In line with Fortum’s strategic priorities, we focus on delivering reliable clean energy and driving decarbonisation in industries. Fortum is committed to exit all coal generation by the end of 2027. In sites where we still use coal, we do so efficiently and responsibly.
In 2022, coal and lignite account only for about 2% of our combined power generation. Fortum uses hard coal and lignite in Finland and in Poland. Russia exited coal in November 2022.
Further information about fuel use by country is available on Sustainability 2022 Report.
Fortum’s coal use in Finland
In Finland, coal is used at the Suomenoja combined heat and power (CHP) plant and Meri-Pori power plant, and at Fortum’s co-owned Naantali CHP plant.
Fortum will discontinue the use of coal at the Suomenoja CHP plant in Espoo in 2025. Fortum and the City of Espoo have together committed to developing Espoo’s district heating to be carbon-neutral in the 2020s in the Espoo Clean Heat project.
Fortum’s coal use in Poland
In Poland, coal is used at the Czestochowa combined heat and power plant and the heat only boiler plants, as well as at the new Zabrze combined heat and power plant and the heat only boiler plants. The Czestochowa plant also uses biofuels, and the new Zabrze plant uses refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and coal.
We will gradually phase out coal in Europe
Examples of the coal phase-out
- In Finland, Fortum and Microsoft have announced a collaboration project, whereby Fortum will capture the excess heat generated by a new data centre region to be built by Microsoft in the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland. Once the waste heat capture is in operation, it will produce heating energy for homes, services and businesses and will supply a total of about 40% of the district heating demand in the cities of Espoo and Kauniainen and the municipality of Kirkkonummi.
- In Wrocław, Poland, Fortum announced the plan to build Poland’s biggest heat pump supplying heat to the city’s district heating system. When completed in 2024, it will cover up to 5 per cent of the annual demand of district heating customers in Wrocław.
Reducing environmental impacts
We take the environmental impacts of coal seriously. In addition to carbon emissions, the use of fuels also produces, e.g., sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particle emissions that impair air quality, and cause acidification of soil and water systems. Flue-gas emissions can be reduced effectively with various technology solutions and flue-gas cleaning technologies. All our power plants operate in compliance with environmental permit conditions.
Responsible fuel procurement
Fortum requires that suppliers commit to a responsible way of operating. We use the Bettercoal initiative’s Code and tools in assessing the responsibility of the coal supply chain. Bettercoal is an independent organisation with the goal of continuous improvement of the coal supply chain.
At year-end 2022, Fortum’s coal volume purchased from Bettercoal suppliers was 26%.
Following Russia’s attack and the war in Ukraine, Fortum looked for alternative sources to ensure security of supply. The coal purchased in 2022 originated from Poland, Colombia, Australia, Canada, USA and South Africa. All coal purchased from Colombia was from Bettercoal producers.
Bettercoal’s requirements are based on the Bettercoal Code, which covers good governance, human rights, social responsibility, and environmental issues, among other things. Bettercoal’s assessment programme includes the coal supplier’s Letter of Commitment, self assessment, and an independent assessment of mining operations.
Based on the assessment, a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) is made for suppliers; the realisation of the plan is monitored by Bettercoal regularly. A new assessment is done every five years. Additionally, the realisation of the improvement plan is monitored by country-specific working groups.
Bettercoal has established working groups to support its operations in three significant coal procurement countries: Russia, Colombia and, as of 2022, South Africa. Fortum participates in all of them. The working groups’ reports are published on the Bettercoal website. Bettercoal suspended the engagement with Russian coal suppliers and the Russia working group due to the Russian attack and war in Ukraine. The particular focus in Colombia is on strengthening the trust between the various stakeholders in coal-mining regions to support the peace process of the civil war that ended in the early 2000s, and to support the diversification of local livelihoods in a situation where the demand for coal is decreasing. The agenda of the working group also includes issues related to access to clean water for local communities.
If a coal supplier committed to Bettercoal violates its commitments and fails to implement corrective measures within a reasonable time, Bettercoal can initiate measures to disassociate the supplier. In such case, the supplier forfeits its Bettercoal supplier status.
Bettercoal member companies, like Fortum are required to annually report on the use of coal and on how the Bettercoal supplier assessment process has been integrated in their coal procurements. Every member company must also annually define commitments to advance the Bettercoal principles and processes.