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Our Business

Fortum's activities cover the production, sales and distribution of electricity and heat as well as energy-sector expert services.

We produce electricity and heat in an environmentally benign manner using versatile energy sources. We distribute energy to our customers while taking into consideration long-term, sustainable community planning.

Energy companies have a significant role in mitigating climate change, because the majority of greenhouse gases come from the production and consumption of energy. Fortum's investments pursue a financially profitable balance that provides the possibility to increase capacity and reduce emissions. In line with our strategy, we invest in carbon dioxide-free hydro and nuclear power production and in energy-efficient combined heat and power (CHP) production.

We produce economic added value for our stakeholder groups. We support the functioning of society by e.g. compensating debt investors and shareholders, paying taxes, employing people and supporting non-profit activities. As part of our daily business, we strive to minimise the negative impacts of our operations. We act responsibly, and we aim to ensure that our business partners act responsibly and comply with our Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct.

Impacts of energy sources
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Impacts of energy production
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Impacts of energy distribution
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Impacts of energy use
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Impacts of energy sources

Climate

  • Harvesting biomass reduces carbon sinks unless replantation is managed.
  • Fossil fuels are used in mining operations and in harvesting biomass, resulting in greenhouse gases.
  • Natural gas pipelines leak some methane, which is a greenhouse gas.
  • Sea and road transports and the pumping of natural gas use fossil fuels, which generate greenhouse gases.

Health and safety

  • Mining operations pose health and safety risks for workers and local residents.
  • Coal handling, especially loading and unloading, may cause adverse effects on the local environment and workers.

Water systems

  • The damming of rivers and hydropower construction change the natural state of water systems.
  • Hydropower production may impact biodiversity and fishing and the recreational use of water systems.
  • Impurities from coal mines and peat bogs may be released into water systems.
  • Transporting fuels via waterways involves environmental risks such as oil spills.

Other environmental aspects

  • Fossil fuels and uranium are exhaustible natural resources and biomass resources are limited.
  • Mining operations and the draining of peat bogs have a local impact on soil, groundwater and landscape.
  • Harvesting biomass may have an impact on biodiversity and on the visual landscape.
  • Use of waste-derived energy saves natural resources and reduces the load on landfills.

Society

  • Mining, harvesting and processing fuels have a significant employment impact and increase social and economic well-being.
  • They also involve social risks, in terms of land ownership, human rights, labour rights and living conditions of communities near the fuel source.
  • Transportation and distribution of fuels have a positive impact on local employment and this increases well-being.

Fortum’s actions to reduce impacts in 2012

  1. The origin and sustainability of fuels was the target of increased focus in purchasing. We assess the level of operations of our fuel suppliers through e.g. pre-selection and supplier audits: we performed a total of 264 pre-selections of all suppliers and audited ten of them.
  2. Fortum became a member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and continued an active dialogue within the framework of the WWF Global Forest & Trade Network and the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil organisation.
  3. Fortum joined the Bettercoal initiative to promote the principles of sustainable development in coal mining. Bettercoal’s Code of Conduct-related stakeholder event was held in Russia in November.
  4. Fortum’s experts assessed the fuel supplier’s uranium mine operations in Russia. Fortum regularly assesses the quality, environmental, and health and safety management systems of its nuclear fuel suppliers and the manufacturing of nuclear fuel assemblies.
  5. Of Fortum’s purchases, fuels accounted for about EUR 1,057 million, of which the share of fossil fuels was about EUR 910 million and biofuels about EUR 130 million.
  6. Fortum used 6.1 terawatt-hours of biomass and other biofuels in energy production, and increasing the use of bioenergy was researched at several of our power plants.
  7. Fortum used over 800,000 tonnes of waste-derived fuels in Sweden and Finland, accounting for 1.8% of the energy content of total fuel use. The use of waste-derived fuels reduces the use of natural resources.
  8. Fortum reports the greenhouse gas emissions from the fuel chain, including indirect emissions from the production and transportation of fuels, in line with the GHG Protocol. The indirect emissions from the transportation of coal, oil and wood fuels were approximately 125,000 tonnes.

