Clear focus on the environment
Veritas management and staff care for the environment, and have carried out several environment-oriented projects throughout the years and adopted an Environment Policy in 2018. In the wake of that policy, the Veritas Environment Committee was appointed. The goals of the environment policy of our group of companies are to release as little, to reduce our impact and to lower our usage of natural resources. The main sections of our Environment Policy are eco-friendly transport, eco-friendly procurement, waste sorting/recycling, and optimisation of operational procedures. Our Environment Policy is periodically reviewed with the aim of reinforcing ever more our positive impact on the environment. Veritas’ Environment Committee is responsible for making sure that our Environment Policy is adhered to.
The overall outcomes regarding CO2 emissions for 2022 increased by 24%, and revealed 1.027 tons of CO2 compared to 827 tons of CO2 in 2021. Employee travel increased between 2021 and 2022, and perhaps the biggest difference is 124 tons of CO2 due to an annual holiday trip organized by the company. If we compare activities between the years 2022 and deduct 124 tons due to the annual holiday trip, total emissions increased by 9% between years. Fuel consumption of the vehicle fleet decreased year over year. The amount of imported goods also decreased by 2%. The amount of waste is similar to previous years, but the recycling rate improves and goes from 50% in 2021 to 56% in 2022.
Calculations are according to climate pulse from Festa 5.0.
Total (CO₂) 2022
Total (CO₂) 2021
YOY change %
Total (CO₂) 2022 without one time staff trip to Spain
YOY change % without staff Spain trip
The total emissions from the Veritas’ group of companies were 1.027 tons of CO₂ in the year 2022. The total emissions therefore increased by 24% in the year 2022 or from 827 tons of CO₂ to 1.027 tons of CO₂. The largest emission is due to employee travel abroad or 302 tons of CO₂. Of this, 124 tons of CO₂ were generated due to the employees' annual holiday trip held abroad.
The total amount of emissions depends on the scope of Veritas' operations. In order to be able to compare emissions between years, a coefficient is presented which is emissions of CO₂/employee. For 2022, emissions per employee were 4.1, but were 3.3 tons of CO₂ in 2021, which is an increase of 24% between years. The goal set a year ago for the reduction of CO₂ emissions was therefore not achieved.
7% less CO₂ emissions were due to the import of goods or 327 tons of CO₂ in 2022 compared to 352 tons of CO₂ in 2021.
Transportation by air decreases
In 2021, an initiative was launched to analyze the transport routes of products sent by the company's suppliers by air. The analysis revealed that there are opportunities to significantly reduce emissions, through dialogue with suppliers and changes in transport routes. One of the goals that the company set for itself last year was that when renewing contracts and when entering into new contracts, efforts will be made to reduce the carbon footprint of products to the country by requesting shipping as much as possible and making requirements that packaging around products is easy to recycle.
In the results of the total emissions of CO₂ in 2022, it was found that 251 tons of CO₂ were released due to shipments by air and 76 tons of CO₂ due to shipments by ships. The result for the year 2022 was that the amount of imported goods by air will decrease by 2% between years and that the percentage of air shipments will decrease, resulting in 14% in 2022 compared to 16% in 2021.
CO₂ emissions from imports depend on the distance the product is transported and the size of the shipment. Emissions are estimated to be twenty times higher due to transport by air compared to transport by ship. Figures show emissions for all imports of the group's products.
Total emissions stats
Opportunities in green energy
Last year, targets were set to reduce the company's carbon footprint due to the use of fuel, and it was successful, but the result was 289 tons versus 323 tons of CO₂ in 2021, or about 11% less. In 2022, the group's total number of vehicles was 88.5 compared to 88 vehicles in 2021. With the new transportation policy, the options for employees increased. Thus, they could choose electric cars or receive car subsidies instead of cars with non-environmentally friendly energy sources.
Last year, Distica took over Stodir's warehouse. There this entails a new challenge as the prosthetics call for home distribution. Optimizing deployment and maximizing synergies is a considerable task, but its impact is not evident in this report.
Emphasis on optimizing distribution routes
We emphasize optimizing assortment and distribution routes and and are putting into use two new transport vehicles that further increase synergy in trips. By taking over the distribution ourselves, we will be able to take advantage of the synergy where we can transport everything from medicines to other products, something that we could not hand over to the contractors. The main challenge will be to select together the products that can be transported at the same time as medicine,"
Oddný Sófusdóttir director of operations at Distica
Education in the spotlight
Since 2018, "Recycloctober" Campaign has been held annually in October, but that month is used for increased education and specificity in recycling issues if necessary and also to make people think about recycling and environmental issues in general.
This year's "Recycloctober" Campaign focused on educating employees on environmental issues. As an example of lecturers, Star Sævar (a lecturer who also is an astrologist) gave a lecture on environmental awareness. Ebba Guðný (another Icelandic lecturer) discussed food waste and various educational pieces on environmental issues were regularly posted in the workplace every working day in October.
A special effort was made in classification matters at Distica's establishments, where responsible persons were assigned to each location. In this way, individuals were responsible for improving classification at the establishment. Guidelines were also implemented at the same time and the number of sorting containers was increased.
In the year 2023, the environmental group plans to increase educational contributions on environmental issues with micro-instructions at the monthly Veritas meetings. Their aim is to educate employees on environmental issues in general. Examples of educational posts will be the following:
- How can I influence my carbon footprint?
- How do I learn to read ingredient descriptions and recognize harmful substances for the environment and health?
- How do I set up a sorting station?
