Development of the Sustainability Initiative

Development of the Sustainability Initiative

Since circumstances and points of emphasis change with the passing of time, and developments may not follow the patterns expected during planning, it is important to be able to adapt the Initiative program so it can continue to fulfill its original objectives.

Amending the program

Soon after the Sustainability Initiative was launched, it became obvious that some of the originally intended indicators and metrics needed to be modified. As soon as data gathering began, it became clear that some changes were also clearly required due to what information was actually on hand or available. Nevertheless, because changes might weaken its impact and credibility, the program must not be changed without serious consideration. Thus the amendment process is strict, so as to ensure transparency as well as the continuity of measurements, and an effort is made never to depart from the original indicators except for carefully grounded reasons. Note the procedural rule on amending indicators; furthermore, the website page for each indicator shows whether that indicator has been amended and, if so, in what way.

Reviewing and re-assessing the program

The Sustainability Initiative was re-evaluated in 2008, when questions were presented to participants in the original Advisory Group, as well as to the Fjarðaál and Landsvirkjun representatives who were active in that Group. A company called Ildi carried out this re-evaluation; its conclusions are described in the report "The East Iceland Sustainability Initiative: A re-assessment". 

Moreover, in 2012 Dr. Hörður Haraldsson of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency was engaged to review the programand suggest means of improving it. Subsequently, various improvements have been carried out, and the pointers brought forth continue to be utilized in ongoing re-examinations.

In 2017 The Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) at University of Iceland did a study on the Initiative.  The aim of the study was to evaluate the social indicators of the Initiative and to compare the social indicators of the Initiative to social indicators used by the Ministry of Welfare.  Data was gathered through qualitative interviews, internet survey and through group work on the annual general meeting 2017.  A report was issued about the research (only in Icelandic).