SEV demonstrates Corporate Social Responsibility

As a major Faroese company, SEV actively engages with the community to offer support wherever it can throughout the Faroe Islands. SEV provides educational opportunities, takes steps to beautify the environment, provides grants to writers and supports pertinent student field trips.

SEV is owned by the Faroese people. Every municipality in the Faroe Islands is a part-owner of SEV, and as a consequence SEV strives to offer its owners more than just electricity.  SEV ardently believes that it has a responsibility to support the various municipalities around the country and to make improvements wherever the company, in one way or another, has impacted the natural environment.

In its constant endeavour to access green energy resources, the natural landscape will be impacted, and yet at the same time SEV strives to enhance and beautify these areas.    Neshaga and Húsahaga are the most recent examples.

At Neshaga, there are pleasant paths, benches, tables and a dramatic wind shield embracing the warm rays of the sun throughout the day. Neshaga has become a recreational destination where people can seek out a bit of tranquillity and enjoy some splendid views in between the towering, green-coloured wind turbines, which blend right into the landscape.

At Húsahaga as well, a number of footpaths and small roads will be laid out. The walking path from the riding track out to Heimasta Horn, which SEV laid a few years ago, is linked to other paths in the area around Vesturvarða, to the benefit and pleasure of many.

New underground cables, reaching from Húsahaga and into Tórshavn and ultimately down to Sund, provide for the opportunity to expand this unique network of small footpaths. As the new cables are laid out, new paths and tracks will be constructed as well.

In reality, this means that within a very short period of time, it will be possible to take a leisurely stroll, or go running, ride a bicycle or go horseback riding from Havnardal all the way to Sund along a specially laid-out network of paths.  This is an example of SEV’s desire to give back to the Faroese people, as the company continues to seek out and tap the sustainable energy resources of the country to meet the electricity demand of the country in the most sensible way possible.

The natural environment around Eiðisvatn as well has been embellished.  The dam now blends naturally into the landscape and walking paths around the reservoir have been laid out. Eiðisvatn is a welcome place for many to enjoy a moment of tranquillity and relaxation in the midst of nature.

This focus on beautifying the environment can be traced back to some of SEV’s early, major projects in Vestmanna in the 1950s and 1960s. Around the old dam above Vestmanna, the original construction roads were enhanced to make it easier to drive up into the mountains to go fishing or camping, to gather the sheep or to hunt for hares.

A Good Opportunity to Teach
SEV experts offer special presentations for all grade levels in the schools around the country. Schools are eager to have SEV specialists visit to discuss current energy topics, especially green energy.

SEV also invites elementary students for presentations at its headquarters in Tórshavn. The goal is to teach the younger generation about sensible energy consumption. SEV regularly invites all the 9th graders throughout the country to a one-day programme on electricity and the sensible use of energy.

At these programmes, the CEO of SEV emphasizes the critical importance of learning to consume energy in a sensible manner at an early age, and how we get our power.

“Thinking ‘green’ first and foremost means having the right attitude toward energy production and energy consumption, that is, our goal is to produce as much as possible from renewable energy sources while wisely consuming the power we produce”, says Hákun Djurhuus, CEO.

SEV employees also teach an introductory course at the University of the Faroe Islands to students studying for their bachelor’s degree in energy and environmental engineering.

The course explores the green energy strategy of SEV and the technical issues confronting the company related to wind, hydropower, and tidal energy.  Moreover, the students are provided an overview of the various activities of SEV and its function and role within Faroese society.

SEV Supports PhD Students
SEV was delighted to learn that the University of the Faroe Islands took the initiative to prioritise renewable energy in the curriculum and welcomes the appointment effective 1 January 2014 of Professor Bogi Bech Jensen, an internationally respected scholar in the area of energy and the environment.

In addition to Professor Jensen, two PhD students will conduct research into the potential of renewable energy.  One student will research Faroese energy consumption, and the other will investigate renewable energy resources in the Faroe Islands.  SEV is pleased to participate in both studies.

SEV and the University of the Faroe Islands have regularly explored how energy research and related course work could be incorporated into the university curriculum and given a high priority.

“I consider these recent steps by the University as a real breakthrough within the field of energy studies in the country.  Offering quality courses from highly competent instructors creates the potential for enhanced local knowledge and for more and more well-educated people residing in the Faroes who can take on the challenges that the future will bring”, says Hákun Djurhuus, CEO of SEV.

Future teachers visit SEV
Interest in SEV is also found in other departments of the University. Students at the University studying to become teachers visited SEV last fall. The visit was inspired by a desire to learn more about daily electricity production and consumption, with a special emphasis on wind energy and the role it plays in a sustainable “green energy” strategy.

Kristiana Rein, SEV’s energy consultant, discussed aspects of daily power consumption in the Faroes, and Hákun Djurhuus, CEO, provided students an overview of energy production, especially wind power.

“Great challenges lie ahead in both power consumption and electricity production, and this visit is a welcome opportunity to explore these challenges with our future teachers, who will be able to spread the “green” message to the next generation, say Kristiana Rein, who also provides advice about electricity conservation to SEV customers.

“Several times during the presentations, I was struck by how poorly we treat the precious and limited power we have”, say Hanus Højgaard, a future teacher and student at the University.

He noted he was quite pleased with the visit to SEV, which afforded him a good overview of just how significant the challenges are that lie ahead within energy production, especially if we are to gain as much as possible from the renewable energy sources available to us.

“One thing I discovered was that it is not so easy to just connect wind turbines to the power grid, especially given the fact that SEV must continually maintain a stable and secure on-demand supply of electricity throughout the country.  All the pre-planning and detailed calculations that are required, all the specialised control systems that need to be in place even before the Húsahaga turbines begin to turn in the wind, demands a vast amount of expertise and talent”, observed Hanus Højgaard.

Progress and Green Energy
For almost 70 years, SEV’s electricity has been the life blood of Faroese society. Via its green energy strategy, SEV envisions a future filled with quality innovation, world-class education, and swift knowledge transfer, where respect for the natural environment is embraced and promoted by all.

SEV gladly supports initiatives that bring benefit to the entire country, as the company follows its charted course to a greener future. The company enthusiastically opens its doors to elementary students during their work-experience practicum.  SEV also welcomes the opportunity to arrange practical, hands-on work experience for student engineers and others.

SEV also sponsors student field trips, especially if they are geared to ultimately benefit Faroese society as a whole and are related to the power industry.  In addition, the company offers financial support toward the publication of culturally significant books.

“First and foremost, SEV is green energy.  Our goal is to provide all the Faroes with stable and secure power on demand.   Progressive initiative and new, enkindled knowledge are the cornerstones of our business.  At the same time, as a major company in the Faroes, we are keenly focused on our social responsibilities, and the need to maintain excellent and collaborative relations with our shareholders, the people of the Faroe Islands.  This brings lasting benefit to all, says Hákun Djurhuus, CEO of SEV.

Green Days
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