several additional certifications in place including the IFS International Food standards in Processing Plants; Four stars Best Agriculture Practices (BAP) in Processing Plants, Feed Plant for fish, hatcheries and sea sites; GLOBAL GAP in Processing Plants and some sea sites as hatcheries; and Carrefour, Wallmart, Hallal and Kosher standards at processing plants. In addition, Cermaq Chile had four certified sites in accordance with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council standard (ASC) in 2015 with two more obtained in January 2016.

In addition to the ISO and OHSAS standards, all harvest sites in Cermaq Canada are in the process of being certified to Best Aquaculture Practices Standard. With two ASC certifications obtained in 2015, Cermaq Canada was the first salmon farming company in Canada to have multiple farms certified to the ASC standard, and the second company in Canada to earn this prestigious certification. In addition, all sites in the Tofino area (more than half of total production) are certified to the Aboriginal Aquaculture Association’s Aboriginal Principles for Sustainable Aquaculture standards.

Cermaq Norway received GLOBAL GAP certification in 2014, in addition to the ISO and OHSAS standards. One site was ASC audited in 2015 with two more expecting certification in early 2016.


Quality Management Standard ISO 9001

Food Safety Management Standard ISO 22000

Environment Management Standard ISO 14001

Occupational Health & Safety Standard 18001

Cermaq Norway





Cermaq Chile





Cermaq Canada






Transparency regarding organizational ownership, management and operations, is regarded as important to fight corruption. This indicator shows Cermaq’s financial and organizational data for each country in the Group. Cermaq has been reporting country by country data for several years. The table below shows Cermaq’s financial and organizational data for each country in the Group.

Country Revenues before tax Income tax Investments Community investment Financial assistance received from government Number of employees
Cermaq Group AS -187.199 51.49 0.012 0.608 0 39
Cermaq Norway 904.788 -191.036 444.703 1.665 0 529
Cermaq Chile  -1073.383 271.774 74.462 0.445 19.45 2805
Cermaq Canada 449.259 -116.974 87.167  0.417 0 242
Total 93.465 15.254 606.344 3.135 0 3615

Numbers in mill. NOK

*Counts 15 months from 01.01.2015 to 31.03.2016 due to changes in fiscal year.

NOTE: Community investments include support to various stakeholders and initiatives like e.g. NGOs, sports, culture, training and education and various charities and foundations. The revenues before tax and income tax for the Cermaq Group in total deviates from the sum of the companies listed above due to internal eliminations. For more information please consult the financial statements of Cermaq Group.

More information about financial assistance received from government can be found in indicator EC4 Financial assistance received.


EWOS was Cermaq's main feed supplier in 2015, hence this indicator is based on EWOS data. Forage fishery dependency is a challenge for a growing fish farming industry. In recent years, EWOS has lowered the marine content in its feed and the research into 'marine independence' provides the knowledge for further significant reduction in the future if necessary. In addition, the use of fish trimmings and by-products has increased considerably. The specific content of marine ingredients in EWOS feed varies depending on price and availability of alternative raw materials. In 2015, the marine index for EWOS decreased to 27.2 percent from 30.5 percent in 2014.

Marine content in salmonid feeds

Notes: 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and 2015  figures are ex. EWOS Vietnam

However, the efficiency in the use of marine ingredients is of greater relevance than dependency on marine ingredients. Farmed salmon is well-known to be very efficient in their conversion of forage fish and seafood by-products into healthy and nutritious farmed salmon. In 2015, we estimate that EWOS used 0.83 times marine protein (1.01 in 2014 and 1.01 in 2013) than protein produced by salmon farmers. For marine oil, EWOS used less oil (0.74) than produced by farmers. For comparison EWOS used 0.79 units of oil in 2014 and 0.77 units in 2013.

Estimated Marine Nutrient Ratios

Notes: The figures are ex. EWOS Vietnam

The marine oil dependency ratio (MODR) is calculated by dividing the amount of nutrient input in the feed by the amount of nutrient output in the fish produced. The marine protein dependency ratio (MPDR) is calculated by dividing the amount of nutrient input in the feed by the amount of nutrient output in the fish produced.

The following list indicates the countries of origin for many of the fish species used in fishmeal and fish oil purchased by EWOS:

Country of origin

Fish species Country
Anchovy Peru, Chile, China
Blue whiting  Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, UK.
Capelin Norway, Iceland
Sprat Denmark, Norway, Ireland.
Menhaden USA
Herring Norway, Denmark, Iceland
Jack Mackrell Chile
Norway Pout  Norway, Denmark 
Sand eel  Norway, Denmark. 
Sardine  Chile, Panama

EWOS prioritizes the use of feed ingredients that is judged to be sustainable based upon the best available information. Examples of the sources of information used to judge the sustainability of fisheries include: IMARPE and Sernapesca in South America, ICES in Europe, and National Marine Fisheries Service, Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in the USA.

EWOS is a strong supporter of the IFFO Responsible Supply Standards and 81 percent of EWOS’ marine raw materials are purchased from companies certified according to this standard. EWOS does not accept IUU/illegal fishing as sources for the fish oil or fish meal they purchase.

EWOS participated in the development of the RTRS- and ProTerra standards for responsible soy. Around 60 percent of the soy purchased is sourced from suppliers RTRS or similar certified soy.
In 2014, both EWOS and Cermaq signed The New York Declaration on Forests aiming at stopping deforestation and focusing especially on soy and palm oil.

The table below shows the raw material use for salmonid feed primarily, but also raw materials used for other species like pangasius and tilapia, as well as the origin. In 2015, EWOS’ use of marine ingredients derived from seafood trimmings and by-products was 32.2 percent (compared to 25 percent in 2014).

Overview of fish species used to make fishmeal and fishoil for EWOS group feed 2015

Category Species Category % Total
Fish trimmings & byproducts Herring trimmings  50.8 16.3
  White fish offal  24.1 7.8
  Hake trimmings  3.0 1.0
  Atlantic mackerel trimmings  7.9 2.5
  Capelin 3.5 1.1
  Various species  10.8 3.5
Fish trimmings & byproducts Total   100 32.2
Forage Fish Anchovy  41.6 28.2
  Blue whiting  18.9 12.8
  Capelin 10.1 6.8
  Menhaden 4.9 3.3
  Sardine 10.6 7.2
  Sprat  6.6 4.4
  Various species  7.3 5.0
Forage Fish Total   100 67.7
Other Marine Ingredients Krill    0.08
Other Marine Ingredients Total      

Notes: Species that individually make up less than 2% of the mix have been grouped together under 'various species'.  Countries making up less than 2% of the total fish meal + fish oil are not listed.

More information on EWOS feed ingredients, sourcing and sustainability management is available in the EWOS sustainability report on the EWOS webpage.

GRI Economic Indicators


Cermaq supports local communities with both financial and in-kind contributions. However, socio-economic benefits are most obviously manifested through payments to suppliers, employees, local authorities and payment of dividends to shareholders.

The table presented below quantifies the overall economic value generated and distributed through Cermaq's activities.

