Two Iceland enterprises, Elding Adventures at Sea, a whale-watching company, and Hreinsum Ísland (by Landvernd and the Blue Army), have been nominated for the 2018 Nordic Council Environment Prize.

Prime Minister Katrón Jakobsdóttir presented the nominations for the prize at the LÝSA festival of democracy in Akureyri earlier today.

The theme of this year’s Environment prize is “protecting marine life”. The adjudication committee nominated a total of 10 projects this year, which included companies in Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and The Åland Islands. Projects nominated support the UN’s #Envision2030 goal to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

The prize is awarded to companies, associations, and individuals for “exemplary efforts to integrate respect for the environment into their activities or some other form of extraordinary contribution to the environment”.

The Environment Prize 2018 will be awarded on Oct. 30, 2018 during the Session of the Nordic Council in Oslo. It will be the 24th time that the Danish krona (DKK) 350,000 (ISK5,862,000/$50,000/€47,000) prize has been awarded.

Elding Adventures at Sea

Elding Adventures at Sea is a family-owned business that offers all manner of tours in Iceland’s waters, including whale and puffin watching and Northern Lights cruises. The nomination comes at a potential turning point in Icelandic history when the world’s eyes are trained on Iceland’s whaling industry. Whale watching is a means of observing these creatures in their natural environment without interfering with them.

From the very beginning, Elding has actively worked to install optimal environmental management systems, and it is the only whale-watching company in the world with the Earth Check Gold certificate. It also has the Blue Flag, a certification from the Foundation for Environmental Education, indicating that it meets the organization’s stringent environmental and quality standards.

Elding has also taken part in numerous innovation projects in environmental management in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. The company’s core goal is to preserve and to educate visitors about Iceland’s natural beauty.

“Keep Iceland Clean”

Photo: Landvernd

The Icelandic Environment Association (Landvernd) and the Blue Army ran a highly successful national campaign to “Keep Iceland Clean,” which has also been nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize. Its aim was to combat plastic pollution in the ocean. The campaign orchestrated more than 100 major beach clean-ups, as well as talks on the prevention of waste for public agencies, businesses, and schools.

“Keep Iceland Clean” was a collaboration between the Icelandic Environment Association and the Blue Army, which has become a trailblazer in beach and coastline clean-up, both in and out of the water. For more than half a century, the Icelandic Environment Association has acted as a watchdog for the environment in Iceland. 

All Nordic Council Environment Prize Nominees:


  • Plastic Change 

Faroe Islands

  • Green IQ 


  • Elding Whale Watching 
  • The Icelandic Environment Association & The Blue Army for Hreinsum Ísland (Keep Iceland Clean) 


  • Keep Sweden Tidy 


  • Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority 


  • The Attu Natural Resource Council on the west coast of Greenland 


  • Floke – Single Use Plastics
  • WWF-Norway


  • Ålands Vatten