Carbon footprint of consumption in Espoo analysed for the first time – “The broader knowledge base will support the municipality’s climate work”

Published: 28.1.2022 7.27

In Espoo, the total greenhouse gas emissions from consumption in 2020 were 9.02 t CO2e per capita. The results reveal the emissions from the activities of the municipality and its residents that are not covered by traditional municipal emissions calculations.

 

The basis of the new calculation model, which was implemented in broad cooperation, is the residents’ consumption and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. the carbon footprint, regardless of whether the commodities have been produced in the municipality, elsewhere in Finland or abroad. The new consumption-based emissions calculation is not an alternative to the traditional regional emissions calculation, but rather they complement each other. HSY carries out a regional emissions calculation for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area every year.

Making consumption-based emissions visible will provide new knowledge to tackle the global climate challenge. A similar calculation has never been carried out in Finland before, and even globally, emissions calculations for consumption have often been carried out for entire countries or by individual municipalities. Even globally, there are only a few municipalities that systematically and reliably monitor consumption emissions. Espoo and the other municipalities involved in the project are true pioneers in this area.

The new consumption-based emissions calculation supports Espoo’s role as a pioneering city in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and climate work.

“It is good that we get to make use of research data with our partners”, says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä. “In addition to reducing our carbon footprint, it is important that our carbon handprint, i.e. sustainable development work based on Finnish expertise, improves the international competitiveness of our universities and companies, for example”, Mäkelä continues.

“This year, we will put together a roadmap for our own climate work and that carried out with the Espoo community and strengthen our carbon handprint. The new consumption-based emissions data will provide new information to support our climate work”, says Development Manager Niina Nousjärvi.

The model developed for the calculation provides new information on emissions from municipal residents’ activities, including those from building materials used and food consumed in the municipality.

“The new results reveal the emissions from the activities of the municipality’s residents that are not covered by traditional municipal emissions calculations. The broader knowledge base will support municipalities’ climate work, which also includes different actions to influence consumers’ choices,” says Emma Liljeström, Project Manager at Sitowise.

The calculation was carried out as part of the Kulma project, in which consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions were calculated for the first time in a comparable way for a large number of Finnish municipalities and cities. In addition to Espoo, 14 other municipalities participated in the project. The project was carried out by Sitowise Oy together with Natural Resources Institute Finland. The project was funded by the participating municipalities and the Sustainable Lahti Foundation. The calculation of emissions from food consumption was made possible by cooperation with the S Group.

More information

City of Espoo Development Manager Niina Nousjärvi, tel. +358 (0)40 6369 394, niina.nousjarvi@espoo.fi

Sitowise Project Manager Emma Liljeström, tel. +358 40 549 7875 emma.liljestrom@sitowise.com

espoo.fi/en/sustainable-development(extrernal link)

  • Sustainability
  • Climate