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Responsibility

Origin and sustainability of energy

The origin and supply chain of energy have an impact on the environment and sustainability.

Energian alkuperä 2019

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 2019. Towards the end of the year 2018, the European Commission published the clean energy package and the renewable energy directive, 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 2019, we procured fuels with a total of EUR 340 million (EUR 360 million in 2018).  

The coal we procured in 2019 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.  

All of the natural gas we used in 2019 arrived 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 2019.  

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 2019 we also procured pellets from Estonia. The raw materials of pellets procured from overseas were by-products of the sawmill and wood processing industries and wood chips produced from round timber that cannot be utilised by the forest industry.

We aim 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 2019, 81 per cent had sustainability certification, and the rest came from certificate controlled sources or originated from certified suppliers.

We request the pellet suppliers to provide information about the origin of the pellets and their raw materials, and about the supply chain and possible certification of the pellets. The pellet suppliers are also required to commit themselves to responsible business practices. We have audited all our pellet suppliers ourselves, and we will continue to carry out these audits, paying attention to the security of supply, pellet quality, and the origin and sustainability of pellets, as well as the responsibility of the entire chain.

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 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 use. We offset the disadvantage caused by our hydropower plants located in the western branch of the River Kymijoki with the fishery management fee that is used for, e.g. restocking of fish.  

We are involved in the continuation research project of the Natural Resources Institute investigating the management measures for migratory fish populations in regulated rivers along the Rivers Kemijoki, Ounasjoki, Ala-Koitajoki, Pielisjoki, Lieksanjoki, and Kymijoki. The project monitors the behaviour of migratory fish (salmon, trout and whitefish) in already built areas. The scientific data collected can be used in connection with the project areas and in implementation solutions to improve the passage of new migratory fish. It is important for us to gain information about various methods that have an impact on the migration of fish.  

In 2017, we launched a study on the best and most cost-effective way to safeguard the passage of migratory fish on the River Kymijoki past the power plant dams of Ahvenkoski and Klåsarö. We also wanted to find new and innovative solutions. The study is part of the Government’s key projects, and it was carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. The preliminary study and the study were completed in 2018. The work continued in 2019 with the fish radio telemetry study with an objective of tracking the actual movement of fish. The study was completed in full in 2019. With respect to Ahvenkoski, the project established a good understanding of the movement of fish. The results will be reviewed in 2020 in a stakeholder workshop. The passing of the Klåsarö power plant dam is problematic, requiring further studies.

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