Environmental data

In line with our strong focus on resource efficiency, we strive to operate with minimum inputs of energy and materials, and to closely monitor our consumption of electricity, heating and water.

The bulk of Outotec’s operations involve engineering and business management in offices located in 34 countries. Our operations also include research centers in Finland and Germany; a Dewatering Technology Center, two manufacturing workshops and a ceramic plate production plant in Finland; assembly shops in Brazil, Canada, China, and the USA; spare parts and service workshops in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Mozambique and South Africa; and several warehouses. Approximately 80% of Outotec’s manufacturing is outsourced.

In 2016 Outotec did not make any acquisitions. The operations of Sinter Plant Services, a service company we acquired in December 2015 in South Africa, have now been included for the first time in our reporting.

The environmental impact of office work is relatively small, and managed through our quality, environment, health and safety (QEHS) management system. Sustainability, pollution prevention and sound environmental management are required in all of our operations. We strive to operate with minimum inputs of energy and materials, and we record our consumption of electricity, heating and water annually. Our reporting of environmental data covers Outotec’s premises and employees, as well as contractors working under our supervision at project sites.

Our management’s commitment to the continuous improvement of our environmental performance is reflected in both ambitious target setting and results. We evaluate the environmental aspects of our offices, research centers and manufacturing workshops, and set annual targets based on this evaluation.

To help reduce our primary energy consumption, we are piloting an energy management system based on ISO 50001 in Germany. Environmental criteria are taken into account whenever we select new office premises. Outotec’s two largest offices, in Espoo, Finland, and Oberursel, Germany, fulfil LEED® Gold requirements. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a globally recognized green building certification program.

At our research centers, we record our consumption of electricity and natural gas used for test purposes on a monthly basis. We also have local or unit-specific targets for the energy efficiency of other operations.

Our waste management system provides for the collection, sorting, storage and disposal of waste on our own premises. Outotec employees are instructed to separate different types of waste for sorted collection. Where hazardous wastes such as radioactive, flammable, explosive, toxic, corrosive or bio-hazardous materials need to be handled, specialized contractors are commissioned to dispose of these materials safely and in line with local legal requirements and customers’ requirements at construction sites. 


Materials used (G4-EN1)

The materials used globally by Outotec operations:

Materials used, tonnes 2016 2015 2014
Paper 49.6 70.4 70.9
Steel 2,097 5,600 6,200
Ceramics 31 109 113
Cardboard packaging 18.3 12.9 13.8
Plastic packaging 3.3 1.1 1.7
Metal packaging 1.2 1.2 1.6
Wood packaging 238.7 210.6 230.1

The decline in our use of paper is probably due to lower business volumes and digitalization. Steel consumption has significantly dropped, since we received fewer large plant orders and had fewer projects under construction in 2016.

We manufacture high-tech ceramics in Turku, Finland, for use in Outotec filters. The consumption of ceramics decreased from 2015, because of lower sales of ceramic filters.  

Outotec’s Finnish workshops in Lappeenranta, Turula and Turku report the amount of packaging they use annually to Finnish Packaging Recycling Ltd (RINKI).


Energy consumption within the organization (G4-EN3)

Figures for our total global electricity and fuel consumption from non-renewable sources are shown in the table below. We did not consume any renewable fuels, or sell any electricity, heating, cooling or steam in 2016. Figures for energy consumption are collected globally from our operations based on the energy-related invoicing in each location. The conversion factors between energy units are taken from Statistics Finland. In 2016 we chose 2015 as a new base year for future comparisons, since we entered into new energy saving agreements in 2016.

Energy consumption, TJ 2016 2015 2014
Direct energy consumption: 47.8 48.5 38.8
Propane gas 10.5 11.2 7.9
Light fuel oil 0.7 0.3 0.3
Coal, coke, semi coke 0.1 0.4 0.2
Natural gas 15.9 23.5 22.7
Diesel and gasoline 20.5 13.3 5.7
Indirect energy consumption: 117.6 116.0 116.1
Electricity (incl. cooling)* 71.4 73.7 71.8
Electricity (incl. cooling)* 45.2 40.8 43.2
District heating 45.2 40.8 43.2
Steam 1.0 1.5 1.1
TOTAL energy consumption 165.5 164.5 152.9

*) Converted to TJ from 19,837 MWh (2015: 20,482)

Energy intensity (G4-EN5)

Our energy intensity calculations include fuel, electricity, heating, cooling and steam consumed within Outotec.

