Burðardygt Vinnulív (the Faroese Sustainable Business Initiative) is a network of twelve businesses in the Faroe Islands aiming to advance sustainable business practices and contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Ana Elisenda Holden-Peters is the project leader of this new initiative which started in January 2021. She joined Bakkafrost in October 2017, implementing a sustainability strategy for the Faroese aquaculture company before setting up this new project.
During her work with Bakkafrost, Ana developed the idea for the Burðardygt Vinnulív project which Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen (link to interview) has been a strong supporter of — in line with his personal engagement in sustainable solutions for the salmon farming industry and more widely Faroese industry.
The project is set up as an independent CEO membership network. It started with eleven members (listed on the website), and more recently a 12th member has joined — a key player in the Faroese hospitality industry: Gist og Vist, owning hotels like Hotel Føroyar and the restaurant KOKS, among others.
The Burðardygt Vinnulív project is initially planned for three years and aims to align with three UN Sustainable Development Goals which will be the focus of a strategy which will be launched later this year. These are:
— Climate Action (SDG 13) — focusing initially on carbon reduction.
— Life Below Water (SDG 14) — focusing on improving ocean health.
— Life on Land (SDG 15) — focussing on addressing impacts on biodiversity.
With the project being in its early stages, member companies are assessing their impacts in these main areas. Some will have a more direct impact on the ocean, others will have to focus more on addressing carbon reduction in their supply chain to address their impacts.
The main objective for the group at this point is to increase knowledge among the members, to identify and prioritise their impacts: upstream, in their operations and downstream. It is hoped that working together on these issues the businesses will accelerate their progress tackling issues such as climate change – sharing knowledge and best practice to help each other.
In summary, the key objectives of the network are:
- To advance knowledge and capability of the members in the management of corporate sustainability risks and opportunities.
- To advance sustainable business practice in the Faroe Islands through a strategic plan in line with UN AGENDA 2030 SDGs.
- To create collaboration opportunities between the members to achieve the plan.
- To engage key stakeholders to achieve the plan.
- And to inspire other Faroese businesses.
The Burðardygt Vinnulív project is one more example how the community in the Faroe Islands finds creative ways to improve, to grow and to secure the health of the beautiful nature around them. This kind of collaboration can also serve as an inspiration to other destinations – to send a delegation to the Faroe Islands and learn first-hand from the initiators of the project as of how to go about a similar approach.
See more details on the website: https://www.burdardygtvinnuliv.fo/
Text: Johanna Fischer, tmf dialogue marketing