The year 2021 was the first year in the four year environmental program period 2021–2024 at HUS. Working with our employees, we got the program off to a good start.

The goals and execution of the new environment program are substantially influenced by our ambitious strategic objective of being climate-neutral by 2030. 

As the first steps towards climate neutrality, or carbon neutrality, we calculated our carbon footprint in 2021 more thoroughly than before, taking into account the climate emissions in our entire operations chain. Based on these calculations, we began to outline a climate roadmap to determine our principal emission reduction measures, with timetables and assigned responsibilities. The climate roadmap will be completed in spring 2022.

Volume of mixed waste increased despite enhanced plastic collection

One of our goals is to reduce the volume of mixed waste and to increase the percentage of reusable fractions. Collecting plastic is the most obvious way of reducing mixed waste. Our goal for collecting plastic was 10% up on the previous year, but in fact the increase turned out to be 19%. 

Despite the highly enhanced plastic collecting, however, the volume of mixed waste also grew, by 4.1%. Several potential causes for this have been pointed to. One possible cause is that our operations grew by 3.7% on the previous year. The volume of mixed waste in the year under review may also have been augmented by property renovations, which generate a significant amount of mixed waste, and the several relocations of units, since in a move many items that cannot be reused elsewhere tend to get discarded.

Despite the increase in the volume of mixed waste, we are actively pursuing efforts to reduce it and to improve item recycling and material recovery.

Environmental training for employees is a perennial favorite

As the coronavirus pandemic continued, we began to provide personnel training via Teams. Initial and refresher courses for environment managers were successfully held online, as were environmental and chemical seminars. HUS has been training environment managers since the 1990s, so there are plenty of participants on refresher courses every year.

With the introduction of online training, the content and structure of the training sessions was clarified and condensed, and employees were encouraged to do their own research as well.