Our goal at Landsvirkjun is to excel in all three areas of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. In 2019, we made notable progress in each of these domains.
Economically speaking, 2019 was a decent year for Landsvirkjun, despite challenging external circumstances among key clients.
We continued to decrease net debt, increase our credit rating and our earnings from unrealised financial gains; the benchmark the Company uses to assess its operations, were relatively strong. The operation of Landsvirkjun's power stations was successful throughout the year and we received one of the most prestigious project management awards in the world, for our Þeistareykir Geothermal Power Station Project.
Landsvirkjun fulfilled many of its social responsibility objectives this year. We received the Equal Opportunity Award, for improvement projects that have been underway for some time. The achievement reflects our intention to foster a corporate culture based on equality, inclusivity and diversity.
Landsvirkjun also made progress on environmental issues. We introduced an action plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. We also introduced internal carbon prices, to create incentives to make financial and operational decisions, based on low-carbon solutions.
Our emphasis on increased sustainability aligns with international initiatives, such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the company is already incorporating into its operations.
All of these initiatives are designed to preserve our natural resources for future generations. Conducting operations in this manner supports economic, social, and environmental prosperity. We hope to continue down this path of creating a more sustainable future.
Knowledge is a prerequisite for progress
Hörður Arnarson CEO
Landsvirkjun’s operations were affected by difficult external circumstances in 2019, but we nevertheless made good progress. We decreased our debt to 1,691 million USD by year end or a reduction of 193 million USD during 2019.
The day-to-day operation of our power stations has been in great shape for decades and this year was no exception. Our team of highly experienced professionals and extensive knowledge of renewable energy production is at the core of this success. Every new generation brings a wave of innovation to the workplace, paving the way for progress. This gives us the opportunity to seek out new sustainable solutions to support the environment, economy and society.
Renewable energy generation produces negligible carbon dioxide emissions. Landsvirkjun’s carbon footprint is 22,000 CO2-equivalents whereas similar energy production, using fossil fuels, would produce approx. 6.5 million CO2-equivalents. This exceeds Iceland’s total carbon emissions for an entire year.
This vast difference speaks to the importance of renewable energy production and the efficacy of this type of production in combatting climate change.
Landsvirkjun participates in the United Nations’ UN Global Compact project, which sets out global social responsibility standards. Our progress on these issues can be seen in our annual report. Landsvirkjun also published a Global Standard Reporting Initiative (GRI) report for the first time as part of its annual report for 2019.