From the chairperson of the BoD

Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir

Reykjavík Energy and its subsidiaries are very aware of their role in society. We are responsible for providing the public with reliable basic services such as water and energy. Fulfilling and exceeding these expectations is a long-term key objective as securing the ongoing delivery of these services, for future generations, requires the careful utilisation of natural resources. Protecting the environment and ensuring the financial health of operations are both prerequisites for ensuring the sustainable future supply of these essential public services.

The corporate world has experienced a dramatic change in recent years as companies and organisations strive to align their strategies and operations with 17 sustainable goals, specifically designed to improve and unite mankind. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were ratified in the autumn of 2015 and are accompanied by 169 targets. The three pillars of sustainable development i.e. the economy, society and the environment are the foundation for aligning operations with the new corporate landscape.

The systematic introduction of the UN‘s Sustainable Development Goals began at Reykjavík Energy in 2017 and is still evolving. We discussed the relevance of the UN Goals to our operations in the 2017 Annual Report and we discussed the accompanying targets in our 2018 report. The Reykjavík Energy Board has now formally agreed to focus on the following sustainability goals:

  • Clean Water and Sanitation
    The first part of Goal 6 is particularly relevant to our operations as we are responsible for ensuring public access to clean water and to safeguarding our indispensable water sources and utilities. An efficient and environmentally friendly sewage system is also an essential part of a sustainable society.
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
    Goal 7 is not just about providing sustainable energy for businesses and the public; it also requires businesses to supply energy that is reliable and affordable. Reykjavík Energy’s Ownership Policy supports these aims and we are expected to ensure affordable and competitive prices. Moderate profitability is a key policy at Reykjavík Energy as we believe that profit and risk should be shared by the company‘s owners and its customers.
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
    The two components of Goal 12 reflect the core policies of Reykjavík Energy and its subsidiaries. Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns doesn’t just describe what we do, but also how we do it. We think about sustainability opportunities in everything we do. We recycle and reuse, we make demands on suppliers and prevent waste. We apply the same standards to our own products as we do to our suppliers.
  • Climate Action
    Goal 13 is perhaps the most familiar sustainable goal and the most urgent. The world‘s nations united in ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015, promising to take immediate action on the effects of climate change. Energy production and energy utilisation are at the forefront of this world action. Iceland is unequivocally a leader in renewable energy but much still remains to be done in supporting the sustainable transformation of transport. The Reykjavík Energy Group is invested in transport transformation as well as helping as many as we can, to combat climate change, by introducing carbon disposal methods developed by us in collaboration with the University of Iceland and CarbFix.

The decision to focus on these four goals came as a result of the various workshops we held with the Group’s employees, the directors within each subsidiary and of course external stakeholders. The stakeholder workshop focused on listening to the expectations of important suppliers, customers, supervisory authorities and other business associates with regard to our contribution to the UN Global Goals. The outcome was slightly different to our internal expectations but we were pleased to see that Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), which is specifically relevant to suppliers, topped the stakeholder list. The decision to focus on these four goals will be followed up with the regular review of our entire policy, to integrate the goals and their accompanying targets.

If the world achieves its goal of successfully implementing the UN Global Goals, in the next decade, then I am convinced that this will create a trustworthy foundation for humankind to flourish. We must all contribute to the cause, both at the individual and organisational level, especially publically owned entities.

The Reykjavík Energy Board of Directors held 14 formal meetings in 2019. The Board embarked on a tour of the company's operational areas earlier on in the year and held meetings to prepare policy development, resulting in a final Board decision on policy. A presentation was held for new Board Members who then took their seats after the Annual General Meeting. Three owners meetings were also held during the year: The regular finance meeting held in November, a meeting where the election of the Board was discussed and a special meeting to confirm the establishment of a new subsidiary for the CarbFix project. The Board also reviewed its own activities in 2019.

I would like to thank the staff of the Reykjavík Energy Group, its directors and its Board for a successful year of operations.