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Read more about Sustainability

Healthy working lives

Our goals and ambitions for a healthy working life are based on UN Sustainable Development Goal #8

We want to create an integrated occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) and environmental management system (EMS) that protects the physical and psychological working environment and the well-being of all employees. We make the same requirements of our suppliers as we make of ourselves.

Within the priority Healthy Working Lives, we focus on 5 subareas:


1. Job creation 

Risks and opportunities

During the high season from April to October, there is a great need for many employees at processing plants and other plants. The greatest risk is therefore a shortage of manpower, especially in larger towns with competing employment offers, such as in Ilulissat.  

In recent years, a lot of foreign employees has been recruited from China and the Philippines, for long-term stays in Greenland. In addition, employment under the Nordjobb exchange programme in towns and settlements of Greenland has been a great success.   

In 2019, we analysed the gender breakdown at our production facilities and could see potential benefits from adapting the workplaces to additional employee groups, including women and young people.   

Actions and results 2022  

Our objective includes focus on women as part of the workforce. There is a wish for a balanced combination of the two genders, as this ensures a good working atmosphere. During the year, it was possible to improve the working environment at several locations by, among other things, reducing heavy lifting.   

2. Gender breakdown of the executive management levels 

Risks and opportunities  

Broader gender diversity can be expected to enhance employees' well-being, and this applies to the Supervisory Board, executive management and production environment. A high degree of diversity in the Supervisory Board and the executive management levels can have a spin-off effect on the lower employee levels in the company's decision-making hierarchy.   

Actions and results 2022  

In 2022, for the first time in Royal Greenland's history, a female Chair of the Supervisory Board was elected. Furthermore, in autumn 2022, a new female CEO was appointed, so that the first management level below the Supervisory Board changed as from 1 February 2023. To actively increase recruitment of the under-represented gender, Royal Greenland has taken several specific measures to improve recruitment efforts. This resulted in the appointment of two women at the second management level in 2022. 

3. Working environment 

Risks and opportunities  

The fishing industry can be physically demanding. The work might involve lifting blocks of frozen fish, working at a filleting machine and moving boxes, and in fisheries, hauling the filled trawl nets onto the ship's deck. Filleting furthermore involves using sharp knives.   

For several years, statutory workplace assessments have taken place, both ashore and at sea in Greenland. This has provided knowledge of critical working conditions, of which the three most critical working-environment related conditions at the processing plants are (i) heavy lifting, (ii) cold and draughts, and (iii) slippery floors.  

We can see great opportunities to promote a good and uniform working environment by taking a structured approach that is described in a simple overall working environment system for the Group. Uniform procedures can be set up, and tools can be created that are adapted to local conditions. Education and training must support the focus on the working environment, and strengthen and enhance many work functions.   

Actions and results 2022  

The number of injuries per full-time employee declined in 2022. This is very satisfactory and can be attributed to recent years' increased focus on the working environment.    

The reporting of occupational injuries shows that most injuries are related to falling and tripping accidents due to slippery and uneven surfaces. Knives and non-mechanical tools are another area with a relatively high number of injuries, which also applies to falling objects that hit a toe or another part of the body. Heavy lifting is also one of the challenges at shore-based facilities.    

4. Ethical supply chain management, human rights and due diligence 

Wherever we trade, or whoever it is with, across value chains and national borders, we have an obligation to prevent violation of human rights and employee rights, ensure good environmental conditions, and fulfill product traceability requirements.   

Risks and opportunities  

Our risk analysis is based on official assessments (Human Development Index, Environmental Index and Corruption Index) and divides our suppliers are divided into high, medium, and low-risk groups, depending on which country the products are manufactured in, so that differentiated documentation requirements can be set. Our own risk analysis is updated with BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) assessments. The greatest risks are defined as knock-out points, which are child labour, employee rights, safety and the environment.  

In our supply chain management, Royal Greenland focuses on suppliers from high-risk countries, many of which are audited in accordance with the SMETA standard. We wish to continuously improve our suppliers' performance by requiring more of our suppliers to undergo a SMETA audit.   

Actions and results 2022  

The Supplier Code of Conduct has been updated to match Royal Greenland's policy for recruitment of migrant employees, and requirement for third-party auditing (SMETA) of fish and shellfish suppliers from high-risk countries. Requirements have also been introduced for policies and strategies to reduce the climate impact on the surrounding environment. 

5. Anti-corruption and fraud 

Risks and opportunities  

At Royal Greenland we do not tolerate any form of corrupt behavior. This might be tax evasion, money laundering, embezzlement, or bribery. We operate in many different cultures, and it is therefore crucial to clearly require the same code of conduct throughout the organization.  

To increase risk awareness, employee training is very important. If criminal activity is discovered in the company, the whistleblower scheme can be used.  

Actions and results 2022  

In 2022, there was extensive training of employees selected on the basis of a risk analysis. In total, 212 employees from several departments across the Group attended this training. The content was expanded from anti-corruption dilemmas and procedures, to also include abuse of power and the whistleblower scheme. 

See also

Read more about Education in Greenland