Annual and Sustainability Report 2022


Icelandair is dedicated to minimising its environmental impact by addressing its responsibilities to reduce emissions, conserve natural resources, as well as optimise the use of sustainable energy and recyclable materials. We work systematically to reduce the impact of the operation by managing and monitoring environmental issues in a management system where audits are carried out by external bodies.


Environmental management approach

For many years Icelandair has been working on environmental matters and in 2012 our environmental policy was first issued. Since then, the policy has developed and been reviewed to be consistent with the requirements of IEnvA, an ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS) equivalent certification.

The Environmental Policy is the foundation of our system where we address our environmental impacts, maintain environmental management programs, and enable us to meet obligations.

Environmental Management System

Through our certified EMS, we address the responsibility for identifying, monitoring, and assessing climate and environmental related risks and opportunities and for implementing programs to address the impacts of the operation. An EMS is a structured documented system of policies and procedures where the Company identifies the environmental aspects of its activities, manages its impacts, and sets the Company’s environmental targets, and performance indicators. Environmental management plans are developed to address Icelandair significant environmental impacts and meet our compliance obligations. By environmental compliance audit programs, internal and external, we monitor our regulatory compliance, identify root causes of findings, and ensure corrective actions are developed as required.

International Air Transport Associatin - Environmental Assessment

In support of Icelandair efforts to reduce waste, pollution and GHG emissions, and to improve environmental performance, we have implemented a third-party certified EMS system through the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) Program.

IEnvA is an environmental management system certification program, specifically developed for the airline sector, which demonstrates equivalency to the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management systems standard. Icelandair is IEnvA Stage 2 certified, the highest level of IEnvA compliance. The re-certification cycle takes place every two years and is due in April 2023 for Icelandair.


Icelandair is fully committed to reach its climate goals and participate in industry groups and forums to stimulate the technological innovation that will be needed for zero carbon emission aviation. We participate in the work of various environmental working groups and organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Airlines for Europe (A4E). The A4E members want to be part of the fight against climate change. It is a challenge we face head-on, and one we will only achieve through integrated, cross-sector efforts across policy fields: transport, climate, energy and research.

The Nordic countries have a long history of cooperation and share the vision that the Nordic Countries comprise a leading region in the areas of innovation, green growth and welfare. Icelandair participate in two Nordic cooperation projects in terms of sustainability in aviation. These are the Nordic Initiative for Sustainable Aviation (NISA) and The Nordic Network for Electric Aviation (NEA). NISA is an association working to promote and develop a more sustainable aviation industry, with a specific focus on alternative sustainable fuels for the aviation sector. NEA is a platform where Nordic actors come together to accelerate the introduction of electric aviation in the Nordic countries. Their programs explore development of alternative fuels and electric airplanes.

In addition, Icelandair has signed letters of intent with Heart Aerospace and Universal Hydrogen that are developing electric-hybrid and hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Flying the first passenger flights on a full electric aircraft was an unforgettable experience. The first passengers were Iceland’s president and prime minister, and we flew around Reykjavik Airport. This is the start of a new era in Icelandic aviation history and a very important step towards a more sustainable way of flying. With short flight distances and access to green energy, Iceland is in a key position to making the energy transition of aviation a reality.

Matthías Sveinbjörnsson

Pilot and Director Revenue Management & Pricing



Icelandair’s goal is to minimise waste and increase recycling in all operations. Total amount of waste generated by Icelandair was 1,160 tonnes in 2022 of which about 33% is recycled. Around half of the total amount of waste is generated from catering and cabin operations and the geographical location of operations and the legal environment must be considered as in some cases these factors may restrict waste separation. Cabin waste is subject to national waste management controls that are strict to protect agricultural sectors. That means that all cabin waste that has come in contact with or is made from animal products must be incinerated.

Icelandair has for years called for changes in regulations about recycling waste from international flights and in 2022 Icelandair, in good cooperation with the Environment Agency of Iceland and the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Agency worked together to change the regulations to enable airlines to sort clean recyclables that originate in Iceland. The change is implemented in the beginning of 2023.

