Environmental Responsibility

Environmental Responsibility

Positive climate impact

Our business is geared towards accelerating the clean transition. By building renewable energy production, we reduce dependency on fossil fuels, mitigate climate change and help create a more sustainable world for future generations. 

Calculating carbon emissions is an important measure for environmental responsibility us. We have calculated the carbon footprint of our operations since 2021.

In 2023, we achieved a positive climate impact in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. It means that the positive impacts, also called carbon handprint, are greater than our carbon footprint. 

Already now our operations are climate positive. Once the production of renewable energy begins, the carbon dioxide emissions caused by construction are quickly offset. Depending on the technology and efficiency, this typically takes a few months. 

Base on the median value of Co2 emissions per energy source over the entire life cycle

Wind and solar energy have the lowest emissions

Wind energy generation is almost completely emission-free. However, the manufacturing and installation as well as the disposal of wind turbines at the end-of-life, do not happen without an environmental impact. The renewable energy payback time is relatively short, studies show that a two-megawatt wind turbine has an energy payback time of five to eight months.

Even large-scale solar parks have very low emissions, compared to fossil energy sources. Solar parks can also easily coexist with other activities such as agriculture or animal grazing. The life cycle of a solar park is long, 45-50 years, and after that the land is easy to restore.

In terms of Co2 emissions per energy source over the entire life cycle, the United Nations Climate Panel IPCC has calculated a median value among peer-reviewed studies. 

Cooperation to decrease emissions

Since construction-related emissions are not generated directly under our own operations, we cooperate closely with our contractors to reduce them. Foundations for wind turbines require raw materials such as steel and concrete, both of which are emission-intensive and have a high carbon footprint. Transportation of heavy materials involves burning fossil fuels, increasing emissions especially in project locations that are difficult to access. We are looking into carbon-neutral construction alternatives with our suppliers, such as using greener steel and concrete as well as using wood as a tower component. We also utilize existing infrastructure as much as we can by building hybrid power plants, which have the potential to significantly reduce construction emissions.

By using modern technology wind and solar are the most cost-effective ways to generate electricity. The construction of new production sites for wind and solar energy also reduces the total CO2 emissions of the energy grid by replacing fossil fuels with new renewable energy. 

Promoting circular economy and fostering biodiversity

Our goal is to develop our activities that advance biodiversity and circular economy and minimise our negative impact to the environment and wildlife.

The life cycle of a wind turbine consists of its manufacturing, transport and installation, operation and maintenance, and end-of-life operations, i.e., its decommissioning, recycling, and disposal.

Wind turbines and their components are mostly recyclable. With current methods, more than 90 percent or even the entire wind turbine can be recycled, depending on the manufacturer. The large metal components in a wind turbine are currently made of steel, copper, and aluminum and can be almost completely recycled. The recycling rate of metal components (steel, copper, aluminum) is already very high, usually nearly 100 percent.

The wind turbine blades are made of fiberglass. Ilmatar is committed to recycling the wind turbine blades with the help of technology from Stena Recycling Finland. The recycling technology allows fiberglass to be reused in the cement industry. 

Enhancing biodiversity in project development

We take biodiversity into account on many fronts in the project development of all forms of renewable energy.

Our primary goal is to preserve local biodiversity values and avoid any negative impact as early as possible in the project planning stage. We build wind and solar farms with consideration to local environmental values in accordance with our environmental policy. 

Like any construction, our operations do impact biodiversity, but the result is clean energy to help curb climate change. The environmental impact of wind power is almost exclusively limited to land use. 

Our environmental policy guides us and contributes to our sustainability efforts.