Landsvirkjun had a good year in 2018. The cornerstone was laid for the Company’s 18th power station, Búrfellsstöð II, and the station is now fully operational. The design and construction of the station reflects the Company’s commitment to sustainable development. The underground station uses the existing infrastructure from Búrfell I, utilising water that previously flowed past the hydropower station, thereby contributing to the efficient utilisation of the resource. The second phase of the Þeistareykir Project, the first geothermal station to be constructed entirely by the Company, was completed and commissioned this year.
Landsvirkjun’s electricity sales reached an all-time high this year and we welcomed new customers from the data center industry. Widening our customer base will support value creation and increase the rate of return, thereby, reducing operational risk. Projects in recent years have mostly been financed by cash flow and debts have been systematically reduced. The increased rate of return and improved debt status will lay the foundation for higher dividend payments to the nation.
Landsvirkjun’s commitment to social responsibility remains as strong as ever. Extensive efforts were made to promote gender equality and climate issues and to minimise the environmental impact of the Company’s construction projects and operations. The Company received equal pay certification for the first time this year and was awarded the PwC’s Gold Standard for Wage Equality for the fourth consecutive year. Landsvirkjun also became the first Icelandic company to issue green Bonds on the US market.
Landsvirkjun is on the right track!
Landsvirkjun’s performance in 2018 gives us reason to believe that the Company is on the right track. Continued restraint in operations and increased profit should create the foundation for increased dividend payments to the treasury in the near future.
Landsvirkjun’s operations are not limited to monetary profit alone. New trends in global business and society have encouraged businesses to rethink their operations to reflect this change in consumer values. Providing quality products and services at the right price is not enough. Businesses must contribute to society as a whole and their value chain should reflect this.
This new environment requires businesses to be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. The economic aspects of sustainable development are at the centre of Landsvirkjun’s policy but we are also dedicated to the social and environmental aspects of sustainability. We launched a comprehensive initiative on gender equality within the Company in 2018 and continued our efforts to combat the effects of climate change. Renewable energy generation remains a key factor in this struggle.
We hope to set a precedent for how businesses can answer the increasing public demand for social responsibility.
Landsvirkjun is a participant in the UN Global Compact, a United Nations initiative, which has developed global sustainability goals. Our progress is outlined in the annual report.