Klappir supports companies on the journey to sustainability
Klappir was initially founded to design digital solutions for environmental issues for ocean-related industries. The company’s vision was to utilize large quantities of data which was being collected on paper and to digitize statutory registration processes. Data collection soon began to expand, and it now covers nearly all issues regarding environmental measurements in the operations of companies and institutions.
The Digital Ecosystem
Klappir, a software company established in 2013, has developed a software solution that supports companies on their journey towards sustainability.
“Klappir has worked systematically towards building a powerful digital infrastructure to create a digital ecosystem,” says Thorsteinn Svanur Jonsson, one of the founders of Klappir and managing director of product development.
“Klappir’s digital ecosystem facilitates collaboration between companies, municipalities and institutions, by enabling them to share sustainability information in an efficient manner. Customers can retrieve real-time information about their use of electricity and fuel, for example, as well as the discharge of waste directly from their suppliers. Klappir’s sustainability solution subsequently processes the information and enables the company to calculate its carbon footprint, identify opportunities to reduce waste, prepare sustainability settlements and share information with investors or other stakeholders,” explains Thorsteinn Svanur Jonsson.
Good collaboration is the key
Since Klappir began its journey, the company has grown enormously, and the sustainable ecosystem has become extensive. The company now assists over 400 organizations and institutions in gaining an overview of their environmental issues. Jonsson continues: “Our customers, the companies that have joined our sustainable ecosystem, have achieved great results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On average they have achieved a 21% reduction in emissions.”
“Klappir’s good results in Iceland have been based, among other things, on the successful collaboration of numerous parties who have worked with the company in recent years. Klappir places great emphasis on co-operation in its operation based on the United Nations’ 17th Sustainable Development Goal: co-operation between economic actors (the public sector, the private sector and citizens) and their participation in projects that promote Iceland’s sustainable development. Klappir’s solution has helped lay the foundation for a common understanding of sustainability as well as creating a foundation for projects that help society as a whole in the transformation that is taking place,” says Jonsson.
In the coming months and years, the legal environment around sustainability will be strengthened with greater scrutiny and increased requirements for reliability. The traceability and transparency of ESG statements will be significantly tightened. These measures along with a clear legal framework around sustainability should encourage companies and municipalities to standardize data collection, data processing, analysis and reporting to stakeholders.
“Iceland has a unique opportunity to be a leader in sustainability and environmental issues, especially when it comes to renewable energy and the sustainable use of resources. We have already established a standard system for the preparation of sustainability reports and statements that ensures traceability and transparency. This system is based on Klappir’s software solution and the infrastructure that Klappir and its customers have built together,” Jonsson explains, and says that there are many exciting things going on at the company.
More reliable data streams
It could be said that Klappir is a company that is somewhat ahead of its time. Jónsson agrees, saying that the company started on its sustainability journey before the great wave of environmental and sustainability topics swept the world.
“Few companies kept track of carbon footprints when Klappir were founded in 2013. Those that did were primarily large companies that had their own departments where employees collected data manually or hired specialists to do so. With the advent of Klappir, companies are now connecting to our software. Our Sustainability Platform enables companies to collect much more data than before at a much faster rate and completely automatically, then build sustainability reports and make traceability more secure. For example, corporate auditors have begun to examine sustainability reports while preparing financial statements. It is a legal obligation for certain types of companies to submit ESG reports on social responsibility (environmental issues, social aspects and governance) alongside their annual accounts. An essential part of this is that the information is traceable, accessible and understandable.”
“We have been able to gather this information electronically. Having this information allows companies to share it with others, making it visible and transparent through our database. Our work is therefore based on collaboration,” explains Jonsson.
Social responsibility comes first
“I sometimes say that in a historical context we are a bit like the Gutenberg printing works. Suddenly, we managed to pump out an incredible amount of information and bring it to those who need it in digital form. We have also standardized the reports and made them into simple accounting keys. Sustainability and environmental protection are important for the whole community, not just individual shareholders. If companies are looking for a particular kind of service such as cleaning, insurance or the like, they can see if they are environmentally responsible or have a sustainability focus,” says Jonsson.
Klappir is a family company. Its operation is based on Nordic values whereby social responsibility is paramount. Klappir’s goals and future vision are based on these values, as well as wanting to increase the clarity of sustainability information internationally and facilitate sharing of information on all aspects related to corporate sustainability.
As a result, projects that benefits society as a whole are important to Klappir.
There are many interesting things happening at Klappir and Jonsson points out forestry issues and mitigation measures.
"We are going to get involved and use our technology in a digital approach. We want to help farmers and landowners better manage their land, cultivate forests or restore ecosystems and create carbon units that can be sold. We intend to support agriculture as a whole. We are also taking steps in the managing the environmental footprint of production products, however our primary focus until now has been on the operation of companies,” he explains.
International school project
In addition to assisting businesses, Klappir has started collaborating with the country’s primary schools through the Green Screens project.
“We have collected data from schools in Reykjavik, and we are going to make an accessible interface that kids can understand. In this way, they should be able to view their energy and water consumption, waste generation and more in real time. Landvernd is working with us on this project, and they aim to introduce environmental education and sustainability education programs within the primary schools. In this way, digital technology can be used to educate children about their environmental impact.
We also have similar projects in Norway and Slovenia, so this is the beginning of an international schools’ project which will give children much earlier basic knowledge about sustainability and knowledge in environmental and resource issues. They will have a head start when it comes to environmental issues, unlike the older generation.
We have been collecting data since 2015, and now we are taking steps to make that data more accessible for students in primary schools. Gagarín designs the interface, and we aim to have it in all schools by next autumn. The fundamental idea is to use Klappir’s sustainable ecosystem to measure the carbon footprint of Reykjavík’s primary schools. The benefit will be a strengthening of the data-driven environmental literacy of primary school students and improvement of their ability to think about climate and environmental issues in a critical way,” says Jonsson, who adds that the great support that Klappir has received is very important.
“We are a company listed on the Iceland Stock Exchange, and we look to the whole world in our work. We have established ourselves in Denmark, and we have already started working with several large companies in that country. We also have companies in Latvia and Lithuania. The expansion has therefore begun and is going very well. By being in the market, we give people the opportunity to be participants with us in this process. We now have about 350 shareholders, both individuals and large investors,” states Jonsson, pointing out that Klappir is a very environmentally friendly company.
Access to green capital
"Klappir recently received verification of its green operations and a green financial framework from an international auditor, which is great recognition and a big step in the company’s history. A framework such as this will assist Klappir in securing financing from key players in the capital market, such as banks, pension funds and retail investors, which have a green focus.
Klappir is the first company in Iceland and probably in the Nordic countries to have a green financial framework for all the company’s operations. Since more than 90% of Klappir’s income comes from eligible "green services", Klappir uses a "pure play" method, which facilitates all management and reporting to stakeholders.
As a result of Klappir’s favourable operations in Iceland and the positive reception of Klappir’s solutions in Denmark, work is now underway to open an office in Denmark, Klappir Nordic, which will handle sales and marketing in the Nordic countries.