Impacts of energy production

Climate

  • CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and peat contribute to climate change.
  • Hydro, nuclear, wind and solar power production do not result in CO2 emissions in the production phase.
  • The use of bioenergy is CO2 neutral.
  • Fossil fuels used in the transportation of waste and by-products generate greenhouse gases.
  • Landfills release methane.

Society

  • Energy production enables modern society to function and has many economic impacts on society.
  • Energy companies generate steady and long-term economic well-being in society.
  • Nuclear waste management and disposal is a highly sensitive issue in society, and is subject to political and public acceptance.
  • Utilisation of waste in energy production reduces costs for society.

Health and safety

  • Flue-gas emissions may have an impact on air quality and health.
  • Nuclear fuel is radioactive, but in normal use nuclear power production has no impact on human health or the environment.
  • Health and safety risks are related to the handling of hazardous and radioactive waste. The handling of spent nuclear fuel in particular requires long-term research and planning before final disposal.

Other ­environmental aspects

  • Production and maintenance create e.g., ash, gypsum, scrap metal and waste oils.
  • Production plants have impacts on the visual landscape and on land use.
  • Utilisation of ash and gypsum reduces the amount of waste into landfills and the need for natural materials.
  • Landfills and dumping areas have impacts on the visual landscape and on land use, and may release impurities into the soil and groundwater.
  • The use of waste-derived energy saves natural resources and reduces the load on landfills.

Water systems

  • Hydropower regulation has an impact on water flows and surface levels and may impact fishing and recreational use.
  • Cooling waters increase the temperature of water systems locally, while heat pumps cool water systems.
  • Small amounts of impurities may be carried along with wastewaters from production plants into water systems.
  • Impurities from landfills or ash basins may be released into water systems.

Fortum’s actions to reduce impacts in 2012

  1. 68% of Fortum’s electricity production was carbon dioxide-free, an increase of 3 percentage points from the previous year.
  2. Refurbishments of hydropower plants and dams and voluntary activities to mitigate the impacts of hydropower production continued. Fortum started a sizable power plant dam refurbishment project in Höljes, Sweden. A multi-year refurbishment project was launched at the Pyhäkoski power plant in Finland. In Sweden, the Gammelänge and Långå hydropower plants were refurbished. The hydropower refurbishment projects implemented during the year resulted in 9.5 MW of additional capacity, and an annual hydropower production increase of about 9.1 GWh.
  3. To offset hydropower production’s environmental impacts on the fishing industry, Fortum restocked about 1.2 million fish fry in Sweden and Finland.
  4. The approximately 15,000-cubic-meter expansion of the Loviisa nuclear power plant’s final repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste was commissioned in the latter part of the year.
  5. At the end of the year, the Fortum and Teollisuuden Voima Oyj jointly owned Posiva Oy submitted a construction licence application for a final repository for spent nuclear fuel to the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.
  6. CHP production accounted for 32% of our electricity production and 79% of our heat production. New biomass- and waste-fired CHP plants were under construction in Klaipeda, Lithuania; Jelgava, Latvia; Brista, Sweden; and Järvenpää, Finland.
  7. Fortum launched construction of a pyrolysis technology-based bio-oil production plant in Joensuu, Finland. The plant will be integrated with the Joensuu CHP plant. Bio-oil will replace the use of fossil fuel in heat production.
  8. 51% of Fortum’s ash and 42% of its gypsum was utilised. Utilisation of by-products reduces the use of natural resources.
  9. The environmental burden from Russia’s thermal power plants was reduced by increasing the use of higher quality coal. At the two biggest sources of emissions, a 44% reduction in particle emissions was achieved and a 34% reduction in SO2 emissions per used tonne of coal, compared to 2010. To reduce the load on waterways, improvements were implemented in wastewater handling at plants by e.g. separating and reducing water flows through coal-fired power plant ash basins.
  10. Fortum started construction of a wave energy park together with Seabased AB in Sotenäs, Sweden. Fortum also started developing the solar energy-related business.

Impacts of energy distribution

Health and safety

  • The electric and magnetic fields in the immediate vicinity of power lines and transformers may have adverse impacts on health.

