Eimskip and Social Responsibility

Eimskip was established in Reykjavík in 1914 and has since then connected Iceland and the rest of the world with its transportation services. The Company has played an important role in Iceland’s history and the fight for its independence. It realizes its responsibility and is committed to maintaining its presence and services.

The Company operates an efficient and responsible transportation system in the North Atlantic and offers worldwide forwarding services. Its mission is to be a leading transportation company in the North Atlantic with connections to international markets and to specialize in worldwide freight forwarding services. Eimskip’s vision is excellence in transportation solutions and services.

To attain this, Eimskip strives to provide its customers with the most efficient and sustainable transportation solutions combined with outstanding services, while securing a good return for its shareholders and being responsible towards its employees and society, including the environment.

Eimskip defines society as one of its stakeholders. Other stakeholders are the Company’s shareholders, customers, and employees. Corporate social responsibility plays a large role in its operations, and environmental matters are important. Eimskip’s values are Achievement, Cooperation, and Trust. These are the employees’ guiding principles in the Company’s endeavor to work for a better society, preserve and protect the environment, and to be a role model when it comes to responsibility and trust.

Eimskip signed the Reykjavík Declaration on Climate Issues in November 2015. Eimskip was also one of many companies that signed a joint declaration on responsible tourism in 2017.

Eimskip wants to contribute to a better and safer society wherever it operates and responsibility towards the community is an integral part of its corporate responsibility policy. Eimskip supported a variety of community projects and non-governmental organizations in 2017.  The Company gave priority to improving sea safety, supporting environmental projects, charities, sporting activities, culture and innovation and, last but not least, projects centered on youth and children.

The Company is especially proud of its bicycle helmet project, which began in 2004 in cooperation with Kiwanis. The Company has given all six-year-old children in Iceland bicycle helmets and safety reflectors to contribute to youth safety. Eimskip has given helmets to about 65,000 children.

In 2019, Eimskip continued working on Corporate Social Responsibility. The Company focused on implementing the Company’s CSR policy within the group and on developing CSR measurements and goals. We also worked to further reduce the Company’s ecological footprint.

In 2019, a team of employees was appointed to review, select, and connect the operation and policies to the United Nations sustainable development goals. The emphasis will be on four goals that are related to the operation and policies. Regarding that, measurable projects will be worked on and implemented within Eimskip in 2020.

Eimskip is a registered participant of the UN Global Compact, the United Nation’s initiative for social responsibility with respect to human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. The Company has committed to manage its business operations so that the UN Global Compact and its Ten Principles become a part of the Company’s strategy, culture, and day-to-day operations.


Eimskip’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy is based on the Nasdaq ESG Reporting Guide, published in March 2017. The Nasdaq voluntary reporting guide focuses on 33 environmental, social and governance performance indicators. Eimskip’s CSR policy focuses on the environment, society, and governance.



Eimskip’s measurements, which are in accordance with the ESG guidance from Nasdaq, are accessible on the Company’s website.



The world is increasingly aware of the negative impact that the use of fossil fuels has on the climate. Global warming, ozone-layer depletion, and acid rain are examples of some of the consequences of using fossil fuels. The United Nations leads the international campaign to establish goals for sustainable development and combat climate change. The UN provides the necessary framework for all communities, large and small, to take action. A vital part of that program was the Paris Climate Conference held in 2015, otherwise known as COP21. The aim of that conference was to commit to ambitious efforts to keeping global warming below 2°C.

Iceland bases a large part of its economy on sustainably harvesting natural resources from the sea. Changes attributed to global warming and sea pollution leave the modern economy dangerously exposed, as well as threatening the quality of life for future generations. To support global and local environmental initiatives, Eimskip signed the Reykjavík Declaration on Climate Issues in November 2015. The agreement includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste, monitoring the results of these measures, and regularly reporting this information.

The Company’s environmental management system is a digital data collection and environmental compliance solution, covering the energy and waste management of the vessel fleet, truck fleet, terminal assets, warehouses, and office space for Eimskipafélag Íslands hf., Eimskip Ísland ehf., and Faroe Ship. The software company Klappir Green Solutions works with Eimskip on smart environmental management and certifies our environmental management solutions.

As an environmental service to its customers, Eimskip has developed a carbon calculator for both sea and land transport. That is accessible on the Company’s website.

