Oulun Energia takes care of the environment
A significant share of Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from the energy sector and therefore the energy sector plays a key role in tackling global environmental challenges. We at Oulun Energia aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. This means that our impact on global warming would be practically neutral.
Towards carbon neutrality
At Oulun Energia, environmental responsibility means that we invest in renewable energy now and in the future. We are also constantly working to reduce our emissions. We are monitoring and report on our progress every year.
We have already achieved significant results thus far. The share of renewable energy has risen by 16% in three years, already amounting to 70% in 2022. Our carbon footprint has decreased by 37% in seven years and even the emissions specific to district heating have been almost halved in three years.
We produce district heat from a wide range of energy sources. In district heat production, we use, among other things, forestry side streams and non-recyclable waste. About 8% of our heating customers have chosen carbon-neutral district heating with a Guarantee of Origin.
Our power plants also produce other emissions that are released into the air and water. In addition, peat production and the use of forests have an environmental impact. We at Oulun Energia are constantly trying to minimise these effects on the environment, as global warming and the loss of biodiversity will affect all of our futures.
After-care of marshlands in accordance with environmental permits is an important part of our work for the environment when discontinuing the use of peat energy. Our goal is to convert our marshlands from sources of emissions into carbon sinks. In practice, dry areas are ash fertilised so that they can become forested, and the shallower areas covered in water are converted into wetlands, which become breeding and resting areas for birds, for example.
In 2022, we created 50 hectares worth of new wetlands and we ash fertilised a record area of 1,000 hectares of land no longer used for peat production.
Oulun Energia’s Merikoski power plant prevents the migration of migratory fish into the Oulujoki river. We enable fish to migrate past the power plant upstream the Oulujoki river using the Merikoski fish pass. A massive number of fish migrate up Merikoski each year. We are also doing voluntary work to develop the Merikoski area and to improve the living conditions of the migratory fish by, for example, exploring ways to support the reproduction of fish by adding water to the old channel.