The Directorate of Labour’s Climate Policy

The Directorate of Labour appertains to the Ministry of Social Affairs and manages amongst other things, the employment service for the entire country, the daily handling of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave Fund, the Wage Guarantee Fund as well as numerous other labour market related projects. The Directorate of Labour operates nine services centres around the country, where all general services are provided to jobseekers, registration, skill assessment, counselling and resources and job placement as well as cooperation with other service providers on resources and labour market measures.

Overarching goals

The Directorate of Labour has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) by 40% per year before the year 2030 compared to the year 2019 by taking an active part in the fight against climate change to reach the goal of the Paris agreement. The Directorate of Labour also intends to keep the directorate’s negative environmental effect at a minimum by reducing pollution and any kind of waste.


The Directorate of Labour will try to the best of its abilities to measure environmental factors which are within the scope of the climate policy, and the policy covers environmental impact on all the directorate’s internal operations in all workplace facilities. In workplace facilities where data is lacking, emissions will be estimated based on existing measurements and the directorate will aim to improve measurements in the policy’s validity period.


The Climate Policy deals with reduction in greenhouse gas emissions according to directions for The Climate Policy of Governmental Bodies. The policy involves the following environmental factors which can be both monitored and measured at any given time:


Recycling ratio

Total waste generation

The quantity of printed office paper

Mixed waste GHG emissions

Organic waste GHG emissions


GHG emissions contributed by vehicles owned by the directorate

GHG emissions contributed by rental cars and taxis

GHG emissions contributed by employees’ domestic flights

GHG emissions contributed by employees’ international flights

The number of transport contracts the directorate makes with employees


The quantity of office paper purchased by the directorate

The rate of environmentally friendly printing services purchased by the directorate

The quantity of office supplies and equipment purchased by the directorate

Energy consumption

Electric power consumption

Geothermal heat consumption                       

Emphasis in environmental- and climate issues

The directorate estimates that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be 40% per year compared to the year 2019. To reach that goal, The Directorate of Labour will continue the work which started in the year 2019 when the first step was taken in Green Steps. 8 out of 9 workplace sites have reached step 1 and 2 and in the beginning of the year 2021 it was decided to emphasize that all workplace sites should reach the steps and aim for step 3 and 4 by the end of the year 2021.

The directorate's main emphasis is as follows:

  • To reduce transport GHG emissions and increase teleconferencing
  • Improve recycling and reduce the generation of waste and GHG emissions from waste
  • Focus on saving energy and reducing energy GHG emissions
  • Educate employees on internal environmental projects and other environmental issues
  • Contribute to carbon capture with responsible and sustainable use of paper
  • Make environmentally friendly purchases
  • Follow Green Steps
  • Carbon offset our emissions in a responsible way
  • Obtain information on technical solutions which make environmental work easier


The Directorate of Labour has implemented Green accounting and annually delivers green accounting records to the Environment Agency of Iceland’s data portal. The Climate Policy will be reviewed each year by a steering group of environmental issues and it will be updated with consideration to the development of GHG emissions from one year to the next. This policy takes note of the commitments of the Icelandic government to the Paris agreement and The Directorate of Labour will endeavour to realize the state’s environmental goals.

The Directorate of Labour’s Climate Policy takes into consideration:

Guidance from the Environment Agency of Iceland and public agencies on climate policies

Commitments of the Icelandic government to the Paris agreement

The Icelandic government’s action plan on climate issues

A declaration from Director Generals of directorates appertaining to the Ministry of the Environment and natural resources on reduction of GHG emissions and carbon neutrality

The United Nations’ Global Goals

Green Steps

The Directorate of Labour’s Climate Policy is approved by the Supervisory Board on the 28th June 2021.

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