Riding the ESG Wave: Sustainability-Focused Investors Zero in on Aquaculture
Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investing has become a multi-billion-dollar behemoth for Wall Street and beyond. What was once a niche investment class can only be ignored by corporate titans, venture capitalists, and family offices at their peril. Sustainability-focus has become an investment commandment. The aquaculture industry has not been immune. The sector has been facing ever more scrutiny on a range of issues regarding poor fish welfare, the use of unsustainable raw materials, and its overall environmental impact. Investor pressure has pushed the industry towards more transparency and overall accountability with nearly every major aquaculture company publishing ESG metrics. Meanwhile, global aquaculture companies are taking environmental stewardship seriously by taking vocal stands against Amazon-sourced soy and by investing heavily in fish meal alternatives. Billions of dollars have also been poured into land-based initiatives like Atlantic Sapphire and Kingfish Zeeland, despite their complexity and frequent setbacks. It’s a tangible demonstration that investors are willing to endure challenges and volatility to see the promise of a locally produced fish that is more sustainable come to market. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole in terms of ESG and sustainability for both investors and companies. This session will explore the most critical issues facing aquaculture today and what future issues are on the horizon. We’ll discuss how sustainability is pushing the industry to innovate and is challenging conventional shorter-term investment horizons from new production methods such as land-based farming and off-shoring to alternative feed ingredients for fish meal and soy.