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.
The issue of the sustainability of biomass was discussed widely in 2016 as the European Commission published a proposal for a Directive related to the sustainability of solid biomass. We took part in the debate, for example, by organising a meeting on sustainability criteria for our stakeholders. We are making provisions for future sustainability criteria already in advance.
ORIGIN OF FUELS
We know the origin of our fuels. In 2016, we procured fuels with a total of EUR 280 million (2015: EUR 235 million).
The natural gas we use arrives through a pipeline from Western Siberia in Russia.
The coal we procured in 2016 came from Russia and Kazakhstan. We require that the coal suppliers are committed to the practices of responsible business, at least to the UN Global Compact principles.
The fuel oil we use as start-up and reserve fuel and as fuel in peak-load heating plants mainly comes from Finnish and Nordic refineries, occasionally also from elsewhere in the EU. We have also acquired fuel oil as separate deliveries from Kazakhstan.
The majority of the wood pellets we use are manufactured in Finland from the by-products of sawmilling. We have also acquired sample batches, e.g. from Estonia, Russia, Sweden and the Netherlands. With the sample batches, we have been able to test various pellet grades and delivery chains.
We request the pellet suppliers to provide information about the origin of the pellets and their raw materials, and their supply chain and possible certification. We aim to know the origin and life cycle of the pellets we use. The pellet suppliers are also required to commit themselves to responsible business practices.
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 emissions from a power plant 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 fuel fractions or energy production methods.
HYDROPOWER HAS AN IMPACT ON LOCAL WATERWAYS
Hydropower is a renewable energy form, but it alters the ecosystems of local waterways and restricts the movement of fish. Hydropower production requires regulation of waters, which also has an impact on the recreational use of waterways. We offset the disadvantage caused by our hydropower plants located in the western branch of the River Kymijoki with the fishery management fee.
We are involved in the project by the Natural Resources Centre that investigates the replenishment of migratory fish stocks and development of migration connections in the River Kymijoki. The project provides information, e.g. on the functioning of the Korkeakoski fish passage, 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 movement of fish.