Brim is aware of its role when it comes to investments in the infrastructure and services where the company has operating units. The company’s investments, e.g. in Vopnafjörður, where a pelagic fish processing plant has been developed with increased fishing quotas, show that the company believes that such investments are an important basis for ensuring favourable living conditions in Vopnafjörður in the long term. A large proportion of direct and indirect jobs are created in the area due to the operations of Brim. As a result, the municipality has had support from Brim to nurture and strengthen infrastructure development and services in the community, such as in educational and cultural issues, sports, services and transportation, to name but a few.
Brim has operating units in Reykjavík, Akranes, Vopnafjörður and Hafnarfjörður. The company’s operation outside the Reykjavík area is largely managed by management personnel from the local community.
Most of the major investments that Brim has made in recent years can be attributed to the UFS priorities and the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals. Investments have been made in energy exchanges, vessels, equipment to reduce energy use and digital solutions. Simultaneously, investments have been made in improved work facilities to reduce illness and accidents and increase job satisfaction. Innovation is, and has always been, part of Brim’s operations and the company has directly or indirectly participated in, or supported, innovation projects related to the fisheries sector.
In 2015, the company presented a plan entitled "Cleaner Value Chain in Fisheries". The project is based on ensuring knowledge development of all aspects of environmental impact from the operation of the company throughout the value chain, from fishing to the market. On this basis, work is underway to develop new technologies and methods for managing the ecological footprint of Brim’s products from fishing to market delivery.
The project "Cleaner Value Chain in Fisheries" has been approved by The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís) in recent years as a research and development project and the company has received a deduction from income tax for the project.
Iceland's fishing resources are renewable as long as fishing is conducted responsibly. The good results of the Icelandic fisheries sector in environmental issues and innovation are therefore not least due to the responsible utilization of fish stocks. A scientific precautionary approach to determining the catch rule for each species is the basis of the catch quota. Fish stocks are in better condition after the introduction of the current fisheries management system. It is easier to organize fishing, catch on the fishing day has increased significantly and fishing trips are shorter. Responsible fishing has encouraged innovation, with an emphasis on better utilization of the catch, and solutions have been sought to create added value and reduce costs.
The biggest project of the year was the renovation of the groundfish processing plant in Reykjavík. Preparations began a few years ago with alterations and renovations to housing and new buildings to make it possible to incorporate the latest machinery and equipment and streamline processing. The project was somewhat delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but was completed at the beginning of 2021.
The purpose was twofold. On the one hand, to renew tools and equipment that had become worn out and obsolete, and repair old housing. On the other hand, incorporating the latest equipment and software available with the aim of increasing utilization, quality and performance. With these alteration, Brim’s groundfish processing plant in Reykjavík will be one of the most advanced in the world. The project also has environmental and social benefits.
This project can easily be linked to the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals. 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” The renovation of the groundfish processing plant in Norðurgarður was a complex and demanding project and is based on a great deal of knowledge and innovation. This applies to the providers of tools, equipment and installation, as well as Brim’s staff. Without their vast knowledge and experience, a project like this would not be possible.
When renovating the company's groundfish processing plant in Norðurgarður, one of the company's goals is to gain an overview over the estimated carbon footprint down to kg per processed catch in the company's land processing so that the information will be accessible to buyers.
Brim has been a pioneer in implementing smart environmental management, which involves, i.a. automatically collecting data on the company's environmental factor and disseminating information to stakeholders. Part of smart environmental management has been the electrification of information processes that are mandatory for ships under environmental legislation, including MARPOL. In addition, electronic monitoring equipment for supervisory bodies has been installed where supervisory authorities can carry out their monitoring duties over the Internet instead of having to be physically present. Brim, moreover, has installed smart containers and smart scales in the waste sorting stations of the company. This equipment records, in real time, the recycling of raw materials and waste and transmits the information electronically to the environmental database of the company.
Measuring stations are constantly being added and the database strengthened, to make the company's environmental data even more detailed.
This year, an environmental database developed by Brim’s staff was launched. All data related to the company's environmental statement is streamed to one place. At the same time, "environmental screens" were set up throughout the company to increase employees' environmental awareness.
