Our actions to address climate change
The key to our climate change strategy, made in 2016, is harnessing our technology for the transition to a low-carbon industry. Policies relating to greenhouse gas emissions in different parts of the world are still evolving and we are following these changes, interacting with policymakers as well as acting upon them in business development.
In today’s economy, companies are becoming increasingly exposed to risks resulting from extreme weather events and transitioning to a low carbon economy. To assess these risks, investors need information on how companies are dealing with climate-related issues. Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is a voluntary framework to help businesses identify, measure and report the financial implications of climate change. We at Outotec are proud to support the TCFD in the implementation of a voluntary and consistent mechanism for climate-related financial risk disclosures. By supporting the TCFD recommendations, we are not only demonstrating our commitment to sustainable business practice but also hope to encourage others to do the same.
Science based targets
In 2018, we committed to the Science Based Targets to reduce our carbon footprint and further enlarge our handprint. Our target is to reduce absolute scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions 13% by 2025 from a 2017 base-year. Outotec also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 10% by 2025 from a 2017 base-year. With these actions, we aim to limit global GHG emissions to a level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures. For Outotec, this means a reduction of GHG emissions of 13% by the year 2025, translating to a yearly reduction of roughly 2%.
In 2019, Outotec’s scope 1 and scope 2 emissions reduced 15% compared to 2017 base year. With regards to the scope 3 emissions, Outotec’s business travel emissions increased 7% and commuting decreased by 19% compared to 2017 base year. The increase in business travel emissions is partly due to increased travel as well as a change in emission factors for short haul flights. Whereas the decrease in commuting is possibly due to a new pilot in our Espoo office where Outotec supports the use of public transportation with employer-subsidized commuter tickets. In 2019, we also reduced the number of parking spaces available for employees in Espoo. Our supply chain (purchased goods and services) emissions increased 6% compared to the 2017 base year as a direct result of the increase in spending. In terms of the use of sold products, it is not yet possible to report total energy or CO2 emission savings from the use of all products as a whole. However, for example, the use of Tank Cell products such as C500 and TC640 has resulted to about 50% savings in energy use per reactor volume (kWh/m3) and can be estimated to lead directly up to 50% savings in CO2 emissions compared to the existing industry baseline.
Reduction of energy consumption (GRI 302-4)
We have a certified ISO 50001 Energy Management system in five locations in Finland and four locations in Germany. To support the achievement of the CO2 reduction targets in our own operations, we aim to reduce our global energy consumption by 1% annually until 2025.
In 2019, Outotec purchased 7,754 MWh of CO2-free electricity based on renewable hydropower in Finland and Germany, equaling 48% of our electricity consumption and 22% of total energy consumption. We are gradually moving to renewable energy in our major locations in Germany and Finland, excluding Pori and Frankfurt research centers.
Combating climate change with our products and services (GRI 305-5)
The most significant environmental impact of our business activities materializes through our products and services that indirectly reduce various emissions, including global carbon dioxide emissions. We measure this positive impact on climate change, our handprint, by the emissions avoided by the metallurgical industry using six Outotec technologies, compared to annual industry baselines. These technologies are ferrochrome process; copper flash smelting; alumina calcination; ceramic filters; coated titania anodes; and TankCell 300 flotation cells. The emission reductions are directly proportional to energy savings.