August 6, 2019

How we cut the CO2 emissions of our energy production by 41 per cent in seven years

At Adven, we have significantly reduced our carbon dioxide emissions – despite the dramatic growth in the volume of energy we produce. Our systematic, long-term approach to reducing emissions includes, among other things, switching to renewable energy sources and improving the efficiency of our plants.

I joined the Adven team at the start of this year. It has already become clear to me that Adven is really part of the solution to combatting climate change – not just on paper, but in everyday work. Over the past seven years (2012–2018), Adven has succeeded in reducing the carbon dioxide emissions from its energy production by 41 per cent (in relation to energy sales). This means roughly 80 kilos less carbon dioxide for every megawatt hour sold.

All in all, Adven’s carbon dioxide emissions decreased 19 per cent from 2012 to 2018, while at the same time, fuel consumption grew 42 per cent. And the volume of energy sold by Adven has grown 38 per cent in seven years. We operate more than 100 energy plants throughout Finland.

Towards a carbon-neutral future

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is the result of systematic work, and we are forging ahead in our efforts to further reduce emissions. We continuously monitor how our plants are operating, and we go over all the ways we can reduce emissions together with our customers. Naturally, it’s a long road – if it were easy, everyone would already have done it.

Broad expertise and looking at matters from all angles are the foundation for Adven’s operations. We don’t focus only on fuels, for example, but instead we also invest in energy efficiency. Our starting point is minimising carbon dioxide emissions, but our long-term goal is to achieve a carbon-neutral future. That won’t happen without expertise and investments.

The carbon dioxide emissions from production are reduced unit by unit. For each of Adven’s production units, the fuel base is defined, and a technical plan is created together with the customer.

How do we achieve emissions reductions in practice?

At Adven, reducing carbon dioxide emissions stems from changing the fuel base, investing in greener production methods and developing more energy-efficient processes. Energy efficiency can be improved, for example, by using a new flue-gas scrubber or by recovering heat from air or water.

In heat recovery, energy is recycled instead of going to waste. While this does not directly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from our energy production, it does reduce our customers’ carbon footprint.

Switching to biofuels is another key factor behind our success in reducing our overall emissions. Whenever possible, we switch our plants that use oil and natural gas to biofuels, such as forest residues or industrial by-products. The choice of fuel is affected by both the plant’s technical performance and the local availability of the fuel. In the best-case scenario, the fuel is available from as near to the plant as possible, which eliminates the need for long-distance transports.

Ville Heikkinen, SVP, Head of Adven Finland

The carbon dioxide calculation was conducted for Adven by the external consulting company Pöyry Finland Oy. The calculation is based on the fuel consumption and emissions of the Finnish units/plants. The calculation is based on the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which is the most widely used standard for calculating greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

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