A major factor in achieving the above goals was to add a third towing winch to the wetfish trawlers Akurey and Viðey. The vessels’ layout was altered in such a way that it is now possible to fish with two trawls. The aim of these alterations was, on one hand, to increase the amount caught with less fuel use per tonne caught, thus reducing the negative environmental impact.
Work was done on a model that calculates the fuel use of the company's vessels. The project aims to develop technology that enables Brim’s fleet managers to better analyze the operational aspects of vessels, such as their speed, and to better connect fishing and processing, which makes it possible to reduce vessels' fuel use.
Much progress has been made in the making of fishing gear. Over the years, Brim has worked closely with fishing gear manufacturers to increase the catch-per-unit effort, improve the treatment of fish that go into the fishing gear and reduce energy use (oil) with lighter trawls.
In recent years, Brim has been involved in a collaborative project where the company's wetfish trawlers have been involved in the development and testing of new types of trawl boards that are intended to reduce the fuel use of trawlers as well as better protect the seabed. Our partner in this project is Ný toghlerahönnun ehf. and the company manufactures the boards under the name Ekkó.
Over the past few years, Brim has been engaged, in collaboration with Radíómiðun, Síminn and Akureyri Hospital, in installing telemedicine equipment in the company’s vessels. Such a system has been installed in both the company's pelagic vessels, Víkingur AK and Venus NS. When accidents or illness occur on board and the equipment in the on-board hospital room has been turned on, all accessible network connections in the area will be directed toward the hospital room. From the hospital room, it will then be possible to send live images of the patient along with all the main vital signs the doctor needs to assess the patient’s condition. This equipment can make all the difference when assessing whether the helicopter needs to be sent or not. In addition, it supports ships’ officers in the care of the patient.
Brim has also adopted a digital accident registration system which is accessible through the company’s intraweb. The object of the system is to make it easier for employees to register accidents and to ensure that the company’s safety management has an overview of what accidents occur. Furthermore, that they are examined and that the appropriate measures are taken to prevent further accidents.
Brim actively participates in promoting development and progress in the community by supporting a variety of worthy causes. The projects are diverse, and through them, Brim supports projects such as search and rescue operations, cultural activities and innovation and education relating to the fishing industry.
Brim supports selected projects, i.e. those that support the community, protect the environment and increase innovation. The grants go to NGOs and companies that promote positive social development. Grant applications are sent to the company through its website, where its grant committee processes the request.
Brim, together with 103 other Icelandic companies and public bodies, signed a declaration on climate issue goals on 16 November 2015 in Höfði. The declaration was delivered in connection with the UN Climate Conference held in Paris in December 2015. The City of Reykjavík and Festa, the Icelandic Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, have supervised the companies’ declaration. The goals of the climate project are to:
Brim is one of the sponsors of the Arctic Circle Assembly. Arctic Circle is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, environmental associations and others interested in the development of the Nordic region and its consequences for the future of the globe. As such, Arctic Circle is the largest platform of its type in the world. The Chairman of the Arctic Circle is Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former President of Iceland.
Brim hf. has become the main sponsor of the Blue Army environmental organization. The Blue Army has been active for 25 years and focuses on the fight against plastic pollution in the sea through clean-up work along the country's shores and through encouragement and raising awareness. Brim will support the association's operations with financial contributions and professional involvement in promotion and marketing in order to increase the environmental association's visibility. Brim will also participate directly in the Blue Army's projects with its own clean-up day at least once a year where the shores will be walked and cleaned.
Kristján Davíðsson, Chairman of the Board of Brims, and Tómas J. Knútsson, founder of the Blue Army, signed a sponsorship and collaboration agreement.
Brim signed an agreement on Þjóðþrif with Pure North Recycling in the year 2020. With the agreement, Brim commits to recycling all plastic in Iceland, instead of landfilling or recycling abroad.
All disposable clothing in Brim's processing is already being sorted and sent for recycling, where before it was disposed of as there was no channel for dirty plastic.