Other environmental aspects

  • Building and maintenance of overhead power lines impacts the environment, land use and the visual landscape.
  • Underground cables improve the reliability of electricity distribution and reduce environmental impacts.
  • The construction of district heat networks causes temporary disruptions locally, but the operation of the network does not have any major known impacts on the environment.

Society

  • Overhead power lines are more vulnerable to weather conditions like storms. 
  • Power outages have a substantial impact on modern society, which is dependent on electricity.
  • Disruptions in heat delivery cause adversities for heat consumers.

Fortum’s actions to reduce impacts in 2012

  1. Distribution business area invested a total of EUR 324 million, the majority of which in smart meters, underground cables, overhead lines and substations.  The System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) per customer was 103 minutes in Fortum’s electricity distribution network.
  2. Fortum improved communication during electricity distribution outages by introducing a text messaging service for customers in the Nordic countries; the service provides information about power outages to electricity distribution customers. In widespread distribution outages, information is also available through social media channels and Fortum’s website. Customer service resources during widespread power outages were also increased.
  3. In Finland, Fortum launched the VahvaVerkko project to improve the reliability of electricity distribution. The goal is to add about 90,000 Fortum customers to the already 200,000 customers within the sphere of weatherproof distribution by the end of 2014. By 2020, the goal is to reduce the number of power outages by half and to double the number of customers within the sphere of weatherproof distribution. In Sweden, implementation of the SäkraNät investment programme continued.
  4. Losses in power distribution were reduced by increasing automatic meter management, optimising network operations, increasing transmission capacity in the lines with the highest loads and replacing obsolete transformers with new, more energy-efficient ones.
  5. In Russia, Fortum continued modernising the district heat networks in Chelyabinsk and Tyumen.

Impacts of energy use

Climate

  • When electricity and district heat replace less efficient energy forms in consumption, e.g. electricity replacing fossil fuels in traffic, the impact on the climate is reduced.

Society

  • Electricity is a requisite for a functioning and safe society. In the smart energy system of the future, consumers can take an active role by being both an electricity producer and consumer. Consumers are able to actively control their energy use and costs.

Other environmental aspects

  • The use of electricity instead of other energy sources improves resource efficiency and reduces the environmental burden.
  • District heating reduces air pollution and the local environmental burden when it replaces distributed heat production. 

Fortum’s actions to reduce impacts in 2012

  1. In Finland, all electricity sold to private customers in Finland was CO2-free and produced by hydropower and wind power. All electricity in Sweden was sold with an environmental value.
  2. By the end of the year, Fortum had installed smart meters for 434,000 customers in Finland. In Sweden, new meters had already been installed for all customers back in 2009. In Norway, the installation of new smart meters is planned to begin in 2014.
  3. Installation of smart meters was started in Jelgava, Latvia. All of Fortum's district heat customers in Finland, and the majority in Sweden and Latvia are already within the sphere of smart metering. Smart metering and control systems offer heat network customers the opportunity to affect their own heat consumption.
  4. In Finland and Sweden, Fortum’s carbon-neutral heat product gave customers the opportunity to impact their carbon dioxide emissions.
  5. Fortum offered customers energy advice, energy-efficiency consulting, and energy-saving products, like energy consumption metering devices (e.g. Home Display).
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Fortum's activities cover the production, sales and distribution of electricity and heat as well as energy-sector expert services.

We produce electricity and heat in an environmentally benign manner using versatile energy sources. We distribute energy to our customers while taking into consideration long-term, sustainable community planning.

Energy companies have a significant role in mitigating climate change, because the majority of greenhouse gases come from the production and consumption of energy. Fortum's investments pursue a financially profitable balance that provides the possibility to increase capacity and reduce emissions. In line with our strategy, we invest in carbon dioxide-free hydro and nuclear power production and in energy-efficient combined heat and power (CHP) production.

We produce economic added value for our stakeholder groups. We support the functioning of society by e.g. compensating debt investors and shareholders, paying taxes, employing people and supporting non-profit activities. As part of our daily business, we strive to minimise the negative impacts of our operations. We act responsibly, and we aim to ensure that our business partners act responsibly and comply with our Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct.