Epax close to 100% circularity for marine biomaterials

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

Epax close to 100% circularity for marine biomaterials

Related tags omega 3 Sustainability Recycling Circular economy marine ingredients

Norwegian marine lipid specialist, Epax, achieves near-total circularity for marine biomaterials thanks to a strict zero-waste policy.

In its inaugural annual Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Report​, Epax​ reveals that in 2022, 96.7% of by-products resulting from the manufacturing of its marine oil ingredients were utilised to create other valuable resources, such as animal feed, fertiliser, and biogas, and it is well on its way to reach its goal to increase the figure to 98% by the end of 2023. 

Notably, Epax claims to be the first Omega-3 ingredients supplier to establish biocircularity targets.

The report also reveals other measures taken by the company to reduce its environmental impact, promote social responsibility throughout its supply chain, and enhance corporate governance. 

These efforts have already yielded significant results, including a 33% reduction in fuel oil usage since 2019 and a 13.3% cut in CO2 emissions since 2020.

Bjørn Refsum, CEO of Epax, said: “Biocircularity is a key element of our plans for the future. This is increasingly important as consumer demand grows for sustainably produced omega-3 products and full ingredient transparency.”

Epax, a subsidiary of Pelagia AS​, specialises in Omega-3 concentrates, with Omega-3 ingredients guaranteeing a minimum 700 mg/g of EPA/DHA, and high-strength, ultra-pure Omega-3 ingredients.

By embracing the ethos of circularity, which aims to minimise raw material usage, maximise product reuse and recycling, and generate new products from waste and by-products, Epax says it is hoping to set a new standard for responsible and sustainable practices within the nutrition industry.

Currently, just 7.2%​ of all materials input into the global economy are used to create new resources at the end of their useful life. 

The newly unveiled ESG strategy builds upon Epax's initial environmental stewardship policy, EcoVision​, launched in 2010. 

UN sustainability goals

Epax's 2022 ESG Report outlines a set of ambitious goals to be accomplished by 2030. 

These goals align with specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals​ (SDGs), including clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), responsible production and consumption (SDG 12), climate action (SDG 13), and life below water (SDG 14).

The firm reports having implemented measures to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, including upgrading equipment, utilising residual heat, and processing fish species with naturally high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Epax also note that they are focused on reducing marine pollution and protecting marine biodiversity, sourcing Omega-3 ingredients exclusively from certified sustainable fisheries, contributing to the goal of conserving and sustainably using marine resources. 

Additionally, Epax’s report notes that they actively monitor and report emissions to regulatory authorities, adhering to strict regulations set by the Norwegian Environment Agency.

To minimise water consumption, Epax has invested in equipment that allows them to cool their production processes with seawater from the adjacent fjord, a switch that has reduced their consumption of potable water by 57%.

Moreover, Epax's efforts to optimise transportation logistics have resulted in a reduction of 90,000 kilometers in road transport and over 2,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

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