Royal Greenland is a vertically integrated company fully owned by the government of Greenland. It is one of the largest suppliers of cold-water prawns and Greenland halibut. The company’s fishing activities are concentrated in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, and it owns and operates more than 40 landing and processing facilities in Greenland, Canada, and Europe. Its sales and distribution networks are set up in various locations throughout Europe, North America, and Asia.
Governance and management of stewardship practices
Royal Greenland leads its industry peers in disclosing a high level of information regarding the origins of its seafood products. The company’s produce overview website page allows stakeholders to easily access large datasets at the species level. These datasets include important traceability details, such as catch area, certification levels – specifically from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) – and catch method, in addition to additional consumer relevant information, such as shelf life and storage recommendations.
The company’s disclosure regarding its approaches to maintain health and safety are notable where it states that they have in place a safety committee that sets the overall framework in its own operations and states that suppliers must ensure adequate health and safety policies and procedures are followed.
Royal Greenland demonstrates a wide recognition of key environmental and social factors in its sustainability strategy, which was developed around three pillars: ‘Planet-People-Profit’. While the company reports on several KPIs under each pillar, it could improve its transparency and accountability by linking these indicators to publicly available, time-bound and forward-looking targets.
Royal Greenland’s sustainability report focuses primarily on the concept of sustainable fishing, though it does not address what mechanisms could reduce its environmental footprint overall. While the company’s energy consumption has decreased slightly, given the 2012 baseline figures, its water use has remained at relatively the same levels. Also, Royal Greenland does not report on its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, either quantitatively or qualitatively. The company could improve on both its disclosure and performance across these key environmental metrics.
Royal Greenland states that it is committed to fishing practices that avoid harm to ecosystems. However, the company does not disclose many details about what activities it carries out to minimize the impact of its fishing operations. The company could improve its accountability by providing details regarding its efforts to reduce adverse impacts on the ecosystems where it operates and to address issues such as bycatch, ghost gear, and impact on endangered species and sensitive ecosystems.
Royal Greenland has committed to respecting human and labour rights in its own operations and across its supply chains, establishing both a human rights policy and supplier code of conduct. The company should disclose more information about its efforts to implement human and labour rights commitments, such as how it reports on potential adverse human rights impacts and seeks to provide remediation.