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 debate on the sustainability of biomass continued because the European Commission's proposal for a Directive related to the sustainability of solid biomass was discussed further during 2017. We are making provisions for the forthcoming sustainability criteria already in advance.
ORIGIN OF FUELS
We know the origin of our fuels. In 2017, we procured fuels with a total of EUR 310 million (2016: EUR 280 million).
The coal we procured in 2017 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 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 2017.
The majority of the wood pellets we use are manufactured in Finland from the by-products of sawmilling. We also procure pellets from Estonia and Russia.
We request the pellet suppliers to provide information about the origin of the pellets and their raw materials, and about 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. In 2017, we carried out an audit on one pellet supplier. In the audit, we paid 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 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 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 usage. 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 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 provides 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 is due to end 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 task will be completed in 2018.