NOK 1,000   2015** 2014 2013 2012 2011
Direct Economic Value Generated          
Revenues   8,198,678 5,616,143 5,155,315 3,280,605 11,634,344
Economic Value Distributed            
Operating costs Cost of materials -4,674,997 -2,446,471 -2,197,544 -86,703 -7,447,360
  Other operating expenses


-1,705,250 -1,435,628 -1,021,833 -1,672,836
Employee wages & benefits   -1,001,214 -740,036 -774,381 -633,745 -828,628
Payments to providers of capital Interest expense -124,407 -104,752 -129,345 -52,030 -48,989
  Dividend payment 0 0 -4,884,000 -92,500 -428,000
Payments to government Income tax expense 15,254 -21,158 -257,416 -295,927 -211,862
Community investments   -3,135 -4,520 -3,850 -3,904 -10,551
Sub total   -8,053,572 -5,022,187 -9,682,164 -2,186,642 -10,648,226
Economic Value Retained   145,106 593,956 -4,526,850 1,093,962 986,118

** 15 months year from 01.01.2015 to 31.03.2016, due to changed fiscal year, ending 31 March.


Climate change has the potential to significantly impact the salmon farming industry, and risks related to e.g. extreme weather conditions and natural events are assessed as a high risk area for Cermaq Group. Climate change impacts may also affect the industry’s feed supply due to a decrease in agricultural production and changes in forage fisheries. Climate change adaptation is hence an increasingly important aspect of Cermaq’s risk management.

The industry also sees opportunities related to climate change. The results from scientific studies show that farmed fish has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other protein sources, such as beef and pork (e.g. FAO 2014: The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture and the GSI sustainability report 2015). The world’s population is growing and demands more protein. Farmed salmon represents a solution to the challenge of climate change by providing a low-impact protein source.

Below is an overview of main risks and opportunities related to climate change for Cermaq Group, including the implications and management.


Changes in weather patterns
Increased frequency of extreme weather events may cause storms, mudslides and/or flooding, resulting in damage to fish farm sites with sea water cages. This may have consequences for the safety of employees, fish escapes and insurance COSTs.

In Cermaq’s operations, extreme weather such as storms and currents are experienced in all regions quite regularly. Norway experienced a hurricane in February 2015 which resulted in significant material damage (the hurricane “Ole”). In British Columbia, challenging environmental conditions were experienced in the past summer caused by prolonged periods without rain and rising seawater temperatures.

Impacts on feed ingredients
Weather changes could impact the availability and price of raw materials (both marine and terrestrial) for feed produced which means higher feed costs for salmon farmers.

Risks related to change in mean (average) temperature
Warmer water could affect aquaculture in temperate zones, making it impossible to farm some species. The Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) publishes information about risks connected to warmer water temperatures, such as an increase in disease-causing pathogens.

Risks related to ocean acidification
Ocean acidification due to increased levels of CO2 poses a risk to marine life, and may affect e.g. the environmental conditions for salmon production and the availability of marine ingredients in the salmon feed. 

Opportunities related to change in mean (average) temperature
Increasing sea water temperatures could enhance the growing conditions for salmon farming, allowing for faster growth rates and reduced production costs. A report from MCCIP explains opportunities connected to growth and type of species cultivated. Rising sea water temperatures could increase growth rates for some fish species (e.g. Atlantic Salmon), and new species could be cultivated (e.g. Sea Brass and Bream).

Changes in sea water temperatures could allow for new salmonid farming sites located farther north than before.

Financial implications of the physical risks and opportunities

Financial implications related to physical risks are increased fish mortality, physical destruction of aquaculture facilities, loss of stock, spread of disease, and increased feed costs. Changes in sea water surface temperatures could impact the conditions for fish farming. In extreme cases, higher sea water temperatures may cause physiological stress to fish, reduce seawater oxygen levels and cause harmful algae blooms that all have negative financial impacts. Increased water temperatures may also lead to increased sea lice load and hence higher treatment costs. Challenges in the feed supply chain due to climate related issues may lead to lower availability of feed and increased COSTs.

Higher temperatures in some regions could mean faster growth, which results in decreased production costs for our fish farming operations. However, because the optimal water temperature for growing salmon is 12 to 14 degrees, if temperatures rise above 15 degrees, growing conditions become suboptimal and can increase risk of diseases, prompt algal blooms and lead to longer production cycles.

How we manage the physical risks and opportunities

Risks connected with extreme weather events are mitigated through applying site-specific risk assessments for elements such as weather patterns and temperatures, and implementing specific protocols and climate change adaptation measures.

Changes to sea water surface temperatures are in some ways mitigated by the geographic diversity of Cermaq's operations. Evaluating further expansion potential is a part of the management’s yearly strategic process reviews.


Emission reporting obligations
There is a general trend towards regulation related to carbon footprint disclosure at point of sale. This may affect all products marketed in the EU.

Carbon taxes
CO2 regulations and increased tax on fossil based fuel and energy represent a risk of higher operational costs.

General environmental regulations
Changes in environmental regulations may pose a risk, such as emissions regulations for production sites, increased taxation on energy and fuel and increased reporting demand.

General environmental regulation opportunities
Any new regulations are an opportunity if the organization is well prepared. Immediate compliance can be a competitive advantage.

Financial implications of the regulatory risks and opportunities:

Cermaq expects financial implications on two levels: increased operational costs and resources for reporting and labelling purposes; and possible inability to comply with new legislation. Ultimately this could interfere with the access to international markets for our products.

Investment in time and efforts to comply with new regulations and follow-up and reporting procedures are financial implications of pursuing the opportunities.

How we manage the regulatory risks and opportunities:

Cermaq Chile has developed a tool for measuring the carbon footprint of salmon products and has since 2009 onwards been able to determine the carbon footprint of its products. Based upon the information obtained it may be possible to:

Label salmon products with the carbon footprint

Decide upon active strategies for managing the carbon footprint of salmon products in the future, and minimize GHG emissions wherever possible

Cermaq’s sustainability functional team discusses new regulations and initiatives and their impact on our business. Compliance with regulations is followed up in the quarterly sustainability reporting process.



Information related to this GRI indicator is presented in the Financial accounts, available in Q2 2016.


Financial assistance from governments totaled NOK 20 864 173 in 2015. Cermaq Chile received the most of this assistance in the form of grants and other financial benefits e.g. government support to businesses that operate in remote areas and supplier training schemes.

Category  Cermaq 
Investment grants, research and development grants, and other relevant types of grants          18,793,345
Tax relief/credits            2,070,828
Financial assistance from Export Credit Agencies (ECAs)  
Other financial benefits received or receivable from any government for any operation  
Grand Total          20,864,173



Wage levels, especially in processing plants in Chile, have historically received attention and concern by some groups of stakeholders. At year end 2015 the minimum monthly wage was CLP 241 000 for employees working at the processing plant in Cermaq Chile. The average wage level for permanent employees at the processing plants was CLP 555 184.

