Environmental system

The Vakinn environmental system is, like the Vakinn quality system, based on a corresponding system with Qualmark in New Zealand. Stefán Gíslason M.Sc. and director of Environice oversaw the adaptation of the system to Icelandic conditions.

Surveys among international visitors to Iceland have for decades shown that Iceland´s main attraction is the country´s magnificent nature. It is our treasure which we must safeguard and keep intact for future generations. Linking environmental and social responsibility to quality as is done in the Vakinn system is therefore of utmost importance. With growing public awareness of environmental and social issues customers are placing increasing demands on companies to show responsibility and contribute to social and environmental causes. Customers vote with their feet and direct their business to companies that are doing well on this front.

One of Vakinn´s objectives is to get a majority of Icelandic tourism providers to engage in environmental work and social responsibility and obtain an official recognition for their contribution in these matters. 

From January 1st 2019, all companies participating in Vakinn quality system must take part in the environmental system and fulfil the bronze criteria (now chapter 4 in general quality criteria) at a minimum.

Please note that it is not possible to apply for environmental grading exclusively since participation in the quality system is a prerequisite for environmental grading.

   Environmental certifications should be highly desirable for responsible companies and can be of considerable value in marketing. 


The Vakinn environmental system is complimented by various guidelines and supporting materials such as the checklist "Towards Sustainable Tourism" that must be completed, and several easy to use forms for monitoring the use of hot water, electricity and fuel and the amount of waste. Please note that these forms are mainly intended for smaller companies.
   
Companies already holding the Nordic Swan or The European Environmental Label are automatically awarded a gold label provided they fulfill a few additional criteria that address the company's environmental policy and social responsibility.
 

The main focus of the environmental system is: 

  1. Strategy and procedures
  2. Classification of waste
  3. Green accounting (measuring and monitoring)
  4. Social responsibility 
  5. Reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions