Marine Harvest

Membership approved until 1st May 2018

Business Background


“Our existence is linked to the manner in which we treat our environment. If we fail to act sustainably we shall fail in our long term objectives and never witness the satisfaction of passing on to the next generation that which we have strived to build. Origin Green is our pathway to measure how we protect and care for our natural resources, to ensure security tomorrow for the food we produce today.”

Pat Connors, Marine Harvest



Case Study

Sustainability headlines

  • Reduce natural gas consumption per ton of fish processed by minimum 44% less than actual use in 2013.
  • Reduce freshwater (groundwater) consumption per ton of fish processed by 10% from 2011 baseline figures.
  • All production sites to obtain Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification by 2018.


Marine Harvest Ireland (MHI) is a fully integrated salmon farming and processing company and has been established in Ireland since 1979. It is now Ireland’s largest seafood company, employing over 250 staff across salmon farms, hatcheries and processing plant in Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Kerry and Cork.

Who we are

MHI is part of the Marine Harvest Group with 10,600 employees globally in salmon farms in Scotland, Norway, Canada, Chile, Ireland and the Faroes in addition to consumer product businesses in Europe. It is the only producer of organic salmon in the Marine Harvest Group worldwide and holds EU organic approval for aquaculture production. MHI also holds Naturland (Germany) and BioSuisse (Switzerland) organic certification.

More than 85% of the fish produced by MHI is exported throughout the EU, UAE, Asia and the east coast of the United States and is the world’s leading supplier of organic salmon, making Ireland one of the most strategically important locations for the company.

Our sustainability credentials

MHI believes that sustainability must be embraced by any business reliant on natural resources. To ensure sustainable development, the company operates under four guiding principles: profit, people, product and planet. Profits depend on the ability to provide customer value from health, tasty and nutritious salmon, which is farmed cost effectively and in an environmentally sustainable way while respecting the needs of wider society. In terms of people, the company sees itself as dependent on vigorous local communities and safe and meaningful workplaces to operate its business sustainably, while producing healthy and nutritious salmon. Tasty and healthy seafood that provides customer value is at the core of its commitment to product and the company’s QMarine quality system covers three overlapping product assurance approaches: control of undesirable substances; control of food borne pathogens; and tracking and tracing. The company also boasts a significant portfolio of third party verified quality standards to include ISO9001, BRC, EU Organic Aquaculture (Irish Certified Quality Salmon – Organic), Naturland Organic, BioSuisse Organic, Freedom Foods, and GlobalGAP Aquaculture.

Finally, the company recognises its long term profitability ultimately depends on sustainable and environmentally responsible interactions with the planet. MHI operates a comprehensive environmental management system (EMS) which is certified to ISO 14001 and GlobalGAP standards for aquaculture.

Origin Green in action

MHI aims to be a global leader in sustainable seafood production, and has made progress through its own sustainability strategies. As part of its Origin Green sustainability strategy, the company commits to:

  • Reduce natural gas consumption per ton of fish processed by minimum 44% less than actual use in 2013.
  • Reduce freshwater (groundwater) consumption per ton of fish processed by 10% from 2011 baseline figures.
  • All Marine production sites to obtain Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification by 2018. The ASC standard has guidelines for the conservation of natural habitat, local biodiversity and ecosystem function, the protection of the health and genetic integrity of wild populations, responsible use of resources, disease management, social responsibility, and community and stakeholder engagement are included to ensure compliance by aquaculture companies worldwide.
  • Develop an employee wellbeing initiative with 60% of workforce to register and participate by 2018.


Social responsibility

MHI’s community-based CSR policy aims to create shared value, whereby the organisation’s corporate success can benefit society and the community in which it operates, and both create and support a sustainable business future. The core grouping for MHI’s CSR activities is the local (coastal) community in all its guises – community organisations; councils; business and local development groups; harbour users associations; sporting clubs, tourist groups; schools; and youth clubs.

Employee safety and self-respect and pride are hugely important to the success of MHI and, in 2012, the company started implementation of a global safety programme called BrainSafe Training, which assists staff to understand how the brain works and its link to safe results and the management of the hazards in the work and home environment.

What we’re doing better

When considering the life cycle assessment of salmon farming, feed remains the largest contributor to environmental footprint. Sourcing sustainable feed ingredients is therefore a top priority to MHI. The company has established KPIs for fish meal used in feed for its fish. This includes a requirement for fish meal sources to only come from well managed and science-based regulated fisheries administrated by national authorities. In addition, fishmeal in organic diets only comes from trimmings and waste of fish already caught for direct human consumption.

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