FORTUM CORPORATION PRESS RELEASE 18.12.2020
Fortum has introduced new biodiversity targets for the entire Group, including Uniper. Fortum is committed to several climate and environmental targets, including at least 12 major voluntary measures that enhance biodiversity, to be implemented in 2021. The biodiversity target was announced in connection with the Group’s new climate targets.
“Climate change is one of the largest drivers of biodiversity loss, and there is a close link between these two. That is why our target to transform into a carbon-neutral company strongly supports the new biodiversity target. Degradation of local and global variability among living species and ecosystems – the biodiversity crisis – requires improved collaborative action and voluntary measures from everyone,” says Ulla Rehell, Vice President of Sustainability at Fortum.
Fortum’s impacts on biodiversity are largely related to its hydropower production in Finland, Germany and Sweden. Other ways of using land and water areas for energy production, for instance the production of wind power, also have impacts on biodiversity, which Fortum continues to assess.
Target: 12 or more voluntary measures enhancing biodiversity
Fortum’s absolute minimum requirement in all operations is regulatory compliance. Additionally, in 2021, we commit to a minimum of 12 major voluntary projects that improve the living conditions of species and strengthen populations. The projects focus in particular on threatened species or habitats.
Fortum has a long history of voluntary environmental projects done in close cooperation with stakeholders. In the past, the major voluntary projects supporting biodiversity have included hydropower-related initiatives, such as habitat restorations, various types of fishways, trap and transport of migratory fish to spawning areas, protection of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red-listed species, combating invasive species and dismantling small dams that are not significant for electricity production.
The planned measures for 2021 are related to hydropower production and include, for instance, improving aquatic and terrestrial habitats, as well as fish migration and combating invasive species.
One of the first biodiversity-enhancing voluntary measures for 2021 is the Untra area in Sweden. Fortum operates large hydropower plants on the River Dalälven close to the Båtfors nature reserve, which is home to more than 200 threatened species. Among other things, we will clear space around oak trees, clear spruce to make room for broad-leaved trees and create habitats for woodpeckers. This will also support many other species. The measures will be implemented in cooperation with the local Uppland Foundation.
In addition to the major voluntary measures planned for 2021, Fortum is also taking part in several research projects on fish and the environment. Our overall goal is to further consider biodiversity more systematically in our decision making and, longer term, to develop our biodiversity objectives based on local and international sustainability priorities.
The new biodiversity target for Fortum Group, including Uniper, will be assessed and reported annually and communicated in Fortum’s Sustainability report.
Minna Torsner, Project Manager, Sustainability, Fortum, +358 50 453 4776, minna [dot] torsner [at] fortum [dot] com