We halved our carbon footprint in 2020 compared to the year before, due to our switching to carbon-neutral electricity.
Our estimated carbon footprint includes the principal emissions from our own operations, emissions from the generating of purchased energy and waste management. Our operations generated greenhouse gas emissions amounting to about 35,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. The figure includes energy consumption (electricity, district heating), energy production (natural gas, oil), use of medical gases (nitrous oxide and anesthetic gases), waste management and fuel consumption by HUS vehicles and mobile machinery.
Majority of emissions from district heating
Traditionally, most of our estimated greenhouse gas emissions have been attributed to electrical power and district heating. Now that we have a guarantee of provenance that the electricity we use is generated emission-free, the majority of our emissions (60%) is caused by district heating, followed by natural gas use, emissions of medical gases into the atmosphere, waste management transports and processing at waste processing plants.
Year-on-year differences in greenhouse gas emissions are due for instance to changes in heating demands relative to the weather, changes in the building stock, changes in the production of the electricity and heat purchased, and reductions in the use of nitrous oxide. Also, in 2020 our use of anesthetic gases decreased to less than half of the previous year’s level.
More precise carbon footprint estimation in 2021
The carbon footprint calculation for the period 2015–2020 did not consider greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacture and transport of procurement items. These items include pharmaceuticals, supplies (e.g. nursing supplies, food, textiles, office supplies), devices and outsourced services. Items such as construction or work-related travel were also not considered.
In 2021, the HUS carbon footprint will be estimated more precisely and more comprehensively, including not only waste management but also all other significant indirect emission sources.