We have always felt that Nauthóll should have a large amount of respect for the environment and nature itself, since the restaurant’s location practically demands it. The official process however, did not begin until two years after opening, in early 2012. Since the decision was made to focus our efforts on introducing the Swan to Nauthóll, approximately 9-10 months went by before we awarded the official certification and Nauthóll became the first Swan certified restaurant in Iceland.
Acquiring the Swan certification requires multiple conditions of varying complexity to be satisfied. The Swan sets certain basic requirements, that restaurants must fulfil, as well as tallying up a certain amount of points. Therefore, each restaurant can choose what to emphasise when it comes to the protection of the environment and how they want to meet the Swan’s requirements.
One of the Swan’s requirements is that a specific amount of a restaurant’s ingredients are procured within a certain distance from the restaurant. In a small country such as Iceland, this requirement is easily fulfilled. Another requirement pertains to the use of organic ingredients. Other Nordic countries score a good amount of points for this requirement since they enjoy a much healthier supply of organic produce than Iceland. In spite of this, Nauthóll decided to offer a fair amount of organic products and we felt it was ideal to include organic wine and beer on our menu.
Nauthóll has always offered a good selection of vegetarian dishes on its menu, so that’s another requirement that was easily fulfilled. Our current menu has seven vegetarian dishes. On top of this the Swan requires that no dish includes genetically modified ingredients.
Nauthóll has enjoyed an excellent position as a new restaurant to fulfill all of the Swan’s requirements without a significant amount of effort or cost. The process has been enlightening and fun for all of us involved. It has also been very enjoyable to gauge the positive reactions of the public to our initiative, and I’m convinced that we run a cleaner, better and environmentally friendlier restaurant because of it.