Fortum launches electricity eco-labels

21 January 2008

Finnish utility Fortum will introduce two new eco-labels for electricity sold to business customers in Finland and Sweden. The labels will signify electricity produced with no carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, including nuclear-generated, and that produced entirely from renewable sources.


The company said that its Fortum Carbon Free eco-label would be used to identify electricity produced without CO2 emissions in the generation stage. This includes a mixture of nuclear-based power production and other CO2-neutral production, mainly hydroelectricity. In the future, the company said, the mixture may vary depending on the availability and prices of different environmental values.


The Fortum Renewable label would be used for electricity produced exclusively from renewable energy sources.


The new labels comply with the international standard ISO 14021 "Environmental labels and declarations, self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labelling). In addition, the Fortum Renewable label is based on the EU directive-compliant guaranteed origin of energy produced from renewable energy sources and has been included in the green certificate interest group's RECS International Quality Standard system.


Fortum's eco-labelled electricity will be produced in the company's Nordic generating facilities. An independent auditor will annually verify that the eco-labelled electricity production corresponds to the amount of the electricity sold.


All Fortum's new, large corporate customers will automatically receive Fortum Carbon Free labelled electricity, with no separate environmental surcharge. In addition, the company's approximately 1000 existing customers will be switched to Fortum Carbon Free electricity. Corporate customers can include Fortum Renewable labelled electricity in their supply agreement for an extra cost.


Fortum said that its long-term goal is for all its electricity to be generated with no greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, over 80% of the company's electricity production is CO2-free and over 40% is produced from renewable energy sources.


Jukka Toivonen, vice president of large customer sales at Fortum Markets, said: "The decision to adopt our own eco-labels stemmed from the wishes of our customers. The content of the eco-labels was also driven by customer demand. With the new eco-labels, we are helping our customers make decisions that are important in terms of the future." He noted that customer surveys indicated that almost 100% of Fortum's large business customers want to purchase CO2-free electricity and the company was keen to ensure they had that opportunity.


Fortum owns the Loviisa nuclear power plant in Finland, which has an output of 976 MWe. In addition, Fortum owns shares in the Finnish Olkiluoto power plant of Teollisuuden Voima Oy (TVO), corresponding to 447 MWe of power, and in the Swedish Oskarshamn and Forsmark nuclear power plants, corresponding to 1647 MWe of power. Fortum also owns a 400-MWe share of the total 1600 MWe of the new unit 3 of the Olkiluoto power plant, currently under construction.


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