Technology Industries of Finland’s low-carbon roadmap: solutions to the climate challenge
Finnish technology companies are among the frontrunners in the development of sustainable practices, operating methods, devices and services. These involve everyday climate actions as a part of the lifecycle mindset for products and services. The circular economy and energy efficiency have been the competitive strengths of Finnish technology companies for decades.
Technology Industries of Finland is committed to mitigating climate change and we share the Paris Agreement objective to pursue efforts to keep the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. Sustainable value creation is one of the guiding principles of our strategy, which we adopted in 2018. At the beginning of 2019, we defined our climate and energy policy guidelines.
Sustainable value creation is one of the guiding principles of our strategy
It is our proud duty to help our member companies to identify new means of sustainable value creation, whether they are related to the energy and climate goals or promoting business activities compatible with the circular economy.
Interim target: a low-carbon technology industry in 2035
We are preparing a low-carbon roadmap for the technology industry as part of national initiative to draft roadmaps for all different industry sectors. The aim is to realise the Finnish government’s objective of achieving a carbon-neutral Finland in 2035.
Our roadmap examines technologies and actions that our member companies could use, the amount of energy needed and the costs incurred by business and society in mitigating climate change. What are the potential employment impacts and the opportunities for exports of Finnish low-emission technologies?
It is especially important to define the research, development and innovation required to reduce emissions, along with the associated financing. It is of paramount importance to create new technologies, and research, development and innovation financing is the key to this.
The roadmaps will also define the technology industry’s carbon handprint, which indicates how the solutions created by the sector can help to reduce emissions in other sectors and globally.
Electrification and innovation are crucial
At present, more than 90 per cent of the technology industry’s emissions are output by the metal processing industry.
The most significant means of reducing the industry’s direct emissions are to electrify processes, machinery and equipment and to deploy new process concepts, such as bio or hydrogen reduction and carbon capture and recovery. The greatest reductions in emissions from technology solutions can be achieved by replacing fossil coke in blast furnace and ferrochromium processes with biomass-based carbons, introducing direct reduction using hydrogen, and using electric arc furnaces. These solutions can be used to make metal processing practically emission-free.
In other sectors of the technology industry, emissions can be reduced in many ways, such as by electrification, improving energy efficiency and heat recovery, utilising waste heat, switching to the circular economy, and exploiting digitalisation. One special characteristic of the technology industry is its large carbon handprint: the industry’s products and services enable significant reductions in emissions in customer operations.
Due to the very large volumes and long investment cycles, low-carbon transition will require substantial investment in the technology industry, availability of reasonably-priced emission-free electricity, and a predictable operational environment.
In terms of economic growth and competitiveness, it is important for policy makers to underpin development by securing a reliable, long-term operational environment. For example, clear ground rules on energy taxation and the circular economy and sufficient investment in research, development and innovation will play a key role in creating a low-carbon society.
Technology Industries of Finland’s low-carbon roadmap will be completed in summer 2020, and it will be combined with the low-carbon roadmaps prepared by other industries. This will enable reporting on the progress of emission reductions, the handprint of key technologies, the competences needed, the positive employment effects, and the research, development and innovation needs.
The roadmap enables us to offer our companies the tools and the development and monitoring programmes that will help us to make systematic progress towards a carbon-neutral Finland in 2035.
Helena Soimakallio, Executive Director, Sustainable Development, tel. +358 40 550 7706, email@example.com