You have an outdated browser

Please update your browser

Update browser
Read more about Responsible footprint

Water consumption

Currently, purification and recirculation of freshwater are developing rapidly

Fresh water of good quality is an important resource for all our production units.

At Royal Greenland's production units, fresh water may originate from surface water, groundwater or sea water. Fresh water, whatever the origin, is delivered from local utility companies.  

At some geographical locations in Greenland, fresh water is in short supply, and fresh water is produced via a reverse osmosis (RO) system. Since this is a very expensive and energy-intensive method, the possibility of using purified seawater is being investigated. 

Risks and opportunities 

The greatest risk for Royal Greenland is a lack of fresh water for production. On reviewing the water resources in the 37 towns and settlements in Greenland where Royal Greenland has facilities, the supplier Nukissiorfiit (Greenland’s Energy Supply) found that 21 locations had ample water supplies, and eight locations had reasonable water supplies, while another eight locations had poor water supplies.  

We can see opportunities in cleaning seawater up to microbiological drinking water quality. Our tests have yielded good results, but unfortunately no permits have as yet been granted for its use, other than for whole fish. 

Actions and results 2022 

Water consumption per tonne of end-product at Group level increased from 2021, but was generally stable in the three preceding years. The reason can be traced back to one processing plant, which contributed more than 70% of the increase.  

Goals and achievement of the goals 2019-2022 


  • Reduce water consumption at the Group’s processing plants by approximately 5% per year.  
  • Substitute fresh water with seawater in towns and settlements with limited supplies of fresh water.  

Water consumption per tonne of end-product remained relatively stable during the period, despite the reduction goal. The prawn processing plants in particular account for a very high water consumption, since fresh water is used for both cooking and cooling of prawns. At one prawn processing plant in Greenland, however, there was a significant improvement from 2020 to 2022, when water consumption was reduced by 20%.  

It has generally proved difficult to reduce water consumption, since it is important to stay focused on a high standard of hygiene in the production units, and, ultimately, for the end-products. 

Seawater is only approved as a possible source of supply for the first steps of the production of Nutaaq fish. Purified seawater has not yet been generally approved for the production of fish products. 

Ambitions for 2030

  • Total reduction of 20% from 2018  
  • A stable water resource of drinking water quality 

See also

Read more about Energy consumption