Operations and strategy
1.7 Bank of Finland reviewed calculation of its carbon footprint in 2021
The Bank of Finland’s carbon footprint for 2021 was calculated using the internationally approved and recommended Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) methodology. At the same time, new emission sources were considered in the calculation of the Bank’s carbon footprint.
With the changes to the calculation method, the way the Bank of Finland’s emissions were measured was revised and structured more clearly. The results of the calculation cannot, as such, be compared with those for previous years, because the carbon footprint for 2021 is bigger than before as a result of the new emission sources incorporated in the calculation.
The greenhouse gas emissions from the operations of the Bank of Finland and the Financial Supervisory Authority are minimal. Most are indirect emissions occurring in the value chain.
The Bank calculated its emissions in 2021 with reference to the globally recognised Greenhouse Gas Protocol
To gain a clearer picture of the emissions structure, the Bank of Finland calculated its emissions for 2021 in accordance with the GHG Protocol guidelines.
The GHG Protocol is the standardised method that is used most in an international context to determine and report on the greenhouse gas emissions of companies and other organisations.
To delineate direct and indirect emission sources, the GHG Protocol identifies three ‘scopes’ for GHG accounting purposes.
Scope 1: these emissions occur directly as a result of an organisation’s own operations, and they are the easiest to manage. Scope 2: these are indirect emissions related to the purchase of energy, such as the generation of electricity. Scope 3: these are other indirect emissions that result from logistics operations and waste management, for example.
The adoption of the ‘scope’ model reduces the risk of double counting, where different companies and organisations calculate emissions for partly the same operations.
Our carbon footprint calculation method amended in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol1 enables a more accurate emissions calculation and brings additional identified emissions sources.
1Globally recognised standards for measuring greenhouse gas emissions.
The revised calculation method takes account of new emission sources
The emission sources from the operations of the Bank of Finland and the Financial Supervisory Authority (scopes 1 and 2) include the fuel consumption of vehicles and equipment (owned or hired) used in the management of the organisations and the consumption of purchased energy in their workplaces and facilities.
Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy (scope 2) were, unlike before, calculated using precise emission factors for each individual energy supplier. That clearly reduced the emissions associated with energy consumption. Previously, the calculation was based on average emission factors for energy production in Finland.
Because the electricity purchased by the Bank of Finland is more environmentally friendly than the average for the country, emission accounting using precise factors is a better reflection of the energy production method chosen by the Bank of Finland and the emissions it produces.
Furthermore, the Bank of Finland has managed to slim down its operations, with the closure of the Oulu regional office in 2020, once again reducing the need for energy.
Indirect emissions in the value chain (scope 3) relate, inter alia, to the purchases made by the Bank of Finland and Financial Supervisory Authority and the services that they use, investment in construction, transport, office waste, business trips, commuting and the energy consumption of tenants.
The most significant changes in the calculation relate to the indirect emissions in the value chain associated with scope 3. The new emission sources included in the accounting process were the production of purchased services, investment in construction and the energy consumption of tenants in properties owned by the Bank of Finland.
The calculation also took account of employee commuting and the emissions associated with working from home. There was also more focus on the calculation of emissions from the treatment of waste, transport and business travel.
The fact that the calculation covers a wider area means that the Bank of Finland’s carbon footprint has grown
The combined carbon footprint for the Bank of Finland and the Financial Supervisory Authority was 10,120 tCO2e in 2021, covering the emissions from their own operations plus those in the value chain.
The emissions from their own operations (scopes 1 and 2) amounted in total to 1,605 tCO2e. The indirect emissions in the value chain (scope 3) accounted for most of the emissions total (84%). It is very clear that most emissions are the result of investment in construction.
Incorporating the new emission sources in the calculation meant that the carbon footprint was bigger than in previous years. The main emission source in scope 1 was refrigerant leaks, whereas scope 3 emissions were mainly increased by investment in construction, the energy consumption of tenants and air transport.
The Bank of Finland and Financial Supervisory Authority monitor the environmental impact of their operations using an environmental performance indicator that is proportionate to operating expenses. It takes account of all the emissions from their own operations and those in the value chain (scopes 1-3).
Emissions in proportion to operating expenses in 2021 were 98.19 kg/tCO2e/EUR 1,000.
Vantaa waste sorting station wins Bank of Finland Ideas Competition 2021
A new waste sorting station was established at a Bank of Finland property in Vantaa. It will be used by both the Bank and the Bank’s tenants.
The waste sorting station design caters for all the waste produced at the property and the current options for recycling it. The goals with this project are: to have a major environmental impact, to generate functional benefits and to cut costs.
The solution fits in with the environment and sustainability theme of the Bank of Finland’s Ideas Competition, and the idea itself was the year’s winner.