As a member of the RE100 initiative, Vaisala, a global provider of weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, has achieved its target to use 100% renewable electricity by the end of 2020. The goal covered all Vaisala’s facilities with significant energy consumption around the globe and was reached with the combination of self-produced clean energy in Finland and the Unites States as well as green electricity from local energy companies. Among Finnish companies, Vaisala is the first technology company and second overall to achieve the RE100 target. In total, 17 companies in the Nordics have committed to RE100.
Sustainable solutions and business practices have always been at the core of Vaisala. In 2015, Vaisala joined RE100, the Climate Group’s global initiative encouraging the world’s most influential companies to make a 100% renewable electricity commitment within a clear timeframe. Vaisala set the target to use 100% renewable electricity in its facilities by the end of 2020.
“As the environmental and economic impacts of climate change increase, we need to implement different mitigation practices. We see that the private sector needs to be a key driver of change and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Therefore, I am proud to say Vaisala has achieved the important goal of using 100% renewable electricity,” says Kai Öistämö, President and CEO of Vaisala.
Mike Peirce, Corporate Partnerships Director at the Climate Group, says, “By rapidly switching to 100% renewable power, Vaisala is leading by example and showing it makes business sense – even in these challenging times. Vaisala’s success will inspire others to strive for the same goal and walk the talk on sustainable technologies – if we’re to halve emissions this decade, there’s no time to lose.”
Combination of both self-produced and purchased electricity
Following the initiative, Vaisala took several actions to ensure 100% renewable electricity in its facilities with significant energy consumption. In total, 14 Vaisala facilities around the world are powered by renewables. The target was achieved with a combination of self-produced energy and green electricity products purchased from local energy companies.
94% of the electricity that Vaisala’s facilities consume comes directly from renewable sources, mainly from wind power. This 94% comprises Vaisala’s largest facilities, where it is possible to affect consumption with self-produced energy and local green energy. For instance, Vaisala’s manufacturing sites in Finland and the United States use solar panels to produce clean energy.
The remaining 6% consists mostly of small office facilities where Vaisala is not the sole proprietor of the building and therefore cannot directly choose to consume renewable electricity. This remaining part was covered by purchasing unbundled renewable energy attribute certificates from the market. An energy attribute certificate is a market-based instrument that proves that 1 MWh of renewable energy has been produced in the same region. With these certificates, Vaisala was able to cover electricity consumption on those sites that cannot negotiate their own electricity contracts.
Contributing to a future powered by renewable energy
Throughout its 85-year history, Vaisala has created innovations that help to build a better future by mitigating environmental impacts but also adapting to them. Vaisala’s solutions for weather and environment as well as for industrial sectors help customers to make smart decisions concerning weather events and the use of energy and other resources. For instance, wind energy operators and biogas producers can get reliable measurement data on their operations and thus produce sustainable energy efficiently. In this way, Vaisala helps to increase the amount of and access to clean energy globally.
“The positive handprint of our business is formed through our multitude of measurement solutions. We are strongly involved in the renewable energy industry through our customers, but it is also essential that we advance the use of renewable energy sources in our own operations. By ensuring that our facilities consume 100% renewable electricity, we can also decrease our own carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future,” Öistämö concludes.