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Environmental responsibility

Circulating energy and limited resources as smartly as possible

At the core of Vantaa Energy’s operations are energy production, the supply of energy to customers and various services to improve energy efficiency. The key idea is to ensure that energy circulates as smartly as possible in networks and to transform it from nonrecyclable waste or waste heat, for example, into district heating for homes. This is how to get more from less. Future energy storage capacity will give us a competitive edge. Our society’s emission reductions are based on electrification in many sectors – so the role of evolving electricity grids is vital to achieving these goals.

Based on our materiality analysis, climate change through the carbon dioxide emissions from energy production is our most significant sustainability issue. The second most important theme in the analysis was circular economy. We ensure the security of energy supply, which is important to our stakeholders, through the continuous planning, construction and maintenance of production plants and electricity and district heating networks.

We have a clear target to eliminate carbon emissions from energy production by 2030 at the latest, and the planned investments aim to make our energy production carbon negative, i.e. that we capture more carbon dioxide than is emitted from our energy production.

Fossil fuel phase out by 2026

The phase out of fossil fuels for energy production purposes is planned for 2026. The means to replace fossil fuels include the startup of heat production at the High-Temperature Incineration Plant, the replacement of coal with biochar, using electric boilers to produce heat, and recovering waste heat from industry and commerce.

Seasonal thermal energy storage allows heat flows lost in the summer to be stored until the winter months. Sources of heat include energy recovery from waste and various types of waste heat. This makes it possible to avoid the use of coal and natural gas in cold weather.

Vantaan Energia sähkökattila

Waste heat, electric production and smart control

In the Vantaa area, waste heat is generated in various production processes; electric heat pumps can be used to recover this heat for use in our district heating network. We have started planning an electric boiler and thermal battery for the Martinlaakso power plant area. These will require large amounts of carbonneutral electricity, which we are aiming to secure both through our electricity business and through good planning at Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks. In the electricity business, we produce electricity through our co-ownerships in hydro, wind and nuclear power companies.

We can improve the energy efficiency of our heat production and our customers’ properties by introducing smart technology to regulate and predict consumption. We are able to flatten consumption peaks by shifting the timing of heating so that the heating peak of properties do not occur at the peak of consumption. End customers do not notice any changes, but energy consumption and costs decrease and so too does the need for expensive and polluting heating methods.

Recovering emissions from waste-to-energy

The energy recovery of waste uses mixed household waste, mixed commercial, industrial and construction waste and, starting in 2025, waste classified as hazardous. We are committed to working with our partners and policymakers to promote the best solutions for only non-recyclable waste ending up in energy recovery.

Our extensive district heating network and our capability to recover energy from waste with excellent efficiency make us one of Europe’s most efficient actors in energy recovery from waste. Within Europe, the waste market is international, but closely controlled. Imports require permits from the authorities of both the country of origin and the country of destination.

In 2023, we started importing waste from Italy, and we use it efficiently as energy in our district heating network – for a fee. Our high efficiency allows us to produce much more energy with the same emissions than what would be possible in Italy. Freight accounts for a relatively small factor in this calculation, just couple of percent.

For non-recyclable waste, energy recovery is the best alternative to landfilling. That’s why it shouldn’t be stopped, but emissions should be eliminated also in this sector. The solution is to capture the carbon and then to reuse it or store it long term. We are exploring the most feasible way for us to handle carbon dioxide.