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Helen is the first Finnish energy company to commit to setting a science-based emissions reduction target – emissions to be halved in the next few years

The energy company Helen is the first Finnish energy company to commit to setting a science-based emissions reduction target, aiming for limiting global warming to 1.5-degree in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

Helen is currently undertaking a major investment programme to replace fossil fuel. The use of coal will be halved already in 2022 or 2023 when the Hanasaari cogeneration plant will be operating only as a reserve power plant. In Helsinki, the use of coal will end completely by 2029 at the latest. Helen aims to be carbon neutral by year 2035.

The company’s current emissions reduction target and procedures for monitoring climate impacts will be submitted for assessment by an outside body. The scientific basis will be ensured by the Science Based Target organisation, which is a cooperation body of e.g. the UN Global Compact and the World Wide Fund for Nature. As a result of the external assessment, Helen’s current emissions reduction target will be adjusted, if necessary, to correspond with the 1.5-degree warming limit of the Paris Agreement. The company’s monitoring and reporting of climate impacts will also be based on the latest scientific knowledge.

In addition to direct, so-called chimney emissions, also life cycle emissions will be taken into account in the new climate impact assessment based on scientific knowledge. This means that all indirect emissions created by the company’s operations are calculated according to the target setting, such as emissions from properties, transport and procurement.

“With the external assessment, we want to prove to our customers that we are ambitious and committed to significant reductions in emissions. In order to achieve the targets, we are seeking new means to produce energy from land, sea and air,” says Maiju Westergren, Vice President, Sustainability and Public Affairs at Helen.

The period reserved for the external assessment process is 24 months. Helen’s own target is to gain approval already in autumn 2021.

Helen’s sizeable investment programme and emissions reductions are not estimated to have an impact on the price level of district heat.

Facts:

  • Use of coal in Helsinki and CO2 emissions will be halved already 2022 or 2023
  • Helen aims to be carbon neutral by year 2035
  • Helen utilises waste heat produced in the city in a diverse way. The sixth heat pump at the Katri Vala heating and cooling plant is under construction, with the seventh already being planned.
  • A seawater heat pump is being built in Vuosaari
  • A bioenergy heating plant is under construction in Vuosaari
  • A cavern heat storage facility is under construction in Mustikkamaa
  • First geothermal heat pilots are built in both Postipuisto and Espoo
  • A geothermal heating plant reaching to a depth of 2–3 kilometres is planned for Ruskeasuo
  • Utilisation of seawater for the heating of Helsinki is investigated
  • Helen makes substantial investments in wind power: this autumn, two investments in wind power have been implemented in Ostrobothnia
Published: 03.12.2020 08:57
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