FORTUM CORPORATION ONLINE NEWS 1.6.2021
The Ecogain Biodiversity Index that evaluates the largest Nordic companies on their reporting on biodiversity, has ranked Fortum in second place – and first among Finnish companies. A total of 240 companies have been reviewed.
Ecogain reports, that Fortum has, in a clearer way than in previous years, identified biodiversity as one of its priority issues. In its Biodiversity Action Plan, Fortum describes goals, responsibilities, timelines and collaborations for projects in biological diversity. Here, the company also continuously reports on its ongoing and planned measures. In its Biodiversity Manual, Fortum describes its principles for biodiversity. The purpose of this manual is to improve Fortum's knowledge and management of biodiversity in its operations.
“It is pleasing that Fortum’s reporting on biodiversity actions has gained attention,” says Toni Kekkinen, Head of Hydropower at Fortum. “Fortum aims to be a driving force for a rapid and reliable transition to a carbon neutral society. Mitigating climate change is also one of the most effective ways of breaking the negative trends for many species.”
Nordic hydropower production does not emit any greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and is therefore good from a climate perspective. However, there is a certain local environment impact linked to water systems where dams and power stations are located. It is against this background that Fortum has identified biodiversity as a prioritised issue and has set a goal for 2021 of taking significant actions aimed at increasing biodiversity, as recognised by Ecogain.
The annual Environment Report on Fortum Hydropower presents in more specific detail what actions Fortum is taking to promote biodiversity and other environment issues. This year’s report is now a digital only product to enable greater transparency and a better reader experience.
Examples of actions being taken include an inventory of land areas around the power stations the company operates on the river Klarälven, that has since become a pilot project for biodiversity. This is an educational process where Fortum’s operating contractor now ring-barks trees, and clears young trees for the benefit of older deciduous trees. The report also talks about what is happening around Untra in the lower Dalälven river. For the past 10 years, Fortum has been working closely with the Uppland Foundation to manage around 300 ha of forest land in a way that is favourable for insect life. Large areas have been left to develop freely and nature conservation felling has been done to restore deciduous forest areas and create dead log piles.