- Particulate pollution
- Green lifestyle
Cooperation with Pure North
In 2021, an assessment of waste issues and waste sorting was carried out in collaboration with Pure North Recycling, a company which recycles plastic with environmentally friendly energy sources. The conclusion of the audit was that there are opportunities to better recycle raw materials from us and support a circular economy in terms of raw materials. Therefore, a baler was put into use that bales cardboard boxes and plastic in a warehouse in Miðhraun and in Suðurhraun, with the aim of delivering better raw materials for recycling. Plastic pallets were also sent for recycling to Pure North. Veritas aims to increase sorting of waste and promote reuse and recycling. Recycling has been successful with a concerted effort, but there is still work to be done. The group's recycling rate went from 50% to 56% between years. Adding persons responsible for classification issues to establishments showed good results and, for example, the warehouse in Suðurhraun improved its recycling rate from 49% to 78% between years.
Arnþrúður Jónsdóttir Department manager of pharmaceutical services at Landspítali
Arnþrúður explores the topics of sustainability and social issues, specifically focusing on Landspítalinn's sustainability journey. She emphasizes the collaborative potential between Veritas and Landspítalinn to work together and make further strides in these areas.
Packaging in circulation
Íslenska gámafélagið (ÍGF) provides Veritas with a full array of waste management services. In 2019, ÍGF started exporting household refuse to Europe for energy production. Therefore, no refuse ÍGF collects from Veritas is disposed in landfills.
We try to re-use as much as possible the packaging used to protect the products, but the most used is brown cardboard and bubble wrap. The purchase of plastic bags, stretch film and bubble wrap therefore decreased significantly between years.
A few years ago, the company invested in reusable boxes for transporting products to customers, and foam boxes are only used in individual shipments. Distica distributes the majority of all vaccines distributed in Iceland. Distribution of vaccines in general is a major challenge as there is such a large increase in refrigerated products but the correct temperature for vaccines must be maintained.
"Special packaging around vaccines is the most difficult packaging to sort, but it takes 48 hours to prepare a box to transport products. In order to respond to that, we expanded the medicine refrigerator and can thus reuse the boxes again in the capital area. In this way, we manage to use this energy again and achieve a cycle that helps us both in recycling and reuse. On average, we ship 150 coolers every day. It makes a big difference to be able to reuse them. If we can cycle them, we can use them continuously, and in that process there is a lot of value. " says Oddný Sófusdóttir, manager of Distica's operations department.
Special packaging around vaccines is the most difficult packaging to sort, but it takes 48 hours to prepare a box to transport products. In order to respond to that, we expanded the medicine refrigerator and can thus reuse the boxes again in the capital area. In this way, we manage to use this energy again and achieve a cycle that helps us both in recycling and reuse. On average, we ship 150 coolers every day. It makes a big difference to be able to reuse them. If we can cycle them, we can use them continuously, and in that process there is a lot of value.
Oddný Sófusdóttir, manager of Distica's operations department
Design to reduce waste
Last year, Stoð began preparations to move operations to one location in Dragháls, but so far the company has been located in three locations.
During transportation, we intend to have sustainability as a guiding principle in all our work. The design of the new office building is made with a view to reducing waste. Among other things, we have received help in implementing access for the disabled. It is clear that furniture has to be chosen for the new office, and we will try to reuse it as much as possible. It is important to be careful when shopping and buy only what is needed. Now we have an opportunity to rethink the way we do things. There are opportunities in bringing things back to life and we will do it as well as we can.
Ólöf Ása Þorbergsdóttir, executive director of Stoðar.
Carbon footprint offset
Veritas has entered into an agreement with Kolviður, The Iceland Carbon Fund, for carbon footprint offsetting of our car fleet for 2022. Veritas' group of companies carbon footprint in 2022 before offset was 1.027 tons CO₂. Veritas carbon footprint was 706 tons CO₂ for 2022 after offsetting which was 323 tons CO₂. Our calculations are based on average offset per year per tree - not taking into account an offset period up to 60 years as calculated by Kolviður. Hence, our calculations assume a certain offset per year which qualifies as assets for financial accounting purposes, not only once as calculated by Kolviður.
Environmental impact of suppliers
The group of companies takes great pride in having only well-known quality products from manufacturers that meet the strictest quality standards. Many of Veritas' suppliers are global leaders in sustainability issues and place increased emphasis and demands on partners to improve in terms of sustainability and social responsibility. In addition, resellers have started to make demands and reject products that are not in environmentally friendly packaging or in excessive packaging. In this way, sustainability gains more and more importance in the entire value chain.
Fewer air shipments
During the year, we have worked to reduce the number of air shipments in consultation with our suppliers. We have managed to change the shipping method in the orders that we manage ourselves, but there has been a significant decrease in the number of flights. The suppliers are generally positive about changes and want to support the path the group is on with regards to environmental considerations. However, there are many things to consider when transporting products as sensitive as medicines, and the main thing is to ensure quality and safe delivery. That work is ongoing and today there is an active conversation between Vistor and the suppliers whose cooperation causes the greatest emissions.
Arnar Þórðarson, Vistor's managing director
Electronic receipt for receipt of shipments
Great improvements have taken place in the electronic receipt of shipments in recent years. Also in terms of the introduction of electronic signatures, an increase in paperless communication internally and deliveries to customers, together with the fact that more emphasis has been placed on electronic data storage. The company's goal is to increase the share of paperless transactions that meet all quality requirements. The goal is that printing on paper is kept to a minimum and reduced over the years. The total number of printed papers was 737,00 against 893,000 the previous year, and the number of papers has therefore decreased by 17%.