Over the past several weeks, I took some time to read and reflect on The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, and the severe impacts of climate change that we are facing today on a global scale.

Guest Commentary

Matts Johansen is the CEO of Aker Biomarine, the world's largest harvester and processor of Antarctic krill.

The findings are stark, and it seems every day there is more news of the impact carbon emissions are having on the planet.

There is no question that the IPCC projections of climate change and the worst-case scenarios for heat, drought and oceans around the globe are a brutal reality, moving closer, not further away.

Seeing all the arrows and graphs pointing in the wrong direction can put anyone in a dark state of mind, but we just cannot allow ourselves to surrender.

These are my key takeaways moving forward and the ways that Aker Biomarine is leading the charge for change:

Never miss an Opinion
Receive an Alert when we publish opinions from our expert journalists and guest commentators.

Climate change is 90 percent certain to be driven by human activity. This means that we -- industry, governments, consumers and technology innovators -- can also turn this around. We have the power to make proactive decisions and the control to help push things in the right direction.

Ambitious goals are essential to overcoming the global challenges that will impact -- and drive -- the future of our business and industry.

From climate change and loss of biodiversity to resource scarcity and lifestyle disease threats, we intend to be part of the solution to these challenges. At Aker Biomarine, we believe in a world where we all have access to quality nutrition and good health without compromising the future of our planet.

When it comes to aquaculture, Antarctic krill is a sustainable source. In fact, krill contributes to lowering the C0² emissions in the value chain and is a source of sustainable feed for fish and seafood farming companies.

This is important because the carbon emissions of farmed salmon mostly come from the production of feed.

Every ton of CO² counts. Collectively, we need to do what we can to cut the big and small emissions. Something’s gotta give!

At Aker Biomarine, we rely on hard work and support from employees and partners across our value chain, as well as disruptive technology to substitute fossil fuels. Our goal is to reduce CO² emissions per ton of krill produced by 50 percent by 2030 and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

We will also deploy the use of green ammonia to power the company’s vessels to support the reduced emissions goal.

Further, Aker Biomarine signed off on eight sustainability commitments over the next 10 years, including decarbonizing aquaculture and animal feed by delivering low-carbon marine ingredients.

We have implemented thorough CO² tracking systems across the entire value chain, in addition to a mapping and monitoring of all environmental stressors. We use these tracking systems to identify areas in our value chain where we can reduce our environmental impact, both the large shifts and the smaller tweaks.

We use these systems to help us calculate the environmental impact of our products. We can pinpoint which step in the value chain can result in the greatest reduction in our industrial footprint. That stringent tracking system and our dedicated efforts are important tools to help us reach our goals.

The arguments for “inaction” simply aren’t good enough anymore. There are no excuses left to delay. Operating as a responsible company is key for us, and we see it as crucial for being able to be in this business for the long run. We believe that both customers and the financial markets will require companies to act in a sustainable way, even more so in the future, but the time is now.

With a growing population, it has never been more important to make healthy food and nutrients available while also keeping our planet’s ecosystem healthy.

Around 70 percent of the planet is covered by oceans, but only 2 percent of the food consumption and 0.5 percent of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA-approved pharmaceuticals come from the oceans.

As a unique and diverse system, the ocean plays a critical role in the world’s future. We're committed to investing in technology platforms, partnerships and research to further protect the ocean and environment, while providing the best ingredients to consumers and farmers alike across the globe.

We will do this all while continuing to harvest and produce in the most sustainable way.

The most sustainable businesses will be the most profitable in the long term, there is no doubt in my mind about that.

The industry’s conundrum today and in the mid-term future is that it is expensive to invest in clean technology. Incentives are sparse, regulations are not ripe and the risk is high. Can we trust that future consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainability, back the same horses and support the most sustainable businesses?

There is no question the rise of ingredients and brands with a strong sense of purpose have put society, planetary welfare and collaboration in a priority position. If we all work toward similar goals, bringing about new solutions to sustainability challenges is possible.

Consumers invest in healthy products to align with their healthy lifestyles, but at the same time, they want to know that these products are coming from sustainable sources. The health of the planet is as important as, and naturally linked to, the health of an individual. This gives me confidence that consumers are willing to pay more for products that they trust and believe in.