Elenia and sustainability 2021 report: Elenia’s climate efforts are eligible and aligned with EU taxonomy

Elenia’s newly published sustainability report includes the company’s first EU taxonomy assessment. The EU taxonomy measures the extent to which companies promote the EU’s shared climate targets to support the EU’s sustainable finance strategy and capital markets.

“We conducted our first EU taxonomy assessment based on our 2021 figures. We assessed our taxonomy alignment by evaluating our taxonomy-eligible activities in the light of the published technical screening criteria,” says Elenia’s CEO Tapani Liuhala.

The report examines the taxonomy-eligibility of Elenia’s business activities with regard to climate targets. Alignment with the actual taxonomy criteria was assessed more extensively with regard to climate change mitigation, and key activities related to the objective of climate change adaptation – such as underground cabling – were also evaluated. 

“Our taxonomy-eligible revenue, capital expenditure and operating expenditure are in line with the screening criteria set for climate change mitigation. We also take into account the sustainable use of water, the circular economy, pollution prevention, and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems,” Liuhala adds.

Ambitious climate targets

In 2021, Elenia made a commitment to science-based climate targets by joining the Science Based Targets initiative. The significant target is Net Zero, meaning towards zero regarding Elenia´s own emissions, by 2035.

“This requires us and our partners to engage in systematic climate action in the long term. This comes naturally to us, as we make our investments with a time horizon of several decades. Over the past decade, we have invested more than €1 billion in modernising the ageing electricity network. Approximately 60 per cent of our 76,000-kilometre network now consists of weatherproof underground cabling,” Liuhala notes.

Elenia’s wide-ranging sustainability efforts are also reflected for example in the company’s excellent results in the international GRESB sustainability assessment of the infrastructure sector.

“Our goal is to support the zero-carbon electrification of society. Smart grid solutions are necessary for society to reap the full benefits of the growth of solar and wind power. We are already installing next-generation smart meters for our customers to ensure that the demand response solutions required by weather-dependent production can be implemented in the future.”

Elenia’s CEO is, however, concerned about the general development of the energy sector. 

“The changes in regulation methods implemented by the Energy Authority in the middle of the regulatory period in 2021 undermine our long-term efforts focused on the renewal of the electricity network, which is the most important basic infrastructure enabling the green transition. The changes decelerate the efforts to improve electricity distribution, especially outside cities and densely population areas,” Liuhala explains.

The energy sector is also affected by Russia’s offensive war in Ukraine, which began in February and has dramatically changed the security environment in Finland, Europe and the world.

“We are keeping a close eye on the impacts of the crisis caused by the war, preparing to ensure the continuity of our operations and services by identifying various potential threats related to issues such as cyber security, material procurement and the economy.”

Girl in forest