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 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.

Responsible land use

We are committed to using land responsibly and safeguarding biodiversity when we design, build and maintain our reliable electricity network. The environmental impacts of the electricity network are taken into consideration throughout the network's life cycle so as to ensure that they are as minor as possible or potentially even positive for the climate, environment and biodiversity, as well as landowners and other stakeholders. 

We continuously monitor the progress of environmental goals and actions and report openly on our performance. 

Electricity network materials

Electricity network structures contain significant quantities of transformers, iron, conductors, cables, mixed waste, impregnated timber poles, glass, porcelain, concrete and copper from our network of overhead lines. The materials we use are long-lasting, and we clarify the correct ways of handling and recycling them before we purchase them. 

As we invest in the electricity network, we are taking significant amounts of material out of use.  The majority of the dismantled material is sent for recycling in the form of material or energy. For example, it is currently possible to recycle and reuse more than 97% of transformers and cables. 

Every year, thousands of impregnated timber poles are removed from our electricity network. Old impregnated timber poles often contain chromated copper arsenate (CCA) or creosote, which may be hazardous to humans, animals or the environment if handled incorrectly. Laws restrict how impregnated timber poles can be used and disposed of, and we handle dismantled poles by following an operating model that meets legal requirements.

Preventive environmental work

Typical incidents of environmental damage in our business involve transformer oil leaking into the environment if a pole 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. 

All the new transformers we use in our investment programmes are equipped with oil recovery vessels that prevent transformer oil from leaking into the environment if the transformer is damaged. In order to reduce the risk of oil leaks, we launched a separate investment programme in 2016 to replace pole-mounted transformers in groundwater areas with park transformers fitted with oil recovery vessels. From 2016 to 2021, we replaced 1,359 pole-mounted transformers. The remaining pole-mounted transformers in 35 groundwater areas will be replaced in the next few years.