Climate change is a global challenge that poses risks also to Orion’s business operations. As a responsible company, we want to be part of the solution. We recognise the impacts of our own operations and work actively to reduce our carbon footprint and minimise our exposure to climate risks.
In 2021, we decided to raise the bar even higher by setting a target of achieving carbon neutrality in our own operations by 2030. We are also committed to setting science-based targets to reduce emissions throughout the value chain of our business operations, thus contributing to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Investing in energy efficiency
The greenhouse gas emissions from Orion’s own operations are almost exclusively related to energy, which is why improving energy efficiency plays a key role in achieving our carbon neutrality goal. We systematically invest in energy efficiency projects to reduce energy consumption and emissions. We are also continuously looking for new ways to improve energy efficiency.
Most of the emissions generated by Orion’s own operations arise from the heat used in properties and functions, as well as from the steam needed for maintaining process conditions – that is, for drying and heating the air. To achieve our carbon neutrality goal, we are investing in increasing the proportion of heat and steam produced using renewable energy.
Of the energy we use, 45% is electricity, meaning that its production method also has a considerable impact on our total emissions. Since 2019, Orion’s purchased electricity has been 100% carbon neutral. We purchase our electricity mainly from wind power, hydropower or bioenergy. The proportion of renewable energy may fluctuate because of the volatile situation of the energy market.
We are committed to the energy efficiency programme of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK). Our current energy efficiency programme began in 2017. The measures taken during the current agreement period have resulted in CO2 savings of around 2,500 tonnes, or 114% of the energy saving targets set. Although the targets have been met, Orion continues its ambitious implementation of the programme.
Cooperation throughout the value chain
The majority (96%) of the climate impacts of our operations come from sources other than Orion’s own operations. In Orion’s value chain, the most significant climate impacts are related to purchased raw materials, packaging materials, active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished products. These climate impacts are strongly linked to energy use in the value chain. Climate impacts also arise when raw materials and goods are transported.
To better understand the carbon footprint of our value chain, we carried out an extensive life cycle assessment in 2019. Various environmental load factors were taken into account in the analysis, from raw materials to the distribution and disposal of the final product, including packaging and package inserts. As a result of the assessment, we gained insight into which parts of the value chain we need to support to reduce our carbon footprint. Next, we will determine science-based climate targets for our value chain and promote our partners’ participation in climate efforts.