Mountaineers of Iceland operate mostly in the pristine nature of Iceland. Mountaineers care for and hold deep respect for nature and the environment. Mountaineers 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 Mountaineers‘ operation takes place on Langjokull, where we operate Iceland‘s largest snowmobile fleet. Mountaineers are aware of the significant CO2 emission due to the heavy machinery in operation; glacier trucks, super jeeps, and snowmobiles. It is a sad fact that due to global warming, the world‘s glaciers are rapidly melting and that in about a 100 years or so, Langjokull might disappear. Therefore, Mountaineers strive to support CO2 binding projects and are working in close cooperation with the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (SCSI) to support reclamation and reforestation in areas around 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 reclamation and reforestation projects in Bláskógabyggð that will 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 would be most suitable for reforestation. This project would make a significant positive environmental impact in that region. In this way and step by step, it is possible to carbon neutralise Mountaineers‘ emissions by planting enough vegetation and trees. These plants will serve to bind the CO2 and help create a balance between the emissions and the binding of CO2. Once we reach our goal of carbon neutralising our company, we can look into carbon neutralising past emissions. Mountaineers‘ goal is to be a leading example in this field and serve as role model for other travel companies in Iceland.
Mountaineers are planning a booking system where customers have the option of paying extra 5 USD when they book tours with us. This extra fund will then go undivided to supporting Mountaineers‘ environmental project, which is the reclamation and reforestation project in Bláskógabyggð. Mountaineers are aware of similar arrangements with other tour operators in Iceland that have had successful results.
Environmentally Friendly Electric Snowmobiles
In recent years, there has been much advancement in the field of electric vehicles, with the development of electric snowmobiles being no exception. It is Mountaineers 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.
Mountaineers 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
Mountaineers‘ 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, Mountaineers will take into serious consideration the environmental guidelines raised by Vakinn, the quality and environmental system for Icelandic tourism.