Mountaineers of Iceland operate mostly in the pristine nature of Iceland. We care for and hold a deep respect for nature and the environment. We are determined to preserve Iceland‘s precious nature and contribute to its protection and preservation. Our main emphasis is placed on binding CO2 in the form of reclamation and reforestation. Most of our operation takes place on Langjokull, where we operate Iceland‘s largest snowmobile fleet. Due to the operation of heavy machinery; glacier trucks, super jeeps, and snowmobiles, there is significant CO2 emission. It is a sad fact that global warming is melting away our glaciers and that in about a 100 years or so, Langjokull glacier might disappear completely. Therefore, we strive to support CO2 binding projects and are working in close cooperation with the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI). We are currently supporting a reforestation project in Bláskógabyggð, close to Mountaineers main area of operation.
The company has already undergone the work of calculating CO2 emissions from its machinery and is supporting SCSI to undertake a reforestation project in Bláskógabyggð. This will help to carbon neutralise our emissions. SCSI has also provided extensive support in Mountaineers‘ work of calculating its CO2 emissions. With the help of SCSI, a specific geographical region and typical Icelandic wasteland has been marked within Bláskógabyggð (see photograph) that is most suitable for reforestation. This project will make a significant positive environmental impact in the region, not only in binding CO2 but also creating a beautiful scenery. In this way, it is possible to carbon neutralise Mountaineers‘ emissions by planting enough vegetation and trees. These plants will bind the CO2 and create a balance between our emissions and CO2 binding them. Once we reach our goal of carbon neutralising our company, we will look into carbon neutralising past emissions. Our goal is to be a leading example in the environmental sector and serve as role models for other travel companies.
Mountaineers have put in place a booking system where customers have the option of paying extra 5 USD per person when booking tours with us. This extra fund will go undivided to supporting our environmental project: The reforestation project in Bláskógabyggð. We are aware of similar arrangements with other tour operators in Iceland that have had successful results.
Environmentally Friendly Electric SnowmobilesIn recent years, there has been much advancement in the field of electric vehicles, with the development of electric snowmobiles being no exception. It is our future goal to test drive these new snowmobiles and if they prove well in the Icelandic environment, to replace a part of our traditional fossil fuel snowmobile fleet for the new more environmentally friendly electric ones. It is clear that it is more rational to utilise our local clean and renewable energy instead of using polluting fossil fuel, transported across the world with associated expenses. It is estimated that the first electric snowmobiles will be officially launched in 2018 and we have therefore enough time to prepare the ground.
We also focus on other areas of environmental protection. We have adopted a system where litter is sorted into metal, plastics, and glass for recycling. We also separate organic waste, as well as bottles and aluminium cans for recycling.
Vakinn Environmental Quality Standard
Our goal is to make dedicated efforts to protect and conserve the environment and contribute to sustainable tourism in Iceland. In order to achieve that goal, we will take into serious consideration the environmental guidelines raised by Vakinn, the quality and environmental system for Icelandic tourism.