About the Eastern Iceland Sustainability Initiative

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The Alcoa and Landsvirkjun Sustainability Initiative was launched in 2004, in the early stages of the construction of the Karahnjukar dam and the Fjardaal smelter in Reydarfjordur, East-Iceland.  


Neither one of the companies had a model how to conduct a project of this kind. It soon became clear that the initiative was a pilot project, not only in Iceland, but globally. It is unknown whether a comparable initiative has been entered into at the beginning of the construction process.

Icelandic and foreign consultants were hired to help the companies with the design and outline of the project.

The objective of the initiative is to support the idea of sustainable development, paying respect to the projects' environmental, economical and social effects with the aim to minimize negative effects, wherever possible, and maximize the positive ones.

In 2002, the Government of Iceland, Landsvirkjun, and Alcoa executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the development by Alcoa of the Fjardaal aluminum plant in East Iceland. On 15 March 2003, the Government of Iceland, Landsvirkjun, Alcoa, and the Municipality of Fjardabyggd signed the final agreement for Landsvirkjun to build the Karahnjukar hydroelectric station and the Fljotsdalur transmission lines to bring power to the smelter. For purposes of this document, the smelter, hydroelectric station, and transmission lines are collectively referred to as the “projects”.