November 8, 2019

Adven’s Carbon Handprint Innovation Challenge: new ideas to reduce customers’ emissions

Finland is a small country but we are the world’s cleanest, happiest and third most innovative nation right after South Korea and Germany. Couldn’t we expect a lot from a country like this in the fight against emissions? There is no need to stay inside national borders in this case; we can develop solutions that are in demand across the globe. Finland’s positive carbon handprint could thus greatly exceed its carbon footprint.

Adven organised a carbon handprint challenge for environmental technology students from LUT University, with the goal of ideating ways that Adven could help reduce their customers’ carbon footprints. A positive handprint can be achieved by offering a solution that will allow customers to minimise their carbon footprint. Carbon handprints can be impacted by, for instance, improving energy-efficiency, increasing the efficiency of material use or reducing the amount of waste resulting from production.

According to our Sales Project Developer Veli Malinen, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around a million tonnes per year through projects in Adven’s sales pipeline, which would correspond to close to two per cent of Finland’s emissions. However, Adven is aiming even higher and is continuously seeking out new solutions to save energy and reduce emissions together with customers.

Adven challenged environmental technology students to innovate

New ideas were sought together with students from the environmental technology Pelletti guild at LUT University. Altogether five teams of three or four took part in the carbon handprint challenge, looking into solutions for reducing the carbon footprint in the food, forestry, mining and chemical industries.

After an intense three-hour brainstorming session, the teams pitched their ideas. The ideas offered solutions for, among other things, the restoration of old mines, the use of nitrogen oxide emissions in fertilizer production and more energy-efficient distribution of milk. Two ideas ended up in close competition for the top prize. This time the winner was a solution in which carbon dioxide captured from industrial flue-gas flows is used as a raw material in the chemical industry. Although the idea requires further development, the competition jury saw potential in it especially due to the solution’s scalability and broad applicability.

The winning team included Trexler Hirn, Jenni Partti and Pallav Shrestha. Adven awarded the winners with gift cards. Honourable mentions were given to Iida Alander, Iida Kaskinen, Jenny Kostiainen and Milla Toivanen for their energy-efficiency concept for greenhouses, through which the carbon footprint of Finnish greenhouses could be reduced.

Collaboration with the students is sure to continue – some may even find their way to Adven through a summer job or thesis work. This has already happened to Adven’s HR Specialist Laura Pihlaja and Concept Engineer Panu Siirtola, both of whom helped organise the challenge.

Adven’s team included: Elina Isokangas, Veli Malinen, Laura Pihlaja and Panu Siirtola as well as Sari Siitonen from Clonet Oy in a consultative role.

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