Dialogue on environmental performance in Iceland

Each year, companies located at Grundartangi industrial area in Iceland are required by their operating permit to perform research to evaluate environmental impacts caused by their operations. The companies participating in the environmental monitoring programme are Elkem Iceland, Century Aluminum, GMR recycling and Kratus ehf.

The purpose of the programme is to research ascertain and document any change in environmental effects that the industrial area could have on the external environment (receptor). The monitoring program is used for 10 years a time and is under supervision of the Environment Agency of Iceland. The environmental monitoring program covers the concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere, river water, vegetation, ovine animals the marine ecosystem and ocean near seashore landfills near the industrial plants.

The environment performance of the industrial area is important to the Icelandic government, but also to the local communities and farmers. The results from the receptor monitoring, internal monitoring (source) and inspection results from each of the plants are presented in a public meeting, including an introduction on counter measures from Elkem Iceland and the other companies. The Environmental agency is in charge of the meetings and researchers. Company representatives are present and available to answer questions from stakeholders. In addition, Elkem Iceland informs stakeholders (employees, students, local community, customers and public authorities etc.) about how Elkem Iceland addresses important environmental issues in an annual sustainability report.

This article was first published in Elkem’s sustainability report 2015.