Eimskip will continue to focus on reduced emissions and improved waste management, and, at the same time, strives to increase the transparency of its ecological footprint throughout the supply chain. The focus in 2020 will be on the continued monitoring of emissions and waste from the supply chain. Moreover, Eimskip will continue to collect data from all emitting sources and stream it electronically to a common data warehouse. This digitalization of emission and waste registration data from the supply chain enables continuous monitoring of measures and provides reliable and transparent information on the current status.

In January 2017, Eimskip signed a contract with a shipyard in China to build two 2,150 TEU ice class Polar Code compliant container vessels, with expected delivery in Q2 and Q3 2020. These vessels are built in line with environmental standards and are designed to be more fuel-efficient than their predecessors.


Eimskip defines its ecological footprint as a combination of the calculated carbon footprint and waste management. The operation of vessels is by far the main contributor to the Company’s carbon footprint.

The Company respects the environment and acknowledges the effects that climate change could have on society. The Company is also fully aware of the environmental impact of its business activities and the need for a low-carbon economy. Minimization of the environmental load from operations focuses on achieving full clarity regarding emissions and waste from each emitting source in the supply chain. The use of data and analytics was increased in 2016 and again in 2018, giving Eimskip a better overview of its actual ecological footprint and reduction opportunities.

The calculation of the Company’s carbon footprint is presented in the graph below. It shows accumulated results of carbon intensity per ton of transported units, compared to the base year 2015.

Accumulated results compared to the base year 2015

The accumulated reduction of Eimskip’s carbon footprint in the year 2019 was 14.2%, compared to the base year 2015, calculated per ton of transported units.  The Company’s aim is to further reduce its footprint in the coming years, with a goal of 19% accumulated reduction in 2022, 32% in 2027 and 40% in 2030. This goal of total reduction is compatible with Iceland’s decision to join the European Union and Norway in their common goal of a 40% reduction of emissions by 2030.

Environmental Policy and Aims

In 1991, Eimskip became one of the first companies in Iceland to establish an environmental policy. Since then, challenges in this field have developed rapidly and the transportation industry, as well as others, realizes how important environmental issues are for the world today.


Eimskip respects its environment and seeks to limit its impact on the ecosystem.
Protecting the environment and environmental awareness are reflected in the
Company’s operations, management and day-to-day work of its employees.

Much has been accomplished since 1991, and Eimskip continues to take further steps to improve its environmental performance and aligning to global initiatives.


  • Identify and control potential environmental risks posed by the Company’s operations
  • Manage the Company’s operations according to applicable laws, regulations, and international conventions
  • Recycle and minimize waste
  • Improve the energy efficiency of the Company’s vessels
  • Improve the energy efficiency of the Company’s fleet of trucks and other equipment
  • Work on reduction and improved efficiency in energy consumption on Company premises
  • Set yearly goals on environmental issues and measure
  • Provide employees and customers with regular training on environmental issues


All the Company’s vessels are operated according to a certified Safety Management System complying with the International Safety Management (ISM) code. This includes environmental risk assessments and applicable procedures to control and mitigate environmental risks as carefully as possible. It also includes emergency procedures for each vessel and the offices, to ensure a proper response to incidents that could potentially harm the environment.

Eimskip operates a loss prevention team. One of its tasks is to monitor and identify potential environmental risks anywhere in the Company, and to highlight them to the applicable managers and/or employees.


New regulations came into effect on January 1st 2020, regarding sulphur emissions from vessels in international waters. The rules oblige shipping companies that operate in international waters to use fuel with a sulphur content of no more than 0.5%.

Eimskip’s ambition is to be a leading transportation company in the North Atlantic and a leader in responsibly fulfilling global environmental requirements. The aim of the new regulation is to have a positive effect on the environment. Eimskip will meet those new regulations by installing scrubbers on the new vessels currently under construction in China. A scrubber was installed on “Lagarfoss” in July 2019  and the company will use fuel meeting the sulphur limit on the rest of the fleet.


For many years, Eimskip has categorized and recycled the majority of waste produced by its operations. In recent years, the focus has been on recycling as much as possible, and this will be further developed.

According to MARPOL Annex V, all vessels are to have a garbage management plan and a garbage record book. To further improve monitoring, recycling, and reporting, Eimskip digitized the garbage log and started streaming the data to the environmental data warehouse in 2016. The solution was further developed in 2017, with digitalization of MARPOL Annex I and MARPOL Annex VI. Through this, waste has become a part of the supply chain footprint calculation and analytics. This also increases the possibility of further creating value from waste.