Permanent Employees

  Min Max % Employees
Rem. Total       241,000           300,000     2.30%
Rem. Total       300,001           400,000     1.90%
Rem. Total       400,001           500,000     9.60%
Rem. Total       500,001      More  86.20%
Average salary       555,184       100%

 All Employees

  Min Max % Employees
Rem. Total    241,000        250,000     1.80%
Rem. Total    250,001        300,000     3.90%
Rem. Total    300,001        350,000     2.40%
Rem. Total    350,001        400,000     4.20%
Rem. Total    400,001        450,000     8.10%
Rem. Total    450,001     more 79.60%
Average salary    473,603       100%

Cermaq will continue offering competitive entry wage levels and value skills, competence and seniority in our wage system.



We base our operations on local recruitment of senior management, and in 2015 the proportion of management hired from local communities averaged 78 percent (94 percent in 2014). Senior management includes the management team reporting directly to a Chief Operating Officer, and people reporting directly to Group Management team.

International assignments are seen as positive for personal development in a multinational organization like Cermaq, and employees are encouraged to gain international experience to help share knowledge between our operations and to develop our corporate culture.

Proportion of local hires and female managers   Cermaq Group AS Cermaq Norway Cermaq Chile Cermaq Canada Cermaq Group incl. Cermaq AS
Total size of management group # 6 8 7 10 31
Number of local hires # 6 8 7 8 29
Number of female management hires # 1 1 1 2 5
% of senior management hired from local community - local hires % 100% 100% 100% 80% 94%
Proportion of female managers % 17% 13% 14% 20% 16.1%
Total size of management group # 7. 8. 7. 10. 32.
Number of local hires # 2. 8. 7. 8. 25.
Number of female management hires # 1. 1. 1. 2. 5.
% of senior management hired from local community - local hires % 28.57% 100.% 100.% 80.% 78%
Proportion of female managers % 14.29% 12.5% 14.29% 20.% 15.6%

The proportion of females in management is low at 15,6 percent in 2015 and represents a slight decrease from 2014.



The salmonid species and tonnes produced are summarised in the table below.

Fish Production 2015
Atlantic salmon (Tonnes (GWE))
 Norway 57,052
 Chile 33,366
 Canada 20,735
Total 111,153
Rainbow Trout (Tonnes (GWE))
 Chile 6,221
Coho salmon (Tonnes (GWE))
 Chile 25,238

Fish production is the increase of tonnes in biomass produced within a year, which also considers the amount in tonnes of biomass harvested in the same period. The tonnes are recorded as gutted fish and the calculation considers opening, closing and harvested biomass of the fish.

GRI Environmental Indicators


The total energy use in Cermaq (including Cermaq Group AS) increased 3,7 percent between 2014 and 2015, mainly due to an increase in energy consumption. Cermaq reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and more details can be found in our CDP reports available on our webpage.

Energy Consumption by Type (GJ)

  Energy Source 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Non-renewable fuel consumed Diesel 350,374 355,451 343,871 226,213 188,723
Fuel Oil 20 26 60 17 52
Crude Oil 567 561 2,643 286 0
Gasoline/ petrol 51,288 49,305 53,556 44,368 46,203
LPG 0 0 0 0 0
Biodiesel blend  93840 81,712 62,349 49,772 62,631
Natural gas 82 64 96 122 115
Propane 6,457 10,104 11,859 8,050 7,805
Total non-renewable consumption   502,627 497,224 474,433 328,828 305,529
Renewable fuel consumed Biofuel 4939 4,301 3,282 2,620 3,296
Total renewable consumption   4939 4,301 3,282 2,620 3,296
Electricity purchased for consumption   244,265 223,468 231,555 210,720 147,867
Total  electricity consumed   244,265 223,468 231,555 210,720 147,867
Total energy use (GJ)   751,831 724,993 709,270 542,168 456,692
∆ YoY   3.7 % 2.2 % 30.8 % 19%  

Note: Total includes Cermaq AS , Cermaq Chile, Cermaq Norway and Cermaq Canada

Energy consumption and emissions are calculated by site and is not calculated based on fish species. In Chile, Coho salmon typically requires less energy use and consequently less GHG emissions as it has a shorter production cycle.


Feed is the main input when producing salmon and trout and feed costs constitute approximately 50 percent of the purchasing costs related to fish farming in Cermaq. EWOS is our main feed supplier and below is an overview of the energy consumption for EWOS in 2015.

EWOS Energy Consumption by Type (GJ)

    2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
GRI Energy Type Energy Source EWOS  EWOS  EWOS  EWOS  EWOS
Indirect Electricity 474,333 505,043 456,881 537,515 474,800
Direct Biomass (from rice husk) 119,486 104,290 75,340 66,481 76,772
Direct Diesel 2,644 1,307 3,233 7,921 14,293
Direct Fuel Oil 175,309 197,720 233,992 207,179 154,293
Direct Gasoline/ petrol 0 0 36 94 188
Direct LPG 100,680 70,925 240,741 147,598 67,471
Direct Natural gas 295,878 350,957 232,342 312,292 442,852
Direct Propane 1,266 1,111 1,121 1,115 1,569
Total direct + indirect   1169597 1231353 1243686 1280194 1232238
∆ YoY   -5% -1% -3% 4%  

*Biofuel use was reported by EWOS for the first time in 2014 and constitutes 41 510 GJ in 2014 and 59,914 GJ in 2015 in addition to the above. It has not been included in the numbers for comparability with previous years.


The most relevant energy intensity ratio within salmon farming is to express the energy used in terms of tons of fish produced. This provides the most accurate measure of the energy efficiency within the organization. However, some of the energy use is fixed and does not vary with production (e.g. housing facilities at sea sites and energy used in administrative buildings and processing plants). This means that in years with fewer fish in the sea the energy consumption per ton of production will be influenced in a negative way by the fixed consumption.

The energy use increased from 3.6 GJ per ton produced (Live Weight) in 2014 to 4,4 GJ in 2015. All energy sources listed in EN3 are included in the intensity ratio shown below.



Cermaq has a number of initiatives to reduce energy consumption. A sample of initiatives per country is provided in the table below.

  Energy saved Type of energy saving initiative Energy saving initiatives
Canada n/a Carbon and Energy Management Program developed Carbon and Energy Management Program was developed

Future energy-saving initiatives and projects identified as part of program with metrics to be reported in the future

GHG and Energy Awareness Workshops were performed throughout
Chile n/a Conversion and retrofitting equipment, renewable energy installations Installation of lights with motion sensor in Process Plants.

Installation of more efficient sprinklers for cleaning process lines in Process Plants.

Changes to energy efficient lighting at sites

Rechargable batteries taken in use in flashlights used by security personnel.

Use of solar panels (solar energy) for monitors of automatic feeding system.

Staff training in areas related to energy efficiency (e.g. turning off lights or computers when not in use).

Maintenance of electricity generating equipment in farms according to hours of use
Norway n/a Conversion and retrofitting equipment Processing plant in Skutvik has reduced energy consumption by 3,5% in 2015 by using energy efficient solutions  on all replacements trough the year and generally focusing on using less energy.
n/a Energy efficient equipment installation Heat-exchange system in place at Forsan freshwater and low energy lighting (LED - Light Emitting Diode).
n/a Conversion and retrofitting equipment Econets are replacing old nets that require copper antifoulants. This is part of the strategy for green production in sea-sites. 5 sites in Nordland and 1 in Finnmark. 
n/a Recycling Freshwater site at Forsan uses recycling technology to significantly reduce freshwater use in the production of smolt. 


