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Annual general meeting 2016

The sixth annual meeting of the Landsvirkjun and Alcoa Fjarðaál Sustainability Initiative is being held in Valaskjalf, Egilsstaðir, on Tuesday, 3 May 2016, from 14:00 to 18:00.

This time, the focus is on the status and future of the Initiative.

Meeting chair: Björn Ingimarsson, mayor of Fljótsdalshérað









The meeting is being chaired by Björn Ingimarsson, mayor of Fljótsdalshérað.

Opening: Ragna Árnadóttir, deputy CEO of Landsvirkjun, opened the meeting. In her address, she spoke both of the assets innate to the Sustainability Initiative and also of how imperative it is to examine whether modifications may be needed to ensure that these assets realise their utmost potential.

Árni Jóhann Óðinsson outlined the Initiative's history and its status, in addition to raising questions and ideas concerning its development. Since it has become clear that the Icelandic Environment Association has decided to cease its participation in the Initiative, Árni thanked it for fruitful cooperation and significant contributions.

Valur Knútsson told about the construction of Þeistareykjar Power Station as well as the sustainability initiative which is related to this undertaking and is currently being launched in North Iceland. While the initiative programme there will be smaller than the one here in the East, the preliminary work here will serve for experience, communicated through extensive consultation on how the Initiative here has grown. Over 100 indicators have been proposed in the North, but work is ongoing to reduce that number, so that monitoring can hopefully commence this summer.

Björg Björnsdóttir, the person in charge of local government affairs at Austurbrú, described the East Iceland Forward Action Plan, including the residents conference "Austurlandið mitt" (My East Iceland) which was convened on 15 March 2016 in connection with re-examining the Forward Action Plan. As Björg pointed out, economic indicators are badly needed for this region of Iceland, even though such data is being processed by various entities that to date remain isolated and on their own. Since the Sustainability Initiative will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year, that might provide an occasion to discuss greater cooperation between the entities which monitor social developments in the East.

María Ósk Kristmundsdóttir and Jóhanna Harpa Árnadóttir led the group work, in which those attending were divided into 6 groups to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) involved in the Sustainability Initiative. Although group conclusions are still being compiled, the discussions clearly brought out a need for further cooperation and promotion of the Initiative. See summary with results

Hákon Aðalsteinsson reported on monitoring which concerns Kárahnjúkar Power Plant. As he observed, changes that are noticed in the environment are difficult to trace to plant construction because other factors play a part. One example is how reindeer numbers are controlled by hunting, so that counting the animals says nothing about the impact of the power plant. Moreover, some changes happen very slowly and remain immeasurable for decades. Hákon raised the question of whether the Sustainability Initiative will demand the continuation of indicator monitoring, even in cases where the Environment Agency gives permission to cease monitoring.

Guðmundur Sveinsson Kröyer went over the measurements of fluoride in vegetation and sheep mandibles from the vicinity of Reyðarfjörður fjord. Guðmundur put the results in context with weather conditions such as precipitation and temperature inversions, saying that some people have wondered whether Iceland's long days of summer sunlight make plants more susceptible to pollution than elsewhere.

Before the meeting, there had been proposals for amending 5 sustainability indicators; every one of the amendments was passed.

Geir Sigurpáll Hlöðversson concluded the meeting with a brief summary. Furthermore, he thanked Fríða Björg Eðvarðsdóttir, the Icelandic Environment Association's representative on the Supervisory Board, for her substantial contribution to the Initiative; for her part, she expressed her best wishes for the Initiative, together with greetings from the Environment Association.

Attendance list

Name Institution, company or association
Björn Ingimarsson Fljótsdalshérað
Freyr Ævarsson Fljótsdalshérað
Valur Knútsson Landsvirkjun
Árni Jóhann Óðinsson Landsvirkjun
Pétur Ingólfsson Landsvirkjun
Lilja Bjarnadóttir Landsvirkjun
Ragnheiður Ólafsdóttir Landsvirkjun
Fríða Björg Eðvarðsdóttir Landvernd
Hákon Aðalsteinsson Landsvirkjun
Ragna Árnadóttir Landsvirkjun
Georg Pálsson Landsvirkjun
Ívar Páll Jónsson Landsvirkjun
Kristín Ágústsdóttir Náttúrustofa Austurlands
Aníta Júlíusdóttir Landsvirkjun
Steinn Ágúst Steinsson Landsvirkjun
Marinó Stefánsson Fjarðabyggð
Smári Kristinsson Alcoa Fjarðaál
Guðmundur Sveinsson Kröyer Alcoa Fjarðaál
Páll Freysteinsson Alcoa Fjarðaál
Dagný Björk Reynisdóttir Alcoa Fjarðaál
Geir Sigurpáll Hlöðversson Alcoa Fjarðaál
Gunnar Jónsson Fljótsdalshérað
Signý Ormarsdóttir Austurbrú
Valdimar O. Hermannsson Brammer
Sindri Óskarsson Landsvirkjun
Dagbjartur Jónsson Landsvirkjun
Sverrir H. Sveinbjörnsson Landsvirkjun
Guðmundur Davíðsson Hitaveita Egilsstaða og Fella
Ketill Hallgrímsson  
Ragnar Sigurðsson Alcoa Fjarðaál
Hilmar Sigurbjörnsson Alcoa Fjarðaál
Ólöf Vilbergsdóttir Fjarðabyggð
Katrín Reynisdóttir Austurbrú
Sigrún Víglundsdóttir Austurbrú
Jónína Brá Árnadóttir Seyðisfjarðarkaupstaður
Jóna Árný Þórðardóttir Austurbrú
Guðrún Á. Jónsdóttir Austurbrú
Björg Björnsdóttir Austurbrú
Jóhanna Harpa Árnadóttir Landsvirkjun
María Ósk Kristmundsdóttir Alcoa Fjarðaál