Nov 7th, 2022

Thai Union readying ambitious 2030 climate goals, as eyes turn to COP27

Climate change is at the very forefront of Thai Union Group’s sustainability strategy.

We recognize that the risks associated with the continued warming of the Earth are significant, so the action taken by companies, governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs and others to negate the impact must also be significant.

As negotiators and world leaders gather in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh for the COP27 UN climate summit, we’ll be watching closely to see if they can build more momentum towards the implementation of the commitments made at COP26 in Glasgow.

Our planet continues to heat up and there is the real risk that global warming cannot be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius if urgent action is not taken and soon.

As the planet warms, so do the world’s oceans. This creates a major threat to marine species and aquaculture production on which Thai Union depends. The oceans are the foundation of our business and ensuring the oceans remain healthy are critical for the future of the planet and in tackling climate change.

As has been well documented, a warming planet will lead to more severe weather and natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and tsunamis, as well as ocean warming and acidification, potentially impacting our production, raw material supply and human resources.

Thai Union is one of the world’s largest seafood companies, and as such we have enormous responsibility – but also the ability – to be a leader for positive change. In early 2023, Thai Union will announce a major update to its global sustainability strategy, SeaChange®, with new goals and new commitments, including on Climate Change. For our Climate goals, both short-term and long-term targets were created using the methodology set by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi); the gold standard of climate target setting which ensures targets are ‘science-based’ and in line with what the latest climate science deemed necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The process includes an external validation of targets, which is what Thai Union are currently waiting for prior to their announcement.

We want to make sure the oceans are healthy and support future generations, part of our commitment to ensuring the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources, aligning with the UN’s position that there is an opportunity for development models that are not only more inclusive and equitable but are underpinned by sustainable consumption and production.

At Thai Union, we have not been standing still. In 2021, we conducted our first full greenhouse gas inventory including scope 3 emissions from across the full supply chain, exploring what the main sources of emissions are. We know that purchased goods and services represent 79.3 percent of Thai Union’s scope 3 emissions, and within that, we know our hotspots are fuel used on-board vessels within our wild-caught supply chain and on-farm energy consumption and feed within our aquaculture supply chain. So, as we move forward, these will become a key focus of the Company’s decarbonization efforts.


Our initial focus was on scopes 1 and 2, where we have reduced our greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity by 18% since 2018. Thai Union has been pursuing the implementation of numerous initiatives to reduce our GHG emissions. A good example of that is Okeanos Food – a Thai Union subsidiary specializing in frozen shrimp products – which installed a smart aquaculture management system by HydroNeo, a German high-tech aquaculture technology company which provides systems to monitor the quality of water for feeding and farming of shrimp and to automate operations. The system automatically controls the energy-intensive aeration and has successfully helped reduce both energy use and indirect GHG emissions at Okeanos. In the Seychelles, Thai Union installed solar rooftops at the Company’s plants in September this year, accounting for 8 percent of its total energy consumption. In a second step, Thai Union will cover even more of its roof area with solar panels. This increase in renewable energy is also in line with the Seychelles government’s renewable energy plan.

Thai Union has many other initiatives in place. Between 2018 and 2021, we reduced our water withdrawal intensity by 22 percent, our waste to landfill by 43 percent, increased renewable energy consumption at our factories by 76 percent, and continue to improve the environmental performance of packaging, with a commitment to achieve 100 percent reusability, recyclability, or compostability of our branded packaging by 2025.

In 2021, we also launched Sustainability-Linked Loans and Sustainability-Linked Bonds – financing that has sustainability targets to benefit the oceans, with interest rates linked to key performance indicators and sustainability performance targets. This includes meeting our climate change performance goals, which would have negative financial implications if we do not achieve them.

We’re optimistic that leaders at COP27 will reach agreement on commitments that will continue to drive forward efforts to combat climate change. We’re also optimistic about our own goals and excited to share our new SeaChange® 2030 strategy in early 2023, as we maintain our position as a global leader in the seafood industry, driving positive change and supporting our commitment to Healthy Living, Healthy Oceans.