The steep rampup of operations in 2022 has the effect that the total amount of waste generated from the Company has almost doubled between years but has not reached the same numbers as in 2019 due to various factors.

Icelandair has initiated various successful projects to improve waste recycling within other parts of the Company such as further usage of used oils, timber and metal that goes into appropriate recycling streams. In line with law and regulation, all hazardous waste is returned to certified parties to ensure their proper treatment.

The Company that handles all garbage collection and disposal for Icelandair is licensed by the Environment Agency.


Plastplan is an inspiring Icelandic company that turns plastic waste into functional objects. This year, we collaborated with them in honor of HönnunarMars // DesignMarch, an annual design event in Reykjavík, to turn our trash into treasure. Plastplan utilized used plastic from our offices and turned it into new travel related items.

Plastplan was awarded the Iceland Design Prize 2022 in November for their innovative thinking. On receiving the prize, Björn Steinar Blumenstein and Brynjólfur Stefánsson thanked their partners for their collaboration over the past months and years. They believe that the results have been achieved together with their partners where each partner plays a key role in carrying the ideology forward. Icelandair was one of the eleven companies that Plastplan collaborated with in 2022.


Aircraft noise is a significant part of the environmental issues associated with aviation, impacting communities and habitats in the vicinity of airports. This noise is mainly caused by engines but also aerodynamic noise. Requirements have been set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Union Safety Association (EASA) to minimize the effect caused to the surroundings. Icelandair complies with these limitation and guidelines and is, in addition, gradually replacing its older fleet with new generation aircraft that create less noise than older models. The 737 MAX leaves a 40% smaller noise footprint than its predecessors, even though the engines are more powerful. This is due, both to a new aerodynamic design of the body and wings, notably split tip winglets, and an innovative design of the engines. Icelandair received no formal complaint regarding noise from air traffic in 2022.


Promoting responsible use of resources

The amount of indirectly consumed energy, electricity and heat, is not a significant aspect in Icelandair environmental management system.

The production of electricity and heat in Iceland are mainly from renewable sources and therefore have a low carbon footprint. Almost all (99%) electricity in Iceland is produced using renewable energy sources. Our use of geothermal energy for space heating, with heat distributed to buildings through extensive district-heating systems, results in about 85% of houses in Iceland being heated with geothermal energy.

Nevertheless, we have implemented the best available technology in house management systems in our newest buildings in Hafnarfjörður and the hangar in Keflavík, to monitor efficiency in usage of electricity and heat.

From our electricity provider we get a guarantee of origin for all our consumption.


Responsible consumption and production

In 2022 the Company continued its work on centralising and improving procurement functions across all operations as responsible procurement has been identified as a material issue for Icelandair. The intention is to work with responsible suppliers throughout the supply chain by applying sustainability criteria on transparency, legal compliance, and responsible growth. All suppliers are asked to adhere to the Supplier code of conduct, and they are evaluated through the Icelandair risk screening model. By the end of 2022 52% of suppliers with registered contracts in the Company’s contract system had read and signed the Supplier Code of Conduct. The current procurement processes include the risk screening model as one of the decision factors when choosing suppliers. In 2021 all significant suppliers went through the risk screening process and in 2022 all other suppliers with a registered contract were also screened. That includes all current and new suppliers as well as suppliers that had their contracts renewed in 2022. Before signing contracts with the Company, suppliers should confirm that they have policies in place for reducing negative environmental and social impacts and that they adhere to good governance principles.

  • In 2023, the goal is to implement a new responsible sourcing and procurement policy. More emphasis will be put on qualifying and monitoring suppliers in a systematic way, with self-assessments and risk evaluations.

New Headquarters

The company has decided to build new headquarters and in september 2022 we broke ground to start to build our future workplace. Eleven representatives from all divisions broke ground together and the main shovel used is a true work of art. It is designed and built by our brilliant employees in the Hangar in Keflavik, made from various used parts from a Boeing 757, for example a retired titanium fan-blade. The headquarters will be built according to the BREEAM standards which provide a framework to deliver high performing, and sustainable, newly built assets that support commercial success, whilst also creating positive environmental and social impact.