The degradation of biodiversity is one of the biggest environmental problems globally. We need to know our impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and ecosystem services to be able to assess the related risks and opportunities.
Our impacts on biodiversity
Fortum’s impacts on biodiversity are primarily related to its hydropower production operations in Finland and Sweden. Hydropower construction and the related water regulation alter the conditions in water systems and thus impact the diversity of the aquatic habitat and, in particular, the fish population. Emissions from fossil fuel-based energy production may decrease local biodiversity, especially in Russia. In addition, our fuel procurement may have a negative impact on biodiversity. However, our production of CO2-free energy replaces fossil fuel-based energy production and thus mitigates climate change, which is globally one of the greatest threats to biodiversity.
Fortum’s biodiversity engagement
Fortum’s Biodiversity guidelines set the principles for taking biodiversity into consideration and for managing the biodiversity impacts of the company’s operations. Since 2014, we have participated in the activities of the Finnish Business & Society’s (FiBS) Business and Biodiversity programme. Sustainable use of biomass fuels has been actively debated in recent years. Fortum’s position is that EU-wide, harmonised and binding sustainability criteria for all bioenergy is needed. The EU Commission’s proposal to extend the existing sustainability criteria for bioliquids to cover also solid biomass and biogas is in line with Fortum’s position. The proposal is included in the EU Commission’s legislative “Smart and Clean Energy Package” published on 30 November 2016.
Fortum is a member of the Bettercoal initiative and uses the Bettercoal Code and tools in assessing the sustainability of the coal supply chain. Biodiversity aspects related to coal mining are covered in Bettercoal assessments.
We aim to minimise our negative impact on biodiversity, and we assess the impacts of our new projects. We offset and reduce the impacts of hydropower production on biodiversity by stocking and over-dam transferring fish and through voluntary environmental projects. In Sweden, we carry out biodiversity-related projects with the financing from our eco-labelled (Bra Miljöval) electricity.
Habitat restoration and other projects
Most of our habitat restorations and other projects improving biodiversity are related to hydropower production. The listing and additional information of hydropower-related projects supporting biodiversity is available here.