Cermaq does not operate any sites in any protected areas as defined by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) or National legislation.
In Chile, the nearest protected area is Alacalufes National Reserve, which is approximately 40 kilometers South West of Cermaq operations. Marine sites are also located near the Las Guaitecas National Reserve. In Norway, the nearest protected area is Saltstraumen, where we have one site located approximately 70 kilometers away, which is not a part of the same fjord system. In Canada, the government has classified protected areas as Federal, Provincial parks or Ecological reserves. In British Colombia there is siting criteria that dictates where Cermaq can operate and no sites are allowed in these areas.


Cermaq recognizes the potential for fish farming operations to impact biodiversity, either directly or indirectly.

Biodiversity impacts were examined in the BioScience paper “Aquaculture Production and Biodiversity Conservation”(2009) by Professor James S. Diana, assessing the status and trends in seafood production and the positive and negative impacts of aquaculture on biodiversity conservation. Diana's ranking of negative aquaculture impacts included the following top 5 in order of decreasing importance as threats to biodiversity. These are still considered highly relevant which is why Cermaq in its annual report provides data on each risk.

Perceived Biodiversity Impact Area

Connectivity with Cermaq’s Reporting

1. Escapement of aquatic crops and their potential hazard as invasive species

Details about fish escapes are provided under CEQ 7. Escapes are treated as serious incidents with attention from management and Board of Directors. The work to prevent escapes is a high priority in all regions where Cermaq operates.

Our operations in Canada and Chile farm Atlantic Salmon in areas where the species is not a natural part of the environment, and where breeding with native species of Salmon will not occur. In Canada, most scientists are confident escaped fish will not colonize the Pacific Coast because all past deliberate attempts to introduce Atlantic Salmon for sport fishing in BC and Washington State have failed.


2. The relationships among effluents, eutrophication of water bodies, and changes in the fauna of receiving waters

The areas impacted are mainly the areas where we have operations and marine environments surrounding our sites. All Cermaq operations are expected to comply with local and national environmental regulations related to effluents and waste. To reduce the impact on biodiversity and environmental footprint on our sites, all our operations fully respect the fallow periods defined in regulations. We regularly monitor the state of the sea floor at all our farm sites and perform benthic impact assessments. This is to make sure fish feces and feed pellets which can build up below farm pens are having a minimal impact, and to allow the sea floor to recover and avoid any longer term or irreversible impacts. Cermaq reports non-compliances with environmental regulations under EN 29, Fallow time under CEQ 3 and Area Management Agreements under CEQ 6. To reduce the level of anti-foulants used, Cermaq Canada continues trials of alternative methods, including metal nets and “brass nets”. In Chile stainless steel nets have been introduced. Cermaq Norway has been testing Econets made of plastic (PET monofilament). No use of antifouling (Cu) is required for these nets.

3. Conversion of sensitive land areas such as mangroves and wetlands, as well as water use

Increased use of vegetable raw material used in fish feed may have an impact on land use. Cemaq developed a Supplier Code of Conduct in 2014 and a Feed Supplier Code of Conduct in 2015, and the use of certified and traceable raw materials is important elements in supplier requirements going forward.

4. Other resource use, such as fish meal and its concomitant overexploitation of fish stocks

The use of marine resources for the production of fish feed are covered more specifically under EWOS 8. EWOS, the main supplier of feed to Cermaq, has in recent years, through its Marine Independence Program, significantly reduced its proportional use of fish meal and fish oil in salmon feeds. In addition, the use of fish trimmings in fish meal is increasing.

5. Disease or parasite transfer from captive to wild stocks

Wild stocks are naturally infected with lice and lice are transferred from wild to captive fish. However, if not managed properly, sea lice levels on salmon farms could pose a risk to passing wild salmon stocks. Cermaq is transparent in its reporting of sea lice counts (see indicator CEQ 2), whilst CEQ 4 connects this with the use of medicines for the control of disease and parasites. Cermaq has a strong focus on minimizing the use of medical /chemical treatments and has taken a preventative approach to fish health. Both oral, chemical and biological treatments are implemented in our strategy for handling the problem.


In Cermaq Chile, a strategy to reduce the impact of diseases is vaccination, which depends on the species and disease present. In 2015, double vaccination against SRS was performed and a new strategy for the use of antibiotics introduced, including earlier treatment. In 2015, Cermaq Norway has continued to apply new non-chemical preventive measures against sea lice such as lice skirts and lump fish on some sites. Both methods show promising results and will be scaled up in 2016.

Other impacts of aquaculture on biodiversity conservation, were considered by Prof. Diana to be of much lesser importance compared to the above, including: Genetic alteration of existing stocks from escaped hatchery products; Predator mortality caused by, for example, killing birds near aquaculture facilities; and Antibiotic and hormone use, which may influence aquatic species near aquaculture facilities.


As Cermaq does not have any sites located in protected areas, this indicator is not relevant for Cermaq operations.


In Chile, the following red listed species have habitats in the area of our operations:

  • Peale's Dolphin, conservation status data deficient
  • On land: Huemul; Conservation Endangered (EN), Darwin’s Fox, conservation status Critically Endangered (CR) and the Condor, conservation state Near Threatened (NT).

In Chile, Cermaq uses predator nets at farms to avoid marine mammals entering into the farm site and to prevent attacks that are stressful for the fish.

In Norway, a total of 13 types of birds appear on the national conservation list with habitats in our area of operations:

  • Lomvi (CR)

  • Krykkje, Polarlomv, Alke, Makrellterne, Havhest (EN)

  • Teist, Lunde (VU)

  • Gulnebblom, Fiskemåke, Ærfugl, Stormsvale, Tyvjo (NT)

In addition, the otter is considered a vulnerable species (status VU) and has operations in Finnmark and Nordland. The Norwegian lobster is no longer a red listed species.

In Canada, the following red listed species have habitats in our area of operations:

  • North American otter, conservation status Least Concern (LC)
  • Steller sea lion, conservation status Near threatened (NT)

In Canada, Cermaq uses predator nets at all farms throughout the production cycle to deter marine mammals. In Canada, farming companies are also required to report immediately to Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO) the culling of any marine mammal at the farm.

In British Columbia, the industry is not having a negative impact on the populations of marine mammals. Resident harbor seal populations continue to grow and there is a trend of increasing numbers of migrating Californian sea lions moving up from the United States. Reports also show that the Stellar sea lion population is also growing.





For the reporting period 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2015, Cermaq's global gross GHG Scope 1 emissions totaled 29 747 tons of CO ₂e (30 296 tons in 2014). Scope 2 emissions were 18 508 tons of CO₂e in 2015 compared to 15 947 in 2014. Scope 1 emissions are relatively stable from 2014, however electricity purchase increased somewhat in 2015 and led to an increase in emissions (figures on Cermaq’s energy consumption can be found in indicators EN 3 and EN 5). 

Our reporting is based on the GHG Protocol, the internationally recognized standard for the accounting and reporting of GHG emissions. We have used the financial control approach to define our organizational boundary and the operational scope for our reporting of scope 1 and 2. Emissions factors for our global operations are based on sources including IEA, IPCC, SSB, EIA and BC Ministry of Environment.

