Social responsibility is a cornerstone of Fortum’s operations. Our operations impact the local communities where our power plants are located, and we engage in many kinds of collaboration with local stakeholders.
We support activities promoting the common good in society, for example the work of organisations and communities in our operating countries. Our sponsorship programme focuses on the future – on children, young people, the environment and society. Fortum also does significant collaboration with different research and development projects, particularly with Nordic universities.
We actively participate in national and international organisations. Public affairs and collaboration with authorities are a priority in the energy sector.
Local impacts and collaboration with local communities
We are an important employer and significant tax payer in our operating areas. In addition, our investments improve the local infrastructure. Of our energy production forms, hydropower has the most significant impacts on local communities and local forms of land use. Hydropower construction and use may alter the flow rate and the fluctuation and rhythm in the water level in waterways as well as the fish fauna. These changes impact fishing, recreational use, and boating. We mitigate and compensate the adversities caused by hydropower production through numerous measures, such as stocking fish and building boat launch ramps.
We communicate openly, honestly and proactively, and we engage in a dialogue with the influential stakeholder groups located in the vicinity of our power plants. We carry out collaboration projects with local communities. We conduct environmental impact assessments (EIA) for our projects in accordance with legislative requirements. The hearing of stakeholders is part of the EIA process. In addition, relevant stakeholders are heard in all permit procedures.
Examples of our activities with local communities in 2015:
- Customer panels and meetings were organised in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Poland. Meeting with customers is one way to get direct feedback and development ideas. We want to accommodate customers’ needs even better in the future.
- Open-house events were arranged at power plants in different countries of operation; thousands of locals attended the events.
- Fortum continued publishing the Naapurina ydinvoimala (Nuclear power plant as a neighbour) magazine in Loviisa and maintained an active dialogue with local residents and representatives of the city of Loviisa.
- Projects aiming to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of hydropower were under way in Finland and Sweden in collaboration with municipalities, research facilities, fishermen, universities and environmental organisations.
- The third National Clean River Championships was held for students in Sweden. More than 2,000 young people raised money for recreational activities by collecting 35 tonnes of trash along the banks of four rivers (Dalälven, Klarälven, Ljusnan and Gullspångälven) where Fortum has hydropower plants.
- In Estonia, collaboration related to district cooling solutions and smart and energy-efficient rebuilding was initiated with multiple local stakeholder groups.
- Fortum continued supporting local communities with several projects in the vicinity of the Kapeli and Amrit solar power plants in India.
- Fortum supports the communities in power plant areas through various donations. Support in 2015 went to e.g. homeless children and youth in Sweden, workshops and scholarships for talented children raised in difficult conditions in Poland, as well as a sports school for children, a hockey team, and cultural and residential events in Russia.
Support for society in 2015
In 2015 our support for activities promoting the common good totalled about EUR 3.6 (2014: 3.3) million. The figures for 2014 and 2015 do not include the sold Distribution business. The share of grants awarded by the Fortum Foundation was about EUR 706,000 (2014: 550,000) of the support. Fortum Foundation supports research, education and development in the natural, technical and economical sciences within the energy industry.
Fortum’s support to society in 2015 by target, %
Fortum’s support to society in 2015 by country, %
The goal of the collaboration with universities and colleges is to develop Fortum’s business, promote energy-sector research and development, and foster Fortum’s recruiting and training opportunities.
Examples of our collaboration with universities and colleges in different operating countries:
- In Finland, we are funding a solar economy professorship (75% funding for a five-year period, i.e. until 2017) at Lappeenranta University of Technology.
- In Sweden, we are researching ways to improve the river habitat for migrating fish with the University of Karlstad. Additionally, there is a multi-year project under way that aims to offer sustainability-related training to more than 4,000 educators. Fortum’s collaboration partners in the project are Pedagog Värmland and Karlstad municipality, and new partners include engineering and consulting company ÅF and Chalmers University of Technology.
- In Poland, Fortum is collaborating with the Wroclaw University of Technology on district cooling solutions and with the Czestochowa University of Technology’s Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology. Fortum also has a collaboration agreement with the Silesia University of Technology.
- In Russia, we are participating in the AboutEnergy training programme, which supports educators in providing training related to energy conservation. For university students, we also offer internships and information visits at our power plants.
- In the Baltic countries, Fortum is a member of the Baltic Innovative Research and Technology Infrastructure (BIRTI), which coordinates collaboration between universities, scientific institutes and entrepreneurs.
- In Latvia, we are cooperating with Riga Technical University and Latvia University of Agriculture, and in Lithuania, with Klaipeda Technical School, Klaipeda University and Kaunas University of Technology. We arrange internships and information visits for students, and we support energy sector-related conferences and seminars.
Sponsorship projects in 2015
We sponsored junior football and junior volleyball in Finland in 2015 through the Fortum Tutor programme. The goal is to ensure that children have inspiring and motivating coaches. About 120 tutors mentor the coaches and provide them with useful tools for coaching. In its seven years of operation, the Fortum Tutor programme has reached more than 100,000 children. In May 2015 the first training was arranged for football team coaches of special populations.
In 2015 the Fortum Tutor programme was also launched in Latvia, where Fortum sponsors a local volleyball team in Jelgava. Within the programme, professional volleyball players and Fortum employees visit local schools and teach students volleyball skills. Short-term Fortum Tutor projects have been implemented in football and ice hockey also in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
The Fortum Honorary Energy Donor mobile app has been in use in Poland, the Baltic countries and Russia. It encourages people to engage in physical activity. The distance covered during a physical activity can be converted into energy, for which Fortum makes a financial donation to selected charities.