Fortum wants to be part of building a sustainable energy future. Energy and resource efficiency, climate change mitigation, and reducing environmental impacts are emphasised in our environmental responsibility. Our know-how in CO2-free hydro and nuclear power production and in energy-efficient combined heat and power production, our investments in solar and wind power as well as our solutions for sustainable cities play a key role in this. Through research and development activities, we are creating prerequisites for environmentally benign energy solutions.
Energy production causes various environmental impacts. Some of them are global or wide-reaching, some are regional or local. In terms of Fortum’s operations, the key environmental impacts include:
- Climate change
- Diminishing non-renewable fuels
- Diminishing biodiversity
The management and reduction of these environmental impacts is a central part of our environmental responsibility. We have set the Group-level targets for the following environmental responsibility indicators:
- Specific CO2 emissions from total energy production
- Improvements in energy efficiency
- Significant environmental non-compliances
Various sustainability indices and our own One Fortum stakeholder survey also measure the development and continuous improvement of our responsibility.
More emissions-free energy
Climate change is a consequence of carbon dioxide emissions caused by the use of fossil fuels. We can reduce our carbon dioxide emissions primarily by increasing the use of renewable and low-carbon energy sources. Fortum’s strengths are know-how in carbon dioxide-free hydro and nuclear power production and in the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in combined heat and power production. We are also developing next generation energy solutions, like solar, wind and wave power. 64% of the electricity we produced in 2015 was carbon dioxide-free.
Combustion technology solutions
Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions cause acidification of soil and water systems. We can reduce these emissions with flue-gas cleaning technology. Additionally, we can impact sulphur emissions by choosing fuels with lower sulphur content. And nitrogen oxide emissions can be reduced by developing the combustion technology. Special expertise in combustion technology is, in fact, one of Fortum’s strengths. In addition to our own power plants, we have supplied combustion technology solutions to several other energy companies.
Fortum uses plenty of both renewable and non-renewable fuels in its electricity and heat production. Even though the world’s coal and natural gas resources will last for several more decades, sustainable energy production and climate change mitigation require a transition to the use of renewable energy sources. Our vision of the solar economy supports precisely this development. The continuous improvement of energy efficiency also plays a key role in terms of the sufficiency of natural resources. Improving our own operational efficiency has given us specialised expertise in energy efficiency improvements, and we have provided energy efficiency services to many other energy companies.
Solutions for sustainable cities
Growing cities and urban areas are facing multiple challenges, such as high emissions from inefficient heating, cooling and electricity production, increasing amounts of waste, and high traffic pollution and noise. Fortum aims to use its expertise and experience to help cities solve these challenges sustainably and to support building a circular economy. Fortum's solutions include efficient and reliable district heating and cooling, integrated electricity retail solutions and related applications, waste-to-energy and waste treatment, as well as enhancing e-mobility with smart charging solutions for electric vehicles.
We take care of biodiversity
Biodiversity is a significant aspect for Fortum, especially in hydropower production. The damming of rivers and the variation in water levels and flow rates due to hydropower production cause changes in aquatic habitats. We actively take part in research activities in the sector and implement voluntary and permit-based measures to develop the biodiversity and recreational use of built water systems.
We study environmental impacts of procurements
The environmental impacts in our procurement activities are substantial, primarily in the acquisition of fuels. Fortum acquires different type of fuels from numerous suppliers. We require our fuel suppliers to comply with Fortum’s Supplier Code of Conduct. We study environmental impacts related to fuel procurements as part of the preselection of suppliers and through supplier audits.