ÁTVR has set itself an environmental policy, founded on respect for the environment, and the efficient and responsible use of assets and resources. Improvements are constantly being made to meet environmental requirements. Carbon offsetting is therefore an important part of ÁTVR's social responsibility and sustainability.
ÁTVR is one of 104 Icelandic companies that participate in a collaborative project between Festa and the City of Reykjavík on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing negative environmental impact. The goal for 2019 is to reduce direct carbon dioxide emissions by 40%. The reference year is 2016.
Measures have already been taken to reduce emissions with electric cars and a more streamlined product transportation.
Since 2012, all direct emissions coming from cars and aviation have been offset with Kolviður- Iceland carbon fund. Carbon emissions have been about 150 tonnes annually. Planting trees is a good way to bridge the gap between the use of fossil fuels and environmentally friendly energy sources in the future.
ÁTVR has also looked at the supply chain and set goals for reducing the carbon footprint. An analysis of the product portfolio was made and the conclusion was that the product packaging gave the largest carbon footprint. Customers can now see the estimated carbon footprint of many products when they click on the product in the webstore and work is being done to get the information for more products.
Employees are offered eco friendly transportation contracts by the company, waste is sorted and recycling rates at ÁTVR are 92%. Emphasis has been placed on encouraging customers to buy multi-purpose carrying bags instead of plastic ones and on sending files electronically when possible. Employees are offered free education on environmental issues.
Kolviður and Votlendissjóður
Two parties offer carbon offsetting in Iceland; Kolviður - Iceland Carbon Fund and Votlendissjóður. It‘s also possible to work with Landgræðslan on land reclamation.
124 tonns were offset at Kolviður last year and a total of 1,164 trees were planted.
An agreement was also made with Votlendissjóður (The Wetland fund) to offset all flight made by ÁTVR employees , 22 tonnes in total. The length of the ditch to be filled is about 158 meters. The effect of recovery is expected to be around 35 meters from the ditch in both directions, or a total of 70 meters. That comes to 11,060 m2 or equivalent to 1.1 hectares.
At the company's plot, tree crops have been planted for four decades and are thought to bind about 4 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.
Savings made by stopping the use of disposable drinking cups at the company are enough to pay for all of its carbon offsetting.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
ÁTVR has incorporated the the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in its company policy. Research shows that forestry is by far the most effective response to climate change. By planting trees for carbon equalization, biodiversity increases with ecosystem recovery. Life in water becomes more diverse with the restoration of wetlands. Therefore, carbon equalization is well suited to meet the requirements in world goals number 13 - Climate action, number 14 – Life below water and number 15 - Life on land.