Vapo Group announces ambitious sustainability targets

Vapo Group has published its first Corporate Responsibility Report based on the GRI framework that covers all of the Group’s operating countries.

In 2019, Vapo Group updated its sustainability strategy (including the long-term goals) and highlighted taking care of the environment and taking care of the employee well-being as the key objectives. The sustainability objectives and actions have been defined in accordance with the special characteristics of each business and linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The aim of Vapo Group’s sustainability is to make Vapo Group a net positive company by considering the impact of Vapo Group’s operations, products and services on the environment, health and well-being, society and knowledge.

The report includes a materiality analysis carried out in the late 2019, which was based on 50 stakeholder interviews. The interviews covered all of the Group’s operating countries. The analysis was conducted by Gaia Consulting. According to the stakeholders, Vapo Group’s key sustainability themes are as follows:

  • Supporting transition towards a carbon-neutral society
  • Development of sustainable harvesting methods and returning peat bogs into natural state
  • Supporting biodiversity and using natural resources sustainably
  • Minimising harmful impacts to water sources and enhancing water-use efficiency

The report provides comprehensive information on progress in these areas and the Group’s long-term goals. In Finland, during the period from 2008 to 2019, Vapo Group’s impact on watercourses has been reduced by 63% with regard to solid matter, 70% for nitrogen and 60% for phosphorus. The Group has set a goal of reducing the load on watercourses in all three of these categories by 75% during the 2008–2025 period.

The majority of Vapo Group’s carbon dioxide emissions come from the Group’s businesses in Finland. In 2018, the emissions totalled 1.0 million tonnes. The Group has set a target of halving its carbon dioxide emissions in Finland by 2025. The most significant actions aimed at reaching this target include reducing the total area under peat production, the reforestation of decommissioned production sites and converting them into wetlands as well as shifting to use of renewable fuels at the Group’s own heat and power production plants operated by Nevel. Nevel Oy’s target is 75 % of renewable energy production by end of 2021.

Some 356 hectares of land owned by Vapo Oy and removed from peat production was reforested in 2019, while 97 hectares were converted into wetlands.  In 2019, Vapo decided to discontinue the production of energy peat in 92 production areas.

Kekkilä Oy and the Netherlands-based BVB Substrates merged at the beginning of 2019 to form Kekkilä-BVB Oy. As part of the integration process, the newly established company prepared a shared sustainability programme. The company’s most important sustainability target is to achieve net positivity by 2030. This means that the company will give the world more than it takes in the form of various natural resources.  Progress towards this target will be monitored by net impact model developed  by The Upright Project. This net impact model  measures companies’ overall sustainability with respect to the environment, health, society and knowledge. The current situation concerning Vapo Group and its business areas can be viewed online at www.uprightproject.com.

The full Corporate Responsibility Report can be read and downloaded at www.vapo.com/en/responsibility.

 “I’m proud of the work that the Group has done to specify its sustainability targets and strategy and implement concrete sustainability measures. I’m excited to see sustainability at the core of Vapo Group’s strategy and that our sustainability work creates meaning for our employees and stakeholders,” says Petri Järvinen, Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer at Vapo Group.

Amount of water effluents in Finland from 2008 to 2019

 

 

For further information, please contact:

  • Petri Järvinen, Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer, Vapo Oy, tel. +358 50 482 4071 
  • Ahti Martikainen, Director, Communications and Public Relations, Vapo Oy, tel. +358 40 680 4723