As a front-runner in the industry, Eimskip started to explore the use of new energy management technologies in 2005 with the intention of increasing the energy efficiency of its fleet. Energy management solutions in shipping were new at the time and the technology was in its infancy. Today, energy efficiency is an integrated part of the operation of the vessel fleet. Based on the positive results, Eimskip will continue to improve energy efficiency and decrease the environmental impact of its vessels.


Eimskip operates about 144 trucks in Iceland, which are connected to a monitoring system for improved energy efficiency.

The Company operates mobile harbor cranes connected directly to external electrical power at three of the Company’s terminals in Iceland: Reykjavík, Grundartangi, and Reydarfjördur on the east coast. They were supplied by Konecranes/Gottwald and were originally designed to be able to run either on diesel engines or connected to an external electrical power supply. The cranes use 1.2 MW power at 11 KV, which is similar to the needs of a village of 500 to 700 inhabitants. Their operation is environmentally friendly since they produce no emissions when running on electrical power that comes from Iceland’s fully sustainable electrical power plants. By operating cranes with electricity, Eimskip reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) by 340 metric tons per year. This amounts to what a 17-hectar forest is able to bind on an annual basis. In addition, noise and dust pollution is reduced at the terminals. Five harbor cranes were taken into operation from 2015 to 2017 and three of them are fitted for an external electrical power supply. In 2019, as the terminal moved to a new quay, the rail-mounted STS crane in Reykjavik from 1984 was replaced by another state-of-the-art STS crane running on 11KV external power.


Most of the Company’s premises and storage facilities use electricity for lighting and the operation of refrigeration systems and electrical loading stations. Harbor lighting also consumes electricity. The focus of 2016 and 2017 was to obtain full transparency regarding power consumption and its distribution between various consumption units by streaming power data into the environmental database for analytical purposes, the aim being further reduction of energy use.

The new terminal area is equipped with LED lightning, which is far more efficient than conventional lightning systems.


In 2015, Eimskip decided to take a huge step forward in improving its overview of its ecological footprint, by implementing its own digital Environmental Management System. The system uses data analytics and connectivity solutions, and allows the Company to link together various categories of data collected from the entire supply chain. Crews and office personnel are now provided with high-quality information on environmental performance on a user-friendly format.

Eimskip’s Environmental Management Team uses the data collected from the various data sources in the supply chain in various ways. The system employs built-in predictive analytics, data preparation, and user dashboards. This supports monitoring of the footprint throughout the supply chain, including all users, and indicates where improvements are needed. Data from the entire fleet is now streamed into one Company-designed data warehouse. Other emitters, including trucks and electrical power users, were also connected to the data warehouse in 2016.


Training crew members has been a crucial part of implementing the energy management solutions on the Company’s vessels and has resulted in strong teamwork with goals for each week of the year. Specific training sessions have been carried out on the vessels using a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP). This tool is highly useful for efficiency improvement, in using the onboard energy management system, and in working with fuel changeovers when sailing into ECA zones. The focus in 2020 is to further follow up on energy efficiency efforts on the vessels and applicable registrations. With regard to garbage, the focus in 2020 will be to continue working on further categorization and recycling.

Tax footprint

The economic value generated by Eimskip's operations in the year 2019 amounted to EUR 680.5 million, consisting of revenue, gain on sale of assets, and finance income. The economic value has already contributed to the societies in which the Company operates in many different ways, namely through salaries to employees, in payroll taxes to authorities, with the purchase of goods and services from suppliers, and more.

EUR million

The total tax footprint of Eimskip amounted to EUR 66.7 million in the year 2019 of which EUR 26.4 million was born by the company and EUR 40.3 million was collected on behalf of local authorities. For comparison, the Company's total tax footprint was EUR 64.1 million in 2018.

The Company's taxes borne include employment taxes in the amount of EUR 16.8 million, corporate income tax of EUR 4.7 million, property taxes of EUR 2.1 million, VAT of EUR 0.5 million, and other expenses of EUR 2.3 million. Collected taxes include employment taxes borne by employees amounting to EUR 30.4 million, and other collected expenses of EUR 9.9 million.