The world agrees that climate change is one of the most urgent issues of today. In December 2015 one hundred and ninety five countries reached a historical agreement to curb global greenhouse gas emissions at the Paris Climate Change Summit.
Climate change and global warming affect Landsvirkjun and the resources that the Company utilises directly. Glacial ablation has increased and forecasts show that this trend will continue. It is entirely possible that the country's glaciers could disappear within 200 years.
Increased ablation levels increase the flow of water to Landsvirkjun’s power stations and the Company is currently assessing how and if it would be possible to utilise this.
Landsvirkjun began construction on the expansion of the Búrfell Hydropower Station this year to utilise water that currently runs past the station. The Company is also considering other possibilities to improve the efficiency of utilisation.
Hörður Arnarson, Landsvirkjun’s CEO, attended the Paris conference and signed the “Caring for Climate” declaration.
Landsvirkjun's statement on the ‘Caring for Climate’ initiative outlines one of the Company’s policy objectives; to be a carbon neutral company by 2030. A plan has been developed to achieve this goal by outlining future emissions, potential emission reduction and carbon sequestration in vegetation and soil.
Landsvirkjun also registered these intentions in Nazca (Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action), an international forum in which companies, cities, regions, organisations and investors are given the opportunity to report their goals in the fight against climate change.
A new environmental policy
Landsvirkjun’s operations cause unavoidable interruptions to nature and it is therefore evident that the Company should outline a clear environmental policy. Landsvirkjun's Environmental Policy was revised this year:
The policy outlines the following five policy objectives:
- Increased efficiency in the utilisation of natural resources
- Carbon neutral operations
- Operations in harmony with nature and the physical appearance of land
- Stakeholder engagement
- Operations without environmental incident
Work on numerical targets for policies (other than the carbon neutrality presented above) and operations without environmental incident (zero policy), began in 2016.