Origin and sustainability of energy
The origin and supply chain of energy have an impact on the environment and sustainability.
In addition to environmental impacts and risks, the supply chains of fuels also involve financial and social impacts and risks. We aim to know the origin of the energy we produce and its environmental impacts throughout its life cycle.
Active debate on the sustainability of biomass continued in 2018. Towards the end of the year 2018, the European Commission published the clean energy package, which included requirements concerning the sustainability of solid biomass. We are already making provisions for the forthcoming sustainability criteria.
ORIGIN OF FUELS
We know the origin of our fuels. In 2018, we procured fuels with a total of EUR 360 million (EUR 310 million in 2017).
The coal we procured in 2018 came from Russia. We require that the coal suppliers are committed to the practices of responsible business, at least to the UN Global Compact principles.
The natural gas we use arrives through a pipeline from Western Siberia in Russia.
The fuel oil we use as start-up and reserve fuel and as fuel in peak-load heating plants came from Finnish and Nordic refineries in 2018.
ORIGIN OF WOOD PELLETS
The majority of the wood pellets we use are manufactured in Finland from by-products of the sawmill and wood processing industries. In 2018, we also procured pellets from Estonia, Russia and Germany. The raw materials of pellets procured from overseas were by-products of the sawmill and wood processing industries, wood chips, and round timber.
In 2018, we set the target for sustainability in 100 per cent of our procured biomass. In practice, this means that we procure pellets that have sustainability certification (e.g. PEFC, FSC or SBP) or are from otherwise controlled sources. Of the pellets used in 2018, 85 per cent had sustainability certification, and the rest came from certificate controlled sources or originated from certified suppliers. In the future we will report the achievement of the target annually in our corporate social responsibility report.
We request the pellet suppliers to provide information about the origin of the pellets and their raw materials, and about the supply chain and certification of the pellets. The pellet suppliers are also required to commit themselves to responsible business practices. We will continue to carry out audits on pellet suppliers, paying particular attention to the security of supply, pellet quality, and the origin and sustainability of pellets.
THE ENTIRE LIFE CYCLE IS IMPORTANT
We aim to know the environmental impacts of the energy we produce for its entire life cycle. We have estimated the impact of increased use of renewable energy on the environment and on emissions throughout the life cycle of energy production. Studies conducted in cooperation with the Finnish Environment Institute show that power plant emissions are reduced when coal is replaced with biomass.
Our aim is to find out the environmental impacts for the entire life cycle already in advance when we introduce new fuels or energy production methods.
HYDROPOWER HAS AN IMPACT ON LOCAL WATER SYSTEMS
Hydropower is a renewable energy form, but it alters the ecosystems of local water systems and restricts the migration of fish. Hydropower production requires regulation of waters, which also has an impact on their recreational use. We offset the disadvantage caused by our hydropower plants located in the western branch of the River Kymijoki with the fishery management fee.
We were involved in a project of the Natural Resources Centre investigating the management measures for migratory fish populations in regulated rivers along the Rivers Kemijoki, Ounasjoki and Kymijoki. The project provided information, e.g. on the functioning of the Korkeakoski fishway, which was recently built in the eastern branch of the river. It is important for us to gain information about various methods that have an impact on the migration of fish. The project ended in 2018.
In 2017, we launched a study on the best and most cost-effective way to safeguard the passage of migratory fish past the power plant dams on the River Kymijoki. We also want to investigate new and innovative solutions. The study is part of the Government’s key projects, and it is carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. The study was completed in 2018. The work continues in 2019 with the fish radio telemetry study with an objective of tracking the actual movement of fish.