Environment and safety

OR‘s subsidiaries harness energy in harmony with nature. All of our operations make use of independent accreditation in environmental affairs, quality standards and safety standards. Our annual environmental report  documents greenhouse gas emissions from our plants.  We make every effort to make our areas of operations accessible to the public, such as the Hengill high-temperature field.

OR's Annual Environmental Reports



Environmental and resource policy

The Environmental and Resources policy reflects OR and its subsidiaries’ commitment to continually improve in the field of environmental affairs. It serves as a guide to the company and forms the basis for good collaboration with stakeholders. The Environmental and Resources policy is founded on the values of the comprehensive policy of OR and its subsidiaries.

The goal of OR is to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations by 60% between 2015 and 2030.

OR complies with all the statutory and regulatory provisions that apply to its activities.

The Environmental and Resources policy is established on the basis of the following principles and implemented in detail through targeted management and improvements in significant environmental elements.

Responsible resource management

OR is entrusted with responsibility for the resources that it utilises. The responsibility entails working according to the ideology of sustainable development and therefore ensuring sustainable utilisation. This is so that future generations can enjoy the same opportunities as current generations to utilise the resources, and that it is possible to confirm OR’s commitment to that goal. OR undertakes to seek effective solutions in which the utilisation of resources for the public benefit is weighed and assessed in the context of other interests. OR shall protect the resources from threats and intrusions in line with the responsibility the company has been entrusted with.

Value of utility operations

Access to OR’s utilities promotes healthy living and opportunities for climate-friendly operations in the community. This positive environmental impact is a determining factor in decision-making regarding the development of power plants and utilities. Decisions are based on setting the bar high for quality, delivery security and efficiency, and it publishes detailed information on its activities and future plans.

Impact of emissions

OR’s operations inevitably result in substances and energy being released into the environment. OR takes the utmost precautions in its operations. Emissions are therefore only allowed to occur in a manner that has a negligible impact on health and an acceptable effect on the environment. OR strives to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and pollutants as much as possible and prioritise research and development to seek the best possible solutions for that purpose.

Impact on society

The OR Group is a big company in Iceland and its workforce possesses extensive knowledge and experience in the use of geothermal energy and other aspects of the company’s operations. The company passes on its know-how and influences the value chain, which encourages a responsible treatment of the environment and has a positive impact on the community.


OR’s operations are founded on the organised and disciplined working procedures of many employees in widespread work sites. Day-to-day tasks include, among other things, the responsible utilisation of supplies, maintenance on constructions, tending to plots of land, handling waste responsibly and promoting climate-friendly transport. OR aims to run exemplary operations and to develop its personnel’s qualifications in this regard.

Walking and enjoying the nature

We strive to make our sites accessible and attractive to the public.  The Hengill area, where Nesjavellir and Hellisheiði geothermal plants are situated, is a popular outdoor destination. Since the Nesjavellir plant started operations in 1990, we have laid hiking trails combining over 150 kilometers.  Hengill is also an attractive destination for horse riding. 

Elliðaárdalur Valley, home to Iceland´s first hydropower station, is often referred to as the "Pearl of Reykjavík."