Feed is the main input when producing salmon and trout and feed costs constitute approximately 50 percent of the production costs related to farming in Cermaq. EWOS was our main feed supplier in 2015 and Scope 3 emissions consists of EWOS estimated CO ₂ emissions in 2015. Please see the EWOS sustainability report for further details on the Scope 3 emissions. GHG emissions reported below includes CO₂-emissions only and all types of energy sources used.

Global tonnes of CO2e 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Crude oil 42 41 195 21 0 0 18 34
Diesel 25,737 26,201 25,327 16,540 13,785 10,006 9,463 11,595
Fuel Oil 1 2 4 1 4 57 15 16
Gasoline/ petrol 3,560 3,421 3,718 3,078 3,196 2,997 2,746 3,233
Natural Gas 4 4 5 7 6 4 5 0
Propane 403 627 740 492 473 2,394 2,321 3,529
Scope 1 (Direct emissions) 29,747 30,296 29,990 20,138 17,463 15,457 14,569 18,406
Purchased electricity 18,508 15,947 16,423 13,830 8,668 7,736 6,808 1,805
Scope 2 (Energy indirect) 18,508 15,947 16,423 13,830 8,668 7,736 6,808 1,805
Total gross emissions (Scope 1 and 2) 48,255 46,243 46,413 33,968 26,131 23,193 21,377 20,211
Scope 3 (EWOS direct and indirect) 61,444 57,457 62,610 59,366 57,753 41,862 38,370,681 54,831

Note: Biofuel is not included in Scope 1.

Cermaq has introduced Location based and Market based electricity factors from 2015 in accordance with the Scope 2 amendments of the GHG Protocol. The location based electricity emissions for Cermaq Group were 21 324 tCO2e in 2015 and the market based electricity emissions for Cermaq Group were 30 777 tCO2e in 2015 (location based figures is used for Chile). To enable comparison with previous years, the table reflects emissions factors for electricity based on 2014 factors for Norway, Chile and Canada (British Columbia). The market based and location based factors are derived from IEA (2015) and calculated by CO2 Focus.


Cermaq is reporting an intensity measurement based upon “tons of CO₂e per ton of fish produced (LWE)". This is a relevant ratio for our industry. Both scope 1 and scope 2 emissions are included in the ratio.

As can be seen below, the CO₂ emissions per ton of fish produced increased somewhat from 2014 to 2015, partly due to a reduction in production. Further details about energy consumption can be found in the indicators EN 3 and EN 5.

  2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Intensity: kg of CO2e per tonne of fish produced (LW) 282 258 259 212 205 217

Note: Biofuel is included in calculations previous to 2015.


Cermaq requires all its operations to be certified in accordance with the ISO14001 Environmental management standard. This shall help ensure that any local negative environmental impacts are identified and managed, in a systematic way, for continuous improvement.

We seek improvements in our work to mitigate any negative environmental impacts of our products and services. Examples of impact and initiatives are presented below:

Materials use

Significant resources used in our production processes are raw material ingredients for feed production, smolt for fish farming and packaging materials (feed-bags, fish boxes and cardboard). Indicator EWOS 8 explains how our main feed supplier EWOS manages the use of marine ingredients in fish feed. 

Water use

Salmon farming relies upon the availability of clean water but is generally not an industry with high water consumption. In cases where water is used for salmon farming operations, it is as a rule discharged within quality parameters set by the local authority. Cermaq does not have company-wide environmental goals related to water use and we operate in areas where water is not a scarce factor. However, we report annually on water use to our owner Mitsubishi Corporation. Furthermore, water is an element of Cermaq Canada’s Carbon and Energy Management Program, program which is under consideration for wider use in Cermaq’s operations. Activities in 2015 include installation of new recycling technology at the freshwater site at the Forsan facility to significantly reduce freshwater use in the production of smolt. Future energy-saving initiatives and projects are identified as part of the CEM program with metrics to be reported in the future.

The water usage has not been considered a material aspect of fish feed production. However as water added in the production process and later dried it contributes to the energy usage in the production of feed and will be reported going forward.


Cermaq reports GHG emissions under EN 15EN 16EN 17 and EN 18. Salmon farming is not a high emission sector compared to other types of protein food production (e.g. pork and beef). In 2015, a number of initaitives were conducted in Cermaq Group. Cermaq Canada is implementing the Carbon and Energy Management Program, conducting workshops on greenhouse gas emissions and energy awareness. Future energy-saving initiatives and projects identified as part of program with metrics to be reported in the future. In Cermaq Norway, a heat-exchange system has been put in place at the Forsan facility and low energy lighting (LED - Light Emitting Diode). In Cermaq Chile, the use of solar panels (solar energy) for monitors of the automatic feeding system, staff training in areas related to energy use, and installation of lights with motion sensor in processing plants.

Effluents and waste

All Cermaq operations shall comply with local and national environmental regulations related to effluents and waste handling. The waste handling procedures vary with the local infrastructure in place. During 2015, Cermaq Chile continued with periodic monitoring of discharges from hatcheries. In Cermaq Canada, the metal net trial is continuing in 2016 and initiatives to reduce antifoulant use is ongoing. In the new smolt facility under construction in Forsan in Nordland, Norway, the baseline is a 50 percent cleaning of the biosludge. Cermaq explores a new technology for energy production from all the biosludge from the facility.


Cermaq works actively to ensure that the activities on our sites do not produce any negative effects on our neighbors. In 2015, there were two complaints concerning noise from Cermaq’s operations. More details are provided in the indicator CEQ 11 Local community complaints.


GRI Social Indicators


Cermaq Group did not identify any significant risk for incidents of child labor or young workers being exposed to hazardous work in Cermaq during 2014.


During 2015, there were no reported incidents of violation involving the rights of indigenous peoples in the Cermaq Group.


Cermaq is commited to ensuring human rights concerns in own operations and in our supply chain. Through the establishment of a Supplier Code of Conduct in 2014, the Group has expressed clear expectations that require adherence to internationally recognized human rights by our suppliers. The Code is available on our web page. In our Ethical and Corporate Responsibility Guidelines principles for human rights are addressed.

Cermaq Chile participated in two external human rights assessments in 2013, one in region X and one in region XII. The results from these assessments can be found in our 2013 report. Work is ongoing to assess human rights risks in our operations and in 2016 we are participating in the Norwegian OECD Contact Point's workshops on human rights due diligence. In 2016 we will continue our efforts in this area.


100 percent of Cermaq’s product categories are assessed for health and safety impact improvements. This is part of the ISO 22000 standard. Further details about Cermaq’s management standards are given in indicator CEQ 13 Management Standards.


Cermaq works continously to ensure that our operations comply with or exceed requirements in local, national and international laws and regulations. If any non-compliances occur, for whatever reason, we take it seriously and investigate at the appropriate level to correct the issue before measures are taken to mitigate the risk of re-occurrence. Cermaq has comprehensive certifications and management systems in place to ensure that the highest standards are met and complied with. Please see indicator CEQ 13 Management standards for more details.

In 2015, there were no non-compliances with food safety regulations.