Energy, TJ/EUR 1 million sales 2016 2015 2014
Energy intensity 0.16 0.14 0.11


Denominator used in energy intensity calculation 2016 2015 2014
Sales, EUR 1 million 1,059 1,201 1,403

Reduction of energy consumption (G4-EN6)

Our target for 2016 was to implement a new energy-saving concept in five locations. To reduce our primary energy consumption we implemented a new Energy Management System (EMS) based on ISO 50001 to be applied in four locations in Germany. This system was certified by TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH in 2016. Following the piloting of this EMS in Germany, other Outotec locations will implement the system in the coming years. Our Finnish units are due to be certified during 2017. In Finland Outotec renewed its official energy saving agreement, adding new targets. 

All our Finnish manufacturing units and our Pori research center remained committed to the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries’ energy efficiency agreements for 2008-2016, aiming to save 9% in energy consumption compared to the baseline year 2006. The total savings in energy consumption achieved in these units amounted to 15%, as shown in the below table. The data was collected from each location in the Motiva data collection system used in the Finnish scheme. The consumption figures include different types of fuels, purchased electricity, and district heating. The conversion factors between energy units are taken from Statistics Finland.

Energy consumption in Finnish units, TJ 2016 2015 2014
Pori research center and Turula works      
Energy consumption 38.3 33.4 38.5
Energy saved due to efficiency improvements, TJ compared to base year 9.6 14.4 9.4
Lappeenranta works      
Energy consumption 18.8 18.0 18.3
Energy saved due to efficiency improvements, TJ compared to base year 1.2 2.1 1.8
Turku works      
Energy consumption 13.2 13.0 11.0
Energy saved due to efficiency improvements, TJ compared to base year 3.6 3.8 5.8

In 2016, Outotec entered into a new energy efficiency agreement in Finland, committing to reduce the energy consumption of our Finnish units by 4% by 2020, and 7.5% by 2025 compared to the new base year 2015.

A new energy efficiency plan was made in Germany in 2016, including about 20 measures to be implemented during 2016-2019. The first results will be reported in 2017.


Water withdrawal (G4-EN8)

We purchase water locally from municipal water suppliers, and channel waste water into municipal waste water systems. The water volumes are calculated mostly based on invoices, except for certain locations in Africa that use water from drill wells. Because our workshops are mainly assembly shops, no process water is discharged. Outotec’s research center in Pori uses river water for cooling purposes in test facilities. After use, this water is channeled back to the river. We also monitor water consumption at our premises (G4-EN8).

Water consumption, m3/year 2016 2015 2014
Drinking water 65,138 61,348 53,506
River water for cooling 4,186 2,628 9,548
Total water usage 69,320 63,976 63,054

Our total water usage increased due to more accurate reporting on consumption at locations recently acquired in Southern Africa.


Direct greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1) (G4-EN15)

Scope 1 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are calculated based on the consumption of non-renewable fuels in our locations globally, plus the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions released by company cars, excluding vehicles used in site operations at customers’ plants. The conversion factors for the fuel specific CO2e emissions are taken from Statistics Finland.

For the company cars, the CO2e emissions are calculated based partly on the reported gasoline and diesel consumption, and partly on the reports of the leasing companies. Calculations only relate to CO2, as we do not release emissions of other greenhouse gases.

Scope1_emissions Scope3_emissions
Direct GHG emissions, tonnes of CO2e 2016 2015 2014
Scope 1 emissions (own fuel combustion, company cars) 3,910 4,431 3,774
Company car emissions in Finland, g CO2e/km 119 121 123
- Reduction from 2008, %  38 37 35

Energy indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 2) (G4-EN16)

Indirect GHG emissions, tonnes of CO2e 2016 2015 2014
Scope 2 emissions (purchased heat and electricity), location-based 7,270 7,646 8,746
Scope 2 emissions (purchased heat and electricity), market-based 7,483 9,669 *

*) In 2014, the market-based and location-based calculation methods were not applicable.

In line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, we used a Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard to calculate Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. The calculations only relate to CO2, as we do not release emissions of other greenhouse gases. Country-based emission factors were retrieved from the Protocol’s calculation tool ‘GHG emissions from purchased electricity’. For the market-based approach, calculations using ‘Residual mix based CO2e emissions’ were applied for Finland, Germany and Sweden (Source: http://www.reliable-disclosure.org/documents/, 161-RE-DISS_2014_Residual_Mix_Results_2015-05-15_corrected2.pdf, European Residual Mixes 2014).  In terms of consolidation, the figures include operations in which Outotec has full financial control, i.e. our own operations and offices, with site operations at customers’ premises excluded. 

In 2016, Outotec purchased 5,983 MWh of CO2-free electricity from renewable energy sources in Finland and Germany. We are gradually moving to renewable energy in our major locations in Germany and Finland, excluding the Pori research center.

Market-based Scope 2 emissions decreased by 23%, mainly due to the increased share of renewable energy, but also due to reduced electricity consumption. From 2016 onwards the base year will be 2015.

Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 3) (G4-EN17)

Other GHG emissions, tonnes of CO2e 2016 2015 2014
Scope 3 emissions (air travel, train journeys and commuting) 14,952 21,762 22,267

We report Scope 3 emissions only from our own operations, and do not include the supply chain, since project sites remain outside our reporting scope. However, we have calculated that the carbon footprint of our supply chain amounts to 360,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (345,000), where metal products was the biggest source of CO2 emissions, representing 27% (25%) of the total. Calculations were based on Outotec’s spending and supply chain emission factors as defined by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The gas included in the calculations is CO2 from fossil fuel sources, excluding bio-based CO2 emissions. From 2016 onwards the base year will be 2015. 

Supply chain GHG emissions, tonnes of CO2e 2016 2015 2014
   360,000  345,000  386,000

Within Scope 3, emissions from air travel are the biggest single source at Outotec (G4-EN30). These emissions decreased by 31% in 2016, due to a decline of 27% in the total length of business-related flights, and because our personnel increasingly travelled in economy class on long-haul flights.

The CO2e calculations for flight emissions are based on guidelines produced in connection with DEFRA’s GHG Conversion Factors. Economy class flights result in lower emissions per kilometer than business class travel.

Video conferencing systems are available in all of our major locations.  We also use teleconferences and Skype for Business for internal meetings. In 2015, Outotec took a new set of collaboration and information sharing tools, known as Office365, into use, which significantly increased our use of virtual meetings, and reduced the need for traveling.

Outotec actively strives to use responsible air carriers and hotels. Lufthansa and Finnair, for instance, use relatively new fleets, which generally produce lower emissions. In agreements with hotels, Outotec prefers hotels with favorable social responsibility policies.

Total GHG emissions

Tonnes of CO2e 2016 2015 2014
Total GHG emissions, location-based 26,131 33,839 34,768
Total GHG emissions, market-based 26,344 35,862 *

*) In 2014, the market-based and location-based calculation methods were not applicable.

GHG emissions intensity (G4-EN18)

Tonnes of CO2e/EUR 1 million sales 2016 2015 2014
Relative flight emissions 12.8 16.4 14.6
Relative total GHG emissions, market- based 24.7 28.2 24.8
Relative total GHG emissions, based on country-specific electricity mixes in Finland and Germany 24.9 28.9 *

Our relative flight emissions per one million euro sales decreased by 22% from 2015. Our target for 2016 was to achieve a 5% decrease in CO2 emissions from flights per EUR 1 million sales, by favoring virtual ways of working. The relative reduction was, however, smaller than the actual reduction of Scope 3 emissions, because Outotec’s sales in 2016 decreased by 12%. The gas included in the calculations is CO2 from fossil fuel sources, excluding bio-based CO2 emissions.

The overall positive impact of Outotec’s business travel can be best illustrated by comparing our total annual GHG emissions in 2016 (market-based), which were 26,344 tonnes CO2e (2015: 35,862), with the emissions avoided by using seven of our key technologies, which amounted to 5,870,000 tonnes of CO2e (5,469,000).

Emissions avoided


Thousand tonnes of CO2e

2016 2015 2014
GHG emissions avoided through the use of seven Outotec technologies



*) Updated calculations included seven Outotec technologies: Copper flash smelting, Ferrochrome process, Alumina calcination, Ceramic filters, Co-generation, Coated titania anodes and TankCell 300 flotation cells.


In early 2017, Outotec purchased a new database for industrial data, according to which the baseline had changed, and we consequently recalculated the figures for 2015 and 2014. Our policy is to recalculate previous years’ data when discrepancies exceed 10%.


Waste handling is not centrally managed at Outotec. We have instructed our locations to sort waste according to local regulations and the guidelines provided by facility owners. 

Total weight of waste by type and disposal method (G4-EN23)

Waste, tonnes 2016 2015 2014
Waste recycled 766 1,013 1,346
Landfill waste and incinerated waste 597 1,484 1,482
Hazardous waste 42 261* 98
Total waste 1,405 2,758 2,926
Paper recycled 97 120 151

*) A large amount of hazardous waste was removed from a workshop acquired in Mozambique.

Waste amounts declined significantly because of lower sales volumes and the reduced number of employees.

No significant spills were reported in Outotec operations and project sites in 2016 (G4-EN24).

A small amount of hazardous waste is produced in the final surface treatment of filter presses in our Lappeenranta works. In addition, oily waste from lubricants used in the Turula works is classified as hazardous. These hazardous wastes are sent to local hazardous waste treatment facilities.


Read also:


Our policies:

  • Quality, Environment, Health and Safety (QEHS) Policy
  • Travel Policy