Towards carbon neutrality

In 2019, the Port completed work on a responsibility leadership model, which covers financially, socially and environmentally sustainable development. The most significant achievement of the year was the compilation of the Carbon-Neutral Port 2035 action programme.

  • The Port held two responsibility workshops, where the staff members learned about the responsibility objectives set for the operations and considered indicators that would help achieve them. These objectives are shared by the whole personnel body, and each staff member also commits to them individually.

Financial responsibility

The Port of Helsinki operates in a financially sustainable manner and creates national and regional well-being. A stable financial result is also the basis for other sustainable operations.

The Port of Helsinki distributes half of its profits for the financial period as dividends to its owner, the City of Helsinki.

  • Taxes and statutory payments EUR 5.4 million
  • Dividends to the City of Helsinki EUR 4.1 million
  • Interest and rents  EUR 18.8 million
  • The Port of Helsinki uses the Tilaajavastuu service for procurements.
  • The Port commissioned a thesis project about decreasing its carbon footprint through a procurement process. The objective is to develop a tool for planning procurements, which also takes environmental factors into account. The thesis will be completed in early 2020.
  • The lifecycle model was piloted in the planning process of the Finnish Food Authority’s border inspection post, which will be built in Vuosaari in 2020. A calculation model applied to the project reviewed the building’s carbon footprint of its entire lifecycle: from construction planning to the building’s demolition.

Social responsibility

The business operations of the Port of Helsinki have extensive impacts on day-to-day Finnish life and society and on matters such as security of supply. As an indicator of national and regional well-being, the Port utilises an impact assessment. In the assessment completed in 2019, it is estimated that the

  • value of the total financial impacts of port operations in Helsinki is about EUR 4.1 billion per year.
  • and that the employment impact, including multiplier effects, is 25,000 people.

Source: Study by the Brahea Centre at the University of Turku: Helsingin sataman vaikuttavuustutkimus 2019 (Port of Helsinki Impact Assessment 2019, in Finnish)

The Port wants to be a functional part of Helsinki. This is why active cooperation with local residents, educational institutes and companies is important to the Port of Helsinki.

  • The pricing model introduced at the beginning of 2019 steered truck traffic to harbours outside the city centre during peak hours. Heavy traffic did not increase in the harbours of the city centre during the year, where as the truck traffic in Vuosaari saw a positive change. Read more
  • The Port of Helsinki organised and hosted visits from educational institutes, ordered a thesis project, took part in resident evenings organised by the City of Helsinki and held open, free-of-charge public events in its operational area. In addition to this, the Port kept in close touch with the Katajanokka, Vuosaari and Jätkäsaari neighbourhood associations, among others.
  • Culture is also present in passenger terminals. In 2019, the Helsinki Festival brought art to the passenger masses: The art installation Silent Sea was exhibited in West Terminal 2. Read more in Finnish
  • The Port is involved in the key stakeholder and cooperation groups of the maritime and logistics fields, such as the Baltic Sea Challenge launched by the City of Helsinki and City of Turku.

As an employer, the Port of Helsinki aims to ensure the enthusiasm, well-being, competence and equality of its employees. One aim is to reduce the number of instances of sick leave, with another aim being for the number of occupational accidents to be zero. The results of the occupational health survey conducted every two years and the yearly workplace well-being survey are used as tools for the development of the equality, well-being and motivation of the work community. Find out more

  • Our Liekki index measuring employee experience was 69.
  • The sick leave percentage was 2.9.
  • The frequency of occupational accidents was 20.9.

Environmental responsibility

The Port of Helsinki manages and mitigates the port operations’ environmental impacts, and wants to be a forerunner of sustainable development in its field. Like its owner, the City of Helsinki, the Port of Helsinki is committed to the goal of achieving a carbon neutral Helsinki by 2035, as defined in the City strategy.

All harbours in Helsinki have the environmental permits required by law, which steer their operations. All companies operating in the harbour areas must adhere to the conditions of the permit, which regulate the levels of noise and emissions, as well as waste management in the areas.

The Port of Helsinki also has an operational system that fulfils the requirements of standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.

In 2019, the Port of Helsinki created the Carbon-neutral Port 2035 action programme, which states that the Port plans to cut down the CO2 emissions in the harbour areas by 32% by 2035, when compared to the emissions of 2015. The central objectives of this programme are that the Port of Helsinki’s own operations be carbon-neutral by 2035, the emissions of rubber-wheeled traffic be cut by 60% when compared to 2015, and the emissions of ship traffic be decreased by 25% from the level of 2015, which equals nearly 20,000 tonnes of CO2.

  • In 2019, the CO2 emissions of the Helsinki port area were a total of 85 000 tonnes (-1.7%)
  • The waste management plans were updated and the collection of cruise ships’ international food waste was also streamlined so that it was possible to significantly reduce the number of transports.
  • The Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment performed the scheduled inspections of environmental permits both in the passenger harbours and at Vuosaari cargo harbour. No concerns about the operations of the Port of Helsinki emerged in the inspections.
  • The training required for the Visit Finland’s ‘Sustainable Travel Finland’ certificate was conducted in late 2019.
  • The first SIMOPS (simultaneous operations) ship-to-ship bunker operation in the Baltic Sea was performed in Vuosaari Harbour, where a ship received LNG from another vessel while it was docked and being loaded. This reinforced the Port of Helsinki’s goal of facilitating the use of more environmentally-friendly alternatives. Read more
  • In 2019, the Port of Helsinki granted vessel charge discounts worth a total of EUR 217,000 to ten route traffic vessels on the grounds of reducing environmental impacts. The environmental actions implemented reduced air emissions and noise at the harbour and improved the environmental efficiency of the vessels.
  • The automated control of the Vuosaari Harbour field lighting was renewed in 2019 to be more flexible and save energy. Read more
  • The Port of Helsinki  monitors the water area surrounding Vuosaari Harbour.  Water is in good hygienic condition, according to the results of monitoring in summer 2019.
  • The Port participated in supporting the chair of the Economics of Baltic Sea Protection at the University of Helsinki. The Port also financially supported the Baltic Sea Action Group’s Hyvä Happi project.
  • The Port has taken part in the Seabin project funded by Wärtsilä by managing the sea bins floating in the sea areas of Helsinki. The summer of 2019 was the third summer during which the floating bins were tested in Helsinki. They were a concrete way of getting residents to pay attention to marine littering.
  • The Port began the collection of energy waste at its headquarters in late August. The initial results were promising, and now there are plans to expand the collection to other port buildings.