Food safety regulations

Reporting unit


Fines (USD)

Cermaq Norway



Cermaq Chile



Cermaq Canada



2015 total














Cermaq works actively to ensure that our operations respect and are compliant with local, national and international laws. If any non-compliances occur, for whatever reason, we take it seriously and investigate at the appropriate level to correct the issue before measures are taken to mitigate the risk of re-occurrence.

In 2015, there were no non-compliances with product and service regulations. 

  Product and service regulations
Reporting unit Incidents Fines (USD)
Cermaq Norway 0 0
Cermaq Chile 0 0
Cermaq Canada 0 0
2015 total 0 0
2014 0 0
2013 0 0
2012 0 0


Cermaq works actively to ensure that our operations respect and are compliant with local, national and international laws. If any non-compliances occur, for whatever reason, we take it seriously and investigate at the appropriate level to correct the issue before measures are taken to mitigate the risk of re-occurrence.

In 2015, there were no cases of environmental non-compliances closed.

  Environmental regulations
Reporting unit Incidents Fines (USD)
Cermaq Norway 0 0
Cermaq Chile 0 0
Cermaq Canada 0 0
2015 total 0 0
2014 3 10330
2013 1 3749
2012 4 50745


Cermaq works continously to ensure that our operations respect and are compliant with local, national and international laws and regulations. If any non-compliances occur, for whatever reason, we take it seriously and investigate at the appropriate level to correct the issue before measures are taken to mitigate the risk of re-occurrence. Compliance with social regulations includes occupational health and safety, including adherence to national legislation related to e.g. working hours and working conditions.

In Norway, there were no incidents of non-compliance with social regulations in 2015. There were, however, two general non-compliances. One was related to the processing plant in Alsvåg. In 2012, the size and holding cages at the plant was extended in agreement with the local municipality but without the required approval from the county. The case was settled in 2015 with a fine of USD 10 386. The other non-compliance related to the Gisløy site. The site was approved in 2005 but was first taken in use in 2014, and the utilized area and position of the site was found not be in accordance with the old approval. The case was settled in 2015 with a fine of USD 32 300.

In Chile, nine cases of non-compliance with social regulations were closed with a total fine of USD 30 654. Seven of the incidents occurred in 2015, one occurred in 2014 and one occurred in 2013. As a part of these, there were two general non-compliances related to reporting to the authorities, totaling USD 9 542.

Cermaq Canada had no cases of non-compliance with societal regulations in 2015.


Societal regulations

Reporting unit


Fines (USD)

Cermaq Norway



Cermaq Chile



Cermaq Canada



2015 total









2012 Total




Cermaq Norway

The joint health and safety committee is organised between elected safety representatives and nominated employer representatives as required by local regulations (“Arbeidsmiljøutvalget”).

In addition, there are 26 safety representatives elected on the basis of geography and department division. They all meet twice a year to evaluate and plan for new activities related to health and safety. The 26 safety representatives elect two persons (one per region) to represent them all and coordinate joint activities. The elected representatives are part of the joint health and safety committee (“Arbeidsmiljøutvalget”). Any topic from any of the safety representatives can be put on the agenda of Arbeidsmiljøutvalget. The elected safety representatives represent all employees.

In addition to Arbeidsmiljøutvalget, Cermaq Norway has established a safety committee that meets every month to discuss and act on safety issues that require immediate attention. The two safety representatives are members in addition to management representatives.

Cermaq Chile

Safety committees exist in all places where there are more than 25 workers as required by law. At present, Cermaq Chile has 10 such committees: six related to fresh water, one in each of the three processing plants and one in the central Office.

Committees consist of three elected employee representatives and three company representatives (from the different operational areas). Typically, the managers represented are middle managers (e.g. fresh water manager). The committees agree on a working plan that includes safety inspections, accident investigations and training. The committees meet once a month. Most of the issues are resolved in the committee, but if needed, topics are raised to the Central Management team.

Cermaq Canada

The joint health and safety committee is organized between elected employee and nominated employer representatives as required by local regulations. The committee has representation organized by geographical area and departmental divisions. The current joint health and safety committee has four employer representatives (East Coast Saltwater, West Coast Saltwater, Freshwater and Processing) and six employee representatives (East Coast Saltwater, West Coast Saltwater, East Coast office, West Coast office, Processing plant and Freshwater). This means that 100 percent of the employees are represented. Each representative serves for two years on the committee and can seek re-election or re-nomination.

The Joint Health and Safety Committee meets once per month. The minutes of the meetings are circulated to all Cermaq Canada employees and are posted on bulletin boards at all locations. An Action Item Database is maintained by the committee to record and monitor tasks to be completed. A member of the management team attends each meeting as an observer and reports back in the monthly management meeting. In addition to the Joint Health and Safety Committee, monthly safety meetings are held at all facilities.


All employees should be safe at work in Cermaq, and a number of measures have been taken to strengthen the attention on safety and risk reduction in our operations. Cermaq has had a high focus on safety in our operations, with visible results the past few years. In 2015, there were encouraging results in all our regions.

In Cermaq Canada, we had 11 months consecutive with zero lost time injuries in 2015. In Cermaq Chile, the OHS performance continued to improve from 2014 and showed good results. OHS performance is also a high priority in Cermaq Norway, where a number of measures were introduced in 2015 to further improve results, including a Winter campaign to address particular issues related to seasonal challenges and rough weather conditions on sea sites.

To reduce the number of diving accidents, several measures have been introduced in Cermaq Chile the past years which show promising results. Initiatives include investment in ROVs to monitor the nets and the testing of new predator nets of stainless steel to reduce the number of dives required. A training program was started in 2013 and is ongoing, with special attention to technical and practical diving issues and activities. In addition, assessment of diving skills and training is an ongoing activity that continued in 2015.

In 2015, the Group absence rate was 2,6 percent, and it remains very low throughout the group. The Lost Time Injury rate was 6 which is a decrease from 24 in 2013 and 10 in 2014. The Injury Frequency rate decreased from 51 in 2013 to 18 in 2014 and continued further down to 10 in 2015.

Rates of injury by region

  Number of fatalities Absentee Rate Lost Time Injury Rate (H1) Injury Frequency Rate H2 Lost Time Frequency Rate (F-value) Occupational disease cases
  # Absentee days as a % of total work days Lost time injuries per million working hours Injuries per million working hours number of lost days per million working hours #
Cermaq Group AS 0. 2.1% 0 0 0 0.
Cermaq Norway 0. 5.4% 12 22 521 0.
Cermaq Chile 0. 2.2% 5 9 94 1.
Cermaq Canada 0. 2.1% 4 6 189 0.
Cermaq Group including Cermaq Group AS 0. 2.6% 6 10 151 1.

Note: The above data relates only to Cermaq’s workforce, including employees and supervised workers. Contractors who work on our premises and for which Cermaq is responsible for occupational health and safety are not included in the overview.

Lost day calculation includes only scheduled work days and starts the day after the accident, with the exception of Cermaq Chile, where lost days include all days of the week.

National laws on practices for recording and reporting accident statistics follows the ‘ILO Code of Practice on Recording and Notification of Occupational Accidents and Diseases' in the regions where Cermaq operates.

