ForTheDoers Blog

Sustainability report provides view into the company’s operations

Ulla Rehell 22 April 2021, 15:42 EEST

The annual sustainability report provides a comprehensive view into the company’s operations and their impacts. In 2020, Fortum’s sustainability team faced a new challenge as we were tasked with consolidating the operations of our new subsidiary, Uniper, into the 2020 report.


Fortum has a long tradition of sustainability reporting based on key performance figures. Its basis was laid already during Fortum’s predecessors, Imatran Voima and Neste. Our data collection, calculation and reporting models have been honed during the decades based on global reporting standards, stakeholder feedback and practical experience.

Integrity, thoroughness and transparency have always been the guiding principles of our corporate responsibility reporting.

The same principles also steered our work in 2020, when the scope of the reported activities rose to a new level with the consolidation of Uniper. Uniper is, by among other things revenue and production structure, a considerably larger company than Fortum. With Uniper, our personnel numbers more than doubled to nearly 20,000 employees, and our electricity generation capacity more than tripled compared to 2019. In 2020, Fortum Group, of which Uniper is part, was the third largest producer of CO2 free electricity in Europe.

Compiling a sustainability report is mostly practical work: what information will we report? What is material? Where do we find the information? How do we ascertain that it is correct? When the reporting of two companies is combined, the challenges are of a very practical nature, as well – reconciling different data systems, unifying calculation methods and tracking down many kinds of information. During 2020, we harmonised for example the reporting of occupational safety indicators, and at the beginning of 2021, we agreed on a common way of reporting on the security of supply of energy production, i.e., of how well we can provide electricity and heat for the needs of the society.

Uniper is a separate listed company that continues to observe its own processes for sustainability reporting. During the exceptional year, we made great efforts to create team spirit between the Fortum and Uniper reporting teams. Due to the pandemic, we had to find a shared direction, common ground and working models in a situation in which we cannot physically meet our new colleagues or visit production facilities.

Common goals are based on combined information

Fortum and Uniper’s new joint strategy, updated targets and path to decarbonisation were among the most material aspects reported in 2020.

In its sustainability reporting, Fortum complies with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. We report on the indicators that are most material to us, and in the energy industry, climate emissions are among the most relevant. We report the climate emissions of our entire value chain. When we consolidated Uniper’s operations into our reporting in 2020, the reported emissions increased as well.

In December 2020, we published carbon neutrality targets covering the operations of the entire Fortum Group. Our goal is to be carbon neutral in European generation already in 2035 and in our entire production in 2050 at the latest, in line with the goals of the EU and the Paris climate agreement.

Agreeing on common emission targets called for profound cooperation and analysing the development of emissions during autumn 2020. This work helped us to better understand our joint production portfolio and created a basis for future reporting.

We have also created a clear plan for reaching carbon neutrality. According to the plan, we will, among other things, close down approximately 8 gigawatts of coal-fired production by 2030 and, at the same time, strengthen and increase our production of CO2 free electricity considerably.

While we proceed towards carbon neutrality, we must be able to provide our customers with affordable energy in the future, as well. Data accumulated during the years and decades from, for example, our energy production facilities helps us make informed decisions. We continue on this path together with Uniper.

Fortum’s sustainability report is available on our website from 26 April.

Ulla Rehell

Vice President Corporate Sustainability
ulla [dot] rehell [at] fortum [dot] com

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