We are mindful of our responsibility with respect to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, and work actively and systematically to reduce our carbon footprint.

In 2015, Isavia’s Managing Director signed a climate action pledge as part of an incentive programme initiated by the City of Reykjavík and Festa – the Icelandic Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility. Having made the pledge, Isavia set itself goals to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and thereby show initiative as well as environmental and social responsibility. The objectives are as follows:

  • In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from Isavia’s operations were measured at a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of 0.6kg per passenger. We aim to cut this figure by 10% by 2020 and 29% by 2030.
  • In 2015, 19% of all waste from our operations was recycled. Unrecycled waste per passenger was 0.17 kg. We aim to recycle 70% of all our waste and reduce unrecycled waste per passenger by 63% by 2030.

These objectives are currently under revision on the basis of our 2016 figures, which showed that greenhouse gas emissions per passenger were down 24.5% year-on year, from 0.6kg to 0.46kg CO2e. These calculations include fossil fuel burnt, electricity generation and landfill waste per passenger.

In 2017, Isavia received an incentive award for its actions against climate change from the City of Reykjavík and Festa. As part of the Responsible Tourism incentive project, the company set itself new objectives for 2018, two of which concern climate issues. One of these is to reduce the use of fossil fuels by 4% per passenger compared with 2017, and the other is to increase the percentage of recycled waste by at least 5% per passenger compared with 2017.


We actively monitor our greenhouse gas emissions and annually submit our Green Accounting to the Environment Agency of Iceland.

Our direct greenhouse gas emissions derive from the burning of fossil fuel. In 2016, our direct greenhouse gas emissions per passenger were 0.335kg.



CO2 fossil fuel emissions



CO2 emissions per passenger



We cut our direct greenhouse gas emissions by 49 tonnes between 2015 and 2016.

A negligible part of our indirect greenhouse gas emissions comes from energy consumption. All energy consumed by the company derives from either a geothermal source or hydropower. In other words, all our energy comes from renewable sources that cause very minor emissions compared with other types of heating and electricity production. The National Energy Authority estimates CO2 equivalent emissions per kWh of electricity generated in Iceland to be merely 11.8 grams. Isavia’s indirect greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumption totalled 264 tonnes of CO2e in 2016.

Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions can attributed to unrecycled waste sent to landfill. In 2016, a total of 1,222,277kg of unrecycled waste from our operations went to landfill. The resulting indirect greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 709 tonnes in 2016.


Keflavik Airport is a participant in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, which aims to reduce airports’ carbon emissions. In 2016, Keflavik Airport was certified at Level 1: ‘Mapping’, which means that its carbon footprint and environmental impact on the surrounding area have been mapped out. This Level 1 certification was renewed in 2017. Work has already begun to obtain certification at Level 2: ‘Reduction’, the aim being to complete that step in 2018.


Isavia began assessing air quality at its airports in 2016. The air at Keflavik Airport was recently assessed by engineering firm Efla in co-operation with the University of Aviero. Pollution was calculated on the basis of traffic through the airport in 2015 and projected up to 2025. The report concluded that the concentration of all pollutants was within the air quality limits prescribed by Regulation No. 251/2002, both in 2015 and in the 2025 projection. Having received these results, Isavia has decided to measure and monitor NOx concentrations in and around the airport.


Groundwater studies were recently carried out at Keflavik Airport. After analysis of the samples collected, a groundwater monitoring programme will be designed in co-operation with the Suðurnes Public Health Authority.

There are three sediment basins at Keflavik Airport, whose main purpose is to capture water, delay its flow and filter it, thereby protecting the water quality nearby.

For the past few years, Isavia has improved wastewater drainage at its international airports, which are usually connected to the municipal drainage system. In 2016, work was done to improve wastewater drainage from Keflavik Airport’s west side, which drains into the sea. In the Municipality of Sandgerði, a pumping and filtering station and a new and longer outlet into sea have been constructed. Wastewater pipes from the airport’s east side connect a filtering station in the nearby town of Reykjanesbær.

Isavia’s recycling practices vary between operating units, the most common system being to split waste into four categories, with paper, plastic and bottles separated from regular waste. Some of our operating units are further along and also recycle organic waste. Hazardous waste is collected separately by every unit. The amount of waste grew substantially in 2016, which was directly linked to the rising number of passengers.

On the basis of a climate action pledge signed by Isavia, the company has set itself targets to reduce unsorted waste from its activities.


Recycled per passenger


Unsorted per passenger


Total per passenger



Recycled waste


Unsorted waste to landfill




In December 2017, a new waste and recycling system was brought into service in the Leifur Eiriksson’s Air Terminal’s check-in area, with the food-and-beverages area set to follow suit in 2018. The percentage of recycled waste is expected to rise following these changes.

Isavia is a participant in the Green Steps programme monitored by the Environment Agency of Iceland. The programme is designed to help organisations make their activities more eco-friendly, increase employee wellbeing, improve their working conditions, minimise operating costs and implement approved environmental practices. To get the first four steps up to speed, a competition was staged between operating units. A number of them have already taken the first step and two have taken the second one. However, the team at our Communications Centre at Gufunes is the current favourite, having completed four steps and being well on its way to take the fifth and last one.

At Keflavik Airport, we have a facility for the storage of old furniture and other usable items and materials left over from construction at the airport. Equipment is reused, either for spare parts or sent to be used at other airports. One of the Green Steps involves being on the lookout for possible reuse of items and materials.