Gender Fatalities (#)   Absentee Rate (Absentee days as a % of total work days) Lost time injury rate (H1-value/LTIR) Injury rate (H2-value/TRI) Lost time frequency rate (F-value) Occupational disease cases
Male 0   2.4% 7 12 195 0
Female 0   3.0% 3 4 13 1

Note: We report OHS data using units that are consistent with Cermaq's previous reporting practices, rather than adopting the GRI formulas:

Lost time frequency rate (F-value) only includes lost time from injuries up to one year and does not include lost time from occupational disease cases

Injury frequency rate (TRI/H2-value) includes significant injuries (with and without absence) and does not include minor injuries where the employee can resume normal work and where only modest first aid treatment is necessary.

Total work hours, which is the basis for the above calculations and Lost time injury rate, includes overtime related to workers working on sites (excluding management and administrative employees).


Cermaq employees are not considered to be exposed to any significant risk related to diseases in any of the production units, but Cermaq has procedures and action plans in place in case of a serious incident.

Chile reports that divers (in general) are at risk of osteonecrosis if safety instructions are not adhered to before, during and after the diving. Chile has intensified training of divers and their families since 2014, and has also reduced the need for dives due to investments in monitoring equipment and mortality extraction.


In Cermaq Norway, there are three collective agreements with Trade Unions in place and they all cover topics related to employee protection. Hence 100 percent of our collective agreements in Norway cover health and safety topics.

In Cermaq Chile, comprehensive OHS measures are required by law. Hence, none of our Union agreements include health and safety topics since compliance with OHS laws and regulations is a requirement.

In Cermaq Canada no workers are organized, hence there are no formal agreements with Trade Unions covering health and safety topics.


Employees receive systematic training to build competence according to their own and the organization’s needs. In 2015 the training totaled 0.9 percent of total working time on average for all employees, compared to1 percent in 2014.

The training for both female and male employees in Cermaq totaled 0.9 percent for each group in 2015 compared with 1 percent for each group in 2014.

Average hours of training per year per employee by  gender (incl. Cermaq Group AS)

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Average training hours as % of working hours (male and female) 0,5% 0,9% 1,1% 1,% 0,9%
Average female training hours as % of female working hours 2,% 0,9% 1,3% 1,% 0,9%
Average male training hours as % of male working hours 1,5% 0,9% 1,% 1,% 0,9%



All Cermaq operations have local community engagement and development programs in place.  Engagement activities include sponsorships of sports teams, clubs, foundations and schools in regions where Cermaq operates. We engage in active participation in different debates, dialogues and meetings regarding sustainable aquaculture, the seafood industry in general and Cermaq's activities with local communities and other stakeholders in areas of Production.

In Cermaq Canada, the relationship with First Nations communities is extremely important to our vision of sustainable aquaculture, and we strive to develop social, economic, and cultural relationships that are mutually beneficial. Sponsorships focus on sports team, health fundraiser events, and educational development.  Cermaq Canada sponsors a variety of projects and activities to encourage employee participation, from sports and social events to exchange programs with sister companies. Cermaq Canada operates within the traditional territories of several First Nations on the BC coast. For a decade now, Cermaq Canada has had a protocol agreement with Ahousaht that ensures both the Nation and Cermaq Canada benefit from salmon farming in Ahousaht territory. Cermaq Canada is certified according to the Aboriginal Principles for Sustainable Aquaculture in British Columbia. Examples of local community engagement activities in 2015 include First Nations basketball team sponsorships; Soccer teams, both ladies and men; Baseball, volleyball and hockey team funding; Funding for First Nation science camp programs for youth; Ahousaht youth programs; funding for Ahousaht First Nation Elders, for attendance at events and for the monthly lunch program; and donations of salmon for fundraising events such as the Cystic Fibrosis  and the Canada Cancer societies.

In Cermaq Chile, we have a program in place for social training for communities. The objective is to support training to improve skills to find employment, support small businesses or facilitate career change, directed to support different stakeholders of Cermaq in Chile. A concrete contribution to the quality of life of the communities in the close vicinity of our operations include supporting sports teams and clubs. A program called "Cermaq protein that moves you" was introduced in 2014, which takes this engagement a step further to include other activities aimed at enhancing a healthy life style. Cermaq Chile also has established a CSR Committee chaired by our Chief Operating Officer in Chile, plus four company representatives in the HR, Environment, CSR and Quality domains, in addition to four representatives from company unions. Examples of local community engagement activities in 2015 include lesson in food handling for entrepreneurs, donation of walkways in touristic patrimonial routes and guided visits for technical school students in processing plants. Other specific activities in 2015 were a drawing competition for kids related to OHS activities of working parents, sponsorship of internal soccer championships and Olympic games in Ancud with gear donations.

In Cermaq Norway, we have continuous dialogue with all counties, municipalities and local authorities where Cermaq has operations on various topics with regards to aquaculture, including information sharing on Cermaq activities and projects, and discussion of challenges and opportunities for growth and development. As an example, Cermaq is taking part in a joint project with the West Finnmark Hunting and Fishing association in (NJFF) for mapping of farmed salmon in national rivers. In addition, Cermaq Group arranges an annual sustainability seminar (last seminar was held in June 2015) in Norway to discuss challenges and solutions in sustainable aquaculture.

For additional information on local community engagements in 2015, please also see G4-27 Key topics and concerns.


There might be influences from fish farming that raise concerns in local communities. We strive for close and good cooperation with local communities, addressing areas of concern to find the best solutions. Being a reliable partner for the local communities is key to achieve a sustainable and long term value creation in our operations.

Our operations provide workplaces that are important for local communities. Fish farming is often located in remote coastal areas with limited employment opportunities. Our operations can provide long term working places and thus be an important contributor to local activities and employment.

All our operations are subject to assessment of local community impacts, and we report community complaints on an annual basis. In 2015, we received six community complaints compared with five in total in 2014. Five of the complaints were related to our operations in Norway and one complaint was in Canada. All complaints were accommodated and solved to minimize any negative impact of our operations. Further details are provided under the indicator CEQ 11 Local community complaints.


Cermaq’s guidelines on preventing corruption are stated in the Cermaq Ethical and Corporate Responsibility Guidelines. The Guidelines build on Cermaq’s Core Values and Corporate Governance Principles, and provide all employees and other stakeholders with a clear understanding of what we stand for and the way we do business. The Guideline is distributed to all employees and is a part of a company-wide compliance program which include anti-corruption training.

In the Fall of 2015, 240 employees across all Cermaq’s operating companies were selected to conduct anti-corruption training based on their positions being assessed to be the most exposed to corruption risk. This group of employees were asked to conduct online e-learning to increase own awareness and perform a self-assessment of corruption risks. This process will be concluded in 2016.

Cermaq's operations in Canada, Chile and Norway have all been included in the risk analysis through processes conducted internally in each region, coordinated by the central Compliance department in Cermaq Group. No significant risks related to corruption were identified in 2015.


