We take nature into consideration

Our activities are visible and influential in our network areas in many ways. We refurbish, maintain and build new sections of the electricity network and dismantle the decommissioned parts. We strive to reduce our harmful environmental impacts and enhance our positive environmental effects in everything we do. We are constantly reducing our own carbon footprint. We take nature into consideration: we respect nature and biodiversity, our materials are long-lasting, and we are continuously improving the energy and material efficiency of our functions.

We use natural resources carefully

The electricity network and its components contain metals, mineral oils, and other materials. We set precise requirements for our component procurements, with a weighting on environmental, energy efficiency, quality, safety, and other corporate responsibility aspects. The new distribution transformers we use conform to the ECO Directive. At present, the recycling rate of the material we use is negligible because recycled aluminium contains impurities that weaken its electrical conductivity.

We recycle almost 100% of dismantled electricity network materials. Dismantled, decommissioned electricity network structures contain significant amounts of transformers, conductors, cables and impregnated wooden poles, which can be further recycled either as components, raw materials, or energy. Our partner takes care of the transportation and appropriate further processing of the material removed from the network.

Thousands of impregnated timber poles are removed from our electricity network every year. They often contain chromated copper arsenate (CCA) or creosote, which may be hazardous to humans, animals or the environment if handled incorrectly. We handle dismantled poles by following an operating model that meets legal requirements. Our new electricity poles do not contain hazardous chemicals.

We respect biodiversity

Caruna’s goal is to look after environmental and cultural values and maintain the electricity network while respecting nature and conservation sites. We strive to avoid harmful environmental impacts and to promote positive effects by considering nature values already in the choices related to route, structure, method, and schedule made in the planning phase.

We systematically promote our biodiversity goals. We always try to construct the electricity network in environments that are already built up whenever possible. An environmental assessment is carried out for all high-voltage distribution network projects. The environmental conditions are investigated in all other projects. We ensure smooth cooperation with landowners and other stakeholders in land use and permit matters. We ensure environmental care on project sites during and after work.

We increase Finland’s carbon sinks by freeing up land and forests for other uses.

In addition, we run projects to promote biodiversity. For example, we install bird balls on overhead lines and build insect villages in cable corridors. We also take into account the guidelines issued by the authorities to prevent the proliferation of invasive species as a consequence of our operations.

No major adverse impacts on biodiversity occurred during the year under review.

We prevent environmental contamination, and we clean up after projects

Typical incidents of environmental damage in our business involve transformer oil leaking into the environment if a pole-mounted transformer is damaged by an event such as a lightning strike. We handle all oil leaks promptly and take remediation measures and samples to ensure that they do not leave a lasting mark on the environment. There were no significant oil spills or environmental impacts caused by oil spills during the year under review. All our new transformers are equipped with oil recovery basins that prevent transformer oil from leaking into the environment if the transformer is damaged.

In order to reduce the risk of oil leaks, we carried out a separate investment programme in 2016–2021 to replace pole-mounted transformers in groundwater areas that are important or suitable for water supply with pad-mounted transformers fitted with oil recovery basins. The remaining pole-mounted transformers will be refurbished in the next few years.