Brim is a supporter of search and rescue teams in Iceland. ICE-SAR is the national association for search and rescue in Iceland and one of the largest volunteer associations in Iceland. The operation aims to prevent accidents and save lives and valuables. Brim supports robust search and rescue work at sea and on land, as our seamen rely on the teams if something happens. Brim supports the search and rescue teams Ársæll, Björgunarsveitin Vopni and Björgunarfélag Akraness.
The Fisheries Industry Safety Group operates within Fisheries Iceland (Samtök fyrirtækja í sjávarútvegi, SFS) with the goal of reducing the number of accidents in the sector. The group was formally established in April 2016, and Brim has a representative among them. The representatives are from the largest fisheries companies in Iceland and are all involved in working on safety issues. The first task undertaken by the group was to write a Safety Manual for fish processing plants, which is now accessible on the websites of SFS and the Herring Sector Research Fund (Rannsóknarsjóður síldarútvegsins), which funded the project. The Safety Manual is a reference manual for management in fisheries companies and is intended to ensure the use of active occupational safety measures within the companies.
The photo was taken in the autumn of 2019 during the Safety Group's visit to SVN.
Brim is one of the sponsors of Women Leaders Global Forum. The Global Forum was held for the third time in collaboration with the Parliament, the Government of Iceland and the Women Political Leaders, WPL, November 9-11. This year, the Global Forum was fully electronic due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A number of MPs took part in the forum this year, from around the world, along with current and former national leaders.
Brim joined forces with Faxaflóahafnir (Associated Icelandic Ports) and Sjómannadagsráð (Reykjavík Seamen’s Day Committee) to hold the 2019 Festival of the Sea. These three parties are the main supporters of the Festival.
The festival consists of the Harbour Day and the Seamen’s Day and is held for the purpose of providing families with the opportunity to come to the harbour area in Reykjavík and learn about harbour operations, vessel operation and the work of seamen. Music, entertainment and restaurants in the area tempt guests with a variety of goodies. The old harbor is bustling with life during this weekend.
Last spring, the festival had to be cancelled due to restrictions on social gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to hold the Festival of the Sea this spring if the restrictions on social gatherings have been relaxed.
Brim supports causes in its home communities which consist of Reykjavík, Akranes and Vopnafjörður. The grants are split into several categories but are all related to the community to which they are allocated in some manner. Brim has supported a number of NGOs such as the Society for Assistance to Mothers (Mæðrastyrksnefnd), both in Reykjavík and in Akranes, Sjálfsbjörg, Icelandic Church Aid (Hjálparstarf kirkjunnar) and Samhjálp, to mention a few.
In recent years, there has been considerable community interest in Brim’s operations, not least with regards to its environmental issues. The representatives of numerous companies payed Brim a visit and requested to know how the company sorts its waste. There has also been a great demand from schools, foreign visitors and other parties to come and visit and get to know the company's operations. However, visits to Brim were almost completely off limits during the year due to Covid-19, but instead distance presentations were offered to companies and schools with great success.
The photo is from the Festa networking meeting which was held in the Marshall building in 2019.
In July last summer, when the restrictions on social gatherings for Covid-19 were relaxed for a short time, the Reykjavík Fisheries School for Young People had facilities in Norðurgarður. A total of 75 students attended the school in Reykjavík this year
For one week, the students of the school get to know most aspects of the fishing industry and educational and employment opportunities related to the fishing industry.
This is the first time that the Fisheries School for Young People is operated in Reykjavík. The school is a collaborative project between the University of Akureyri, fisheries companies and youth employment programs in the municipalities where the school operates.
The Fisheries School for Young People was founded in 2013 by Síldarvinnslan in Neskaupsstaður, but the University of Akureyri's Fisheries Center took over the operation in 2017 and since then the school has been run in collaboration with local schools and fisheries companies in East and North Iceland. It is estimated that the number of students at the school in 2020 was around 300 young people.
Brim is the owner of the Marshall Building, which is located on the premises of the company in Reykjavík. The Marshall Building is a new venue for the arts, by the Old Harbour in Reykjavík. The house was built in 1948 as a fishmeal plant but now houses the Living Art Museum, Kling & Bang, Stúdíó Ólafur Elíassonar together with the studio and restaurant La Primavera Ristorante. The idea for the new and changed role for the Marshall Building can be traced to the architects of Kurtogpi, Ásmundur Hrafn Sturluson and Steinþór Kári Kárason. The firm was responsible for all the architectural work regarding the changes. The project was formally launched on February 19, 2016 when the agreement was signed and work began. The Marshall Building, a spectacular centre for the arts, was formally opened on March 18, 2017.
