Sustainability certifications and projects in Iceland

Join us towards a more sustainable future

Integrating sustainability into our travel plans and other actions in life is the key to the global and local welfare of ecosystems, cultures, and communities. Therefore, we have gathered some information on sustainability and tourism to help you plan your travels in Iceland. It includes a carbon footprint calculator, ten sustainable travel tips and more. 


Icelanders are very conscious of the environment, climate change and sustainability in general. Iceland has set ambitious goals and action plans to fight climate change and aims for 55% cuts in carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality no later than 2040. The travel industry is striving to maintain high sustainability and quality standards.

Vakinn is an official quality and environmental certification for Icelandic tourism, run by the Icelandic Tourist Board. The Vakinn logo helps you find businesses that operate in an ethical, professional and sustainable way.


Icelandic nature is fragile - please watch your step


Icelandic nature is fragile, and the delicate vegetation, especially moss, is susceptible to damage. Furthermore, with slow growth in the short summers in Iceland, it can take the vegetation decades or even hundreds of years to recover. Craters and lava formations are also easily damaged, and a broken piece of lava will never mend. Therefore, all volcanic craters and lava fields are ensured special protection in Icelandic nature conservation law.

Local carbon-capturing projects

The Icelandic Wetland Fund

All donations are used directly towards the restoration of wetlands. By wetland restoration, CO2 is captured, further emissions from disturbed wetlands are prevented, and important habitats for birds are restored and protected. The President of Iceland, Mr. Gudni Th. Jóhannesson, is the guardian of the project. Compensate with Wetland Restoration

Compensate for your carbon footprint locally

Traveling always involves some carbon emissions from transportation, lodging, and other activities. Therefore, the most sustainable way to travel is to compensate for your unavoidable emissions. By supporting local carbon-capturing projects, you also benefit Icelandic nature and societies. 

Below, you can find a calculator for the carbon footprint of your travels and links to local carbon-capturing projects you can support to offset your travel-related emissions. We also encourage you to take the Icelandic pledge and thereby agree to be a responsible tourist.

Calculate your Carbon Footprin

Find the carbon footprint of your travels and compensate by supporting local carbon-capturing f...


Take the Icelandic Pledge

Agree to respect Iceland's nature and to travel responsibly during your visit.


Drink kranavatn

Make tap water your drink of choice in Iceland - it's one of the purest in the world!


Climate change creates threats for wildlife and communities

Climate change significantly and directly affects Icelandic nature and communities. Many seabirds and marine life species face rapidly changing environments and even threats of extinction. For instance, Iceland's signature bird, the Atlantic puffin, is now listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list for birds. Climate change also leads to hazards for small coastal villages in the East- and Westfjords. More frequent and intense rainfall events, and thawing permafrost in the steep mountains that envelope the fjords, lead to an increased risk of landslides.


Iceland's signature bird, the Atlantic puffin, is listed as critically endangered

Certifications and labels

The environmental and quality certifications, ecolabels and declarations below help you choose services and products that meet certain sustainability, environmental or communal health standards.

Vakinn certification

Vakinn is the official quality and environmental certification for Icelandic Tourism, run by th...

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ISO certifications

ISO 14001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmen...

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Cittaslow certification

Given to “slow cities” that accept the guidelines of Slow Food and work to improve conviviality...

Djúpivogur in the Eastfjords is a Cittaslow town.

The Nordic Swan

An ecolabel for products and businesses that satisfy requirements related to for example chemic...

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The Blue Flag award

This award is given to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators, that meet ce...

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EarthCheck certification

Sustainability certification for the travel and tourism industry, given to businesses and desti...

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FAIRTRADE certification

An ethical certification for products and ingredients. It considers things such as fair wages, ...

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The EU ecolabel

A label of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services meeting high envir...

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Green Key certification

An eco-label given for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable ...

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Sustainability certifications and projects in Iceland