Cermaq’s ethical and corporate guidelines are available to all employees and governance body members, and are communicated to all new employees. The Guidelines prohibit any form of corruption. An e-learning anti-corruption training program was rolled out to management and employees in positions at risk in the majority of the operating companies in 2012. In 2015, a new e-learning program was developed, targeting employees in positions with high risk exposure. In total, 240 employees across all operating companies will undergo e-learning and self-assessment to increase own awareness and knowledge relating to corruption risks in 2015 and 2016.

Anti-corruption expectations to Cermaq’s suppliers were also developed through the establishment of the Cermaq Supplier Code of Conduct in 2014, which is communicated on Cermaq’s website and to Cermaq’s suppliers.

In 2015, 50 percent of managers and administrative employees in Cermaq Canada received anti-corruption training, in Cermaq Chile 24 percent received training and in Cermaq Norway 81 percent received training. In Cermaq ASA, 53 percent of managers and administrative employees received anti-corruption training. The training program continues in 2016.


There were no confirmed incidents of corruption in Cermaq Group in 2015.


All Cermaq’s feed suppliers have been assessed taking into account environmental, labour, human rights and anti-corruption criteria as specified in Cermaq’s Supplier Code of Conduct. EWOS’ main suppliers are fish meal and fish oil processing companies and other raw material providers, such as companies supplying e.g. soy proteins, rapeseed oil, wheat and wheat gluten. EWOS has developed a supplier policy and Code of Conduct based on the UN Global Compact 10 principles, the same principles that are the foundation of Cermaq’s Supplier Code of Conduct. Raw material suppliers must sign a self-assessment form and EWOS performs regular supplier audits. In addition, EWOS supports and encourages suppliers of marine ingredients to qualify as certified IFFO Responsible Sourcing. This practice is in line with Cermaq’s expectations to feed suppliers laid out in our Supplier Code of Conduct and our Feed Supplier Policy.

EWOS continued to be Cermaq’s main supplier of fish feed in 2015 in all Cermaq’s countries of operation. However, in November 2015, Cermaq Norway entered into agreement with one additional feed supplier. Environmental, social and governance criteria outlined in Cermaq’s Supplier Code of Conduct were evaluated entering into the new feed agreement. In addition, Cermaq’s Feed Supplier Code of Conduct specifies more detailed sustainability requirements to new and existing feed suppliers.

EN 32, LA14, SO9, HR10  Screening of new feed suppliers

All new feed suppliers to Cermaq in 2015 were screened using environmental criteria, human rights and labor practices criteria as well as criteria for impacts on society.

EN33, LA15, SO10, HR11, EC9 Significant actual and potential negative impacts in the supply chain and actions taken

Cermaq is constantly working on developing its supply management practices, and acknowledge the complexity of our supply chain. In 2015, no significant actual and potential negative impacts were identified in the supply chain concerning human rights impacts, labor practices or impact on society. Some key environmental issues within feed processing are to ensure that the raw materials used are not overexploited and that the ecological and carbon footprints are minimized. As our main feed supplier, we present EWOS indicators concerning marine and terrestrial raw material use under the indicator EWOS 8. Information about EWOS energy use is found in EN 4 and CO2 emissions in EN 17. More details can also be found in EWOS Sustainability Report.

We will continue our work to identify and mitigate risks in our supply chain in 2016. One initiative is the development of a human rights due diligence case as a part of a program initiated by the OECD contact point in Norway, to be established in 2016.

Overview of performance indicators

Some indicators are listed under more than one topic.


Name/content of indicator

Indicator code

Presented in


Fish health

Fish mortality


Cermaq indicators


Sea lice


Cermaq indicators


Vaccination programs


Cermaq indicators


Area management agreements


Cermaq indicators


Feed Ingredients


Cermaq indicators


Medicine use, (antibiotics and sea lice treatments)


Cermaq indicators


Sea lice


Cermaq indicators


Area management agreements


Cermaq indicators




Cermaq indicators


Feed Ingredients


Cermaq indicators


Operations sites in or adjacent to protected areas

EN 11

GRI environmental indicators


Impact on biodiversity in protected areas

EN 12

GRI environmental indicators


Habitat protected or restores


GRI environmental indicators


Total number of IUNC Red listed species within operational areas

EN 14

GRI environmental indicators


Medicine use, (antibiotics and sea lice treatments)


Cermaq indicators

Animal husbandry

Percentage of animals by species, breed and type

FP 9

GRI economic indicators

Emission effluent and waste

Extent of impact mitigation related to material, water use, waste etc.

EN 27

GRI environmental indicators


Energy consumption within the organisation

EN 3

GRI environmental indicators


Energy consumption outside the organisation

EN 4

GRI environmental indicators


Energy intensity

EN 5

GRI environmental indicators


Reduction of energy consumption

EN 6

GRI environmental indicators


Direct Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1)

EN 15

GRI environmental indicators


Energy indirect Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 2)

EN 16

GRI environmental indicators


Other indirect Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 3)

EN 17

GRI environmental indicators


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity

EN 18

GRI environmental indicators


Health and safety

Workforce represented in formal joint OHS committees

LA 5

GRI social indicators


Occupational health and safety performance (injuries, absentees etc.)


GRI social indicators


Workers with high incidence or high risk of disease related to their occupation

LA 7

GRI social indicators


Health and safety covered in formal agreements with trade unions

LA 8

GRI social indicators


Product and services where health and safety impacts are assessed

PR 1

GRI social indicators


Average hours of training


GRI social indicators


Proportion of senior managers hired from local community

EC 6

GRI economic indicators

Local communities

Operations with implemented community engagement programs


GRI social indicators


Local community complaints

CEQ 11

Cermaq indicators


Operations with significant actual and potential negative impacts on local communities


GRI social indicators

Human rights

Operation with risk of child labour

HR 5

GRI social indicators


Incidents of violation of human rights

HR 8

GRI social indicators


Operations subject to human rights reviews

HR 9

GRI social indicators



Country-by Country disclosure of financial date

CEQ 15*

Cermaq indicators


Direct economic values generate and distributes

EC 1*

GRI economic indicators


Financial implications and other risks and opportunities related to climate change

EC 2

GRI economic indicators


Coverage of the organisation’s defined benefit plan obligations

EC 3*

GRI economic indicators


Financial assistance received from government

EC 4

GRI economic indicators


Range of ratios of standard entry levels vs. minimum wages

EC 5

GRI economic indicators



Operations assesse for risks for corruption

SO 3

GRI social indicators


Anti- corruption training and communication

SO 4

GRI social indicators


Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken

SO 5

GRI social indicators

Management standards

Management standards (ISO certifications)

CEQ 13

Cermaq indicators


Non-compliance on health and safety impacts of products

PR 2

GRI social indicators


Monetary value of fines for non-compliance related to regulations on use of products and services

PR 9

GRI social indicators


Monetary value of fines for non-compliance related to regulations on environment

EN 29

GRI social indicators


Monetary value of fines for non-compliance related to societal regulations

SO 8

GRI social indicators


Whistle blowing incidents

CEQ 12

Cermaq indicators

*Due to change of fiscal year to 1 April -31 March, the information will be published later

Note that data of total work force in Cermaq and collective bargain agreements are presented in the GRI index.

Cermaq’s screening and monitoring of suppliers is presented under the section GRI Social indicators. We use the relevant GRI indicators in the work with our Suppliers.

Back to top