In 2013, Brim, in collaboration with the Federation of Icelandic Artists and Faxaflóahafnir (Associated Icelandic Ports), held a competition for new artwork to decorate the area surrounding Ísbjörninn, the new cold storage facility that the company built in the same year. The winner was Þúfa, a piece by artist Ólöf Nordal. Those who walk up to the top enjoy one of the most impressive views of Reykjavík available. Þúfa was inaugurated at a ceremony on 21 December 2013 and has already become a well-known landmark in Reykjavík and a popular destination for both tourists and residents.
Brim and the municipality of Akranes have joined forces and founded a joint development company. Preparations lasted from the autumn of 2019, where KPMG consultancy led the project with the participation of residents and various stakeholders. The results were the establishment of a development company to support job development and innovation in the Breið area of Akranes.
It is expected that the development will be phased over the long term, with a focus on development in tourism, health and high-tech. The company is intended to promote employment opportunities, innovation and creative industries in the area and a new residential area is planned in Breið.
Brim and the municipality of Akranes own the majority of plots and properties on Breið, where there are unique opportunities for development.
The aim of the parties is to create an environment where the dissemination of diverse knowledge in the fields of technology, public health and the environment will contribute to cutting-edge research and innovation that will solve the various challenges and problems the world faces.
During the year, Brim supported the political parties that have members in the parliament and who applied for grants.
Brim has been one of the main sponsors of the Seafood Conference Iceland in recent years. The goal is to gather in a single place a cross-section of the industry in order to further promote progress and other efforts. The conference is where people meet and network, strengthening connections and collaboration in the industry. The conference covers many important topics in the fishing industry, in the hope that it may inspire its guests to try out new ideas and do good work.
Brim supports sports and youth activities for the benefit of children and teenagers in Akranes and Vopnafjörður. Thus, the company supports general public health, both physical and mental.
Brim supports Þorgrímur Þráinsson, author, to hold his lecture “Let’s Fall in Love With Life” in all Icelandic primary schools.
Þorgrímur himself mentions the support on his Facebook page: “We are all different, thankfully. Some have more understanding of social responsibility than others, and that is how it will always be. The reason why I can visit all primary schools in Iceland each and every year – for the past ten years – and hold my lecture Let’s Fall in Love With Life for students attending grade 10 is that the directors/managers of certain companies fulfill their social responsibilities and trust me. They have granted me support to be able to offer this lecture to students – free of charge for the schools.”
Brim is one of two supporters of Þorgrímur.
The Brim chess tournament series started on the weekend June 19-21, in the clubhouse of Taflfélag Reykjavíkur. Brim is the main sponsor of the tournament series along with the Icelandic Chess Federation.
Taflfélag Reykjavíkur organizes the tournament in collaboration with Skákfélag Siglufjarðar, Skákfélag Selfoss og nágrennis and Skákfélag Huginn.
The arrangement is such that six weekend chess tournaments will be held throughout the year, three in Taflfélag Reykjavíkur, one in Siglufjörður, one in Selfoss and one in Húsavík. On Friday, four chess games are played, on Saturday two blitz chess games and on Sunday one blitz chess game.
The competition had impressive prizes; 350,000 ISK prize fund for the best combined result in the tournament series. There will be a points competition where the four best tournaments of each chess player will count.
Brim is one of the companies that are the gold sponsors of the Rynkeby cycling competition. Brim was a gold sponsor for the second time this year.
The project's gold sponsors donate a minimum of ISK 400,000, which goes directly to the team's fundraising for the Children's Cancer Support Association. Team Rynkeby is a pan-European charity that annually cycles 1300 km in 8 days from Denmark to Paris, raising money to support children with cancer. Due to the Covid pandemic and travel restrictions, we did not go to Denmark but cycled the same distance here in Iceland.