We want to involve city residents, customers and partners in the creation of a carbon-neutral future. Let’s join forces and turn the opportunities of a new energy era into reality.
In addition to the environment, our operations have an impact on people. Heat and electricity enable us to live in the cold North, but power plants alter the landscape, the energy network zigzagging the city must be maintained and repaired, and fuel has to be transported. Many people are interested in energy production, and it even provokes passions.
Our aim is to tell about our operations and to openly discuss the impacts they have on the environment and society together with our stakeholders. We present our operations with, e.g. power plant excursions and in various events and meetings in addition to our customer magazine and website. During the coronavirus pandemic, we focused on remote meetings and virtual presentations.
In order to operate responsibly, we must know our stakeholders and their expectations. We probe the views of our stakeholders with surveys and meetings. We also receive a lot of feedback through various channels, which helps us to develop our operations. We focus our stakeholder interaction especially on topical themes and stakeholders that are interested in us.
We also encourage companies and partners to join us in building a sustainable energy future together with us. Helen’s investment unit Helen Ventures helps Helen in innovation capability, speeding up growth and building a new energy era. Helen Ventures invests EUR 50 million in the most innovative growth enterprises in the energy sector, e.g. in relation to e-mobility, circular economy, carbon-neutral energy production, and digital solutions. In 2020, Helen Ventures invested in two growth enterprises: in the German EcoG and the Dutch Gradyent.
In 2020, we also attracted new ideas through an innovation challenge.
Security of supply and phasing out fossil fuels are important to our stakeholders
In 2018, we sought our stakeholders’ views of Helen’s responsibility work via an extensive online dialogue. The respondents found the most important areas in Helen’s sustainability work to be the abandoning of fossil fuels and increasing the use of renewable energy sources, especially solar energy and reducing emissions.
The security of energy supply was voted as the most important theme. According to the comments, Helen must ensure security of supply in Helsinki and partly also in the rest of the country, as well as electricity self-sufficiency. Taking care of the security of supply in connection with the introduction of renewable energy forms was also regarded as important.
The results of the survey had an impact on the development of our operations also in 2020. We used the survey results in the selection of Helen’s key responsibility themes and in the development of communications, such as the corporate social responsibility report. We will carry out a new extensive stakeholder survey during 2021.
Debate on coal, bioenergy and new technologies
The topics that attracted the most debate among our stakeholders in 2020 were the phasing out of the energy use of coal and the sustainability of bioenergy, as well as their impacts on the environment and society. During 2020, we arranged virtual discussion meetings for our stakeholders. We will continue organising discussion forums also in 2021.
In spring 2018, the Government published a legislative proposal to ban the energy use of coal. The proposal raised a lot of questions and debate, for example, concerning the time schedule and means of replacing coal in Helsinki. The debate continued in 2020. We took part in the public debate by highlighting Helen’s solutions for replacing coal. We held the traditional HelenLive stakeholder event, this time virtually, and discussed how to enable a new energy era for everyone.
Discussion on the sustainability of bioenergy continued, for example, as a result of the EU bioenergy sustainability criteria. Sufficiency of bioenergy, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and climate impacts throughout the life cycle raised a lot of discussion. We organised a stakeholder webinar on the energy use and biodiversity of biomass.
The construction of the bioenergy heating plant in Vuosaari kicked off in 2020. We communicated about the progress of the project in the blog. This project and the previous investment decisions on heat pumps and energy storage will make it possible to close the Hanasaari power plant.
Studies on the energy use of both Tattarisuo and Patola areas are making progress alongside the planning of the Vuosaari project, and any decisions will be made at a later date. However, new energy management areas are needed regardless of the form of energy production.
New technologies attract wide interest. We organised a webinar for housing companies concerning energy saving possibilities. The debate covered energy renovation, smart properties and ground source heating solutions.
Recognition on brand responsibility
The Sustainable Brand Indexis the most extensive brand survey on sustainability in the Nordic countries, capturing the citizens' views of the sustainability of companies. In the study conducted in 2017 and 2018, Helen was ranked the most responsible actor in the field, but in 2020 we came second in the sector (third in 2019).
The results are probably impacted by the public debate on coal combustion as a result of the ban on coal use taking effect in 2029 and the compensatory solutions. As a result of Helen’s updated strategy, responsibility and corporate responsibility communications have been given an increasingly greater priority.
Transparent and open safeguarding of interests
Helen’s social advocacy is based on values and ethical operating principles. The objective is an open dialogue. Advocacy work is carried out in the following associations:
- Adato Energia Oy
- Aikakauslehtien Liitto ry
- Bioenergia ry
- Climate Leadership Council ry
- Energiateollisuus ry
- Finnish data center forum ry
- Finnsecurity ry
- Forum Virium Helsinki Oy
- GBC Suomi ry
- Green Net Finland ry
- Helsingin Seudun kauppakamari
- Henkilöstöjohdon ryhmä HENRY ry
- International Flame Research Foundationin Suomen kansallinen osasto ry
- IT Service Management Forum Finland Ry
- Kemianteollisuus KT ry
- Kunnossapitoyhdistys Promaint ry
- ProCom Viestinnän ammattilaiset ry
- Projektiyhdistys ry
- PSK Standardisointiyhdistys ry
- Pääomasijoittajat ry
- RAKLI ry
- SIAPWS Suomi ry
- Sisäilmayhdistys ry
- Startup Maria Oy
- Suomen Asiakkuusmarkkinointiliitto ry
- Suomen Automaatioseura ry
- Suomen Lvi-Liitto SuLVI ry
- Suomen Riskienhallintayhdistys ry
- Suomen Voimalaitosyhdistys ry
- Sähköinen liikenne ry
- Tietojohtaminen ry
- Tietojohtaminen ry
- Varalaite Ry
- VGB PowerTech e.V. der Grosskraftwerksbetreiber
- World Energy Council Finland ry
The membership fees amounted to a total of some EUR 340,000 in 2020. Helen is a member of the EU’s Transparency Register.