Used energy can be divided into electricity, heating and steam. We purchase energy for our factories from external suppliers. Part of electricity and steam is generated by ourselves.
In our factories about 25% of all used energy is produced with renewable energy sources. In our Finnish factory the share is highest, around 86%. In 2020, only electricity generated by wind and hydropower was procured for the Finnish operations. Steam is generated in the nearby biomass power plant. In the US factory solar panels provide energy to our administration building.
Our Energy efficiency workgroup continued its activities in 2020. Unfortunately, we did not achieve our target of reducing our yearly energy consumption by 1% per production ton in 2020. This is mainly because of the reduced production levels due to the pandemic. However, the target of reducing energy consumption by 3% was already exceeded in 2018, and the total reduction was 10.4% between 2016 and 2019.
Starting from 2021, our target for reducing energy consumption by 10% (base year 2015) will be a part of our 2025 sustainability targets and will not be reported as a yearly goal, but as a goal that has to be reached as a whole by 2025.
CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2)
We calculate our tire production’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from raw material purchasing to the disposal of the product in compliance with the ISO 14064 standard. Our Russian and US factories use own power stations for generating part of the energy it needs. Therefore, the factory’s direct GHG emissions exceed those of the factory in Finland.
We were seeking a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, and a 30% reduction by 2030. The point of reference comprises our 2013 Scope 1 and scope 2 emissions in relation to production. The actual reduction from 2013 was 33% in 2020, which means that we met and exceeded the target.
In 2020, our location-based scope 2 emissions were approximately 42,100 tons CO2 eq. The emission calculation is based on the average emissions intensity of grids in Finland, Russia and the US. Market-based scope 2 emissions were approximately 20,600 tons CO2 eq.
Nokian Tyres wants to contribute to tackling climate change by setting ambitious science-based climate targets. In May 2018, Nokian Tyres joined the Science Based Targets initiative with the aim of setting more precise targets that are assessed and validated by an external organization.
Nokian Tyres reached its previously set targets to reduce CO2 emissions well ahead of schedule. The new climate goals, Science Based Targets, were published in May 2020. The four targets are in line with the Paris Agreement, and base year for the first three targets is 2018 and 2015 for the fourth target. All the targets should be achieved by 2030.
VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS, VOCS
Solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) form our most significant emissions into air. As the legislation concerning VOC emissions is country-specific, our calculation and reporting of VOC emissions varies by country.
In Finland, we calculate the VOC emissions according to the EU VOC directive, which is based on the used solvents. We use solvents in our factory only in the production of heavy tires (also known as industrial tires).
The VOCs from the assembly of heavy tires are collected and conveyed to a catalytic incineration plant. However, collecting solvent emissions from the production of heavy tires poses a challenge. In the production of heavy tires, it is not possible to seal the emission sources in such a way that all emissions could be collected and conveyed for incineration.
In Finland, we aim to comply with the total emission limit set in environmental permit, which is 60% of the solvents used. In 2020, the total solvent emissions were 71% of used solvents, so we exceeded the limit.
No solvents are used in tire manufacture at our Russian and US factories. According to the local legislation, emissions are calculated based on usage of raw materials. VOC emissions are generated due to the raw materials used in the processes.
PARTICLE EMISSIONS (DUST)
Particle emissions are caused by the processing of powdery chemicals in our compound mixing department. The mixing equipment is fitted with effective ventilation and dustcollection devices, and the best separation rates achieved by water cleaners exceed 99%. We measure particle emissions with particle concentration and differential pressure gauges. In addition, outside experts carry out regular concentration measurements.
The measured particle concentrations have complied with the permit limits at both of our factories. The dust that passes through the filter system mainly causes an aesthetic inconvenience and poses no harm to the environment or health.
EMISSIONS FROM ENERGY PRODUCTION
An independent company annually measures the nitrogen and sulfur emissions from energy production at our factory in Russia. Our nitrogen and sulfur emissions are below the set emission limits.
As the environmental permit for the US factory is still in process by the authorities, we operate under the air permit for construction phase. This is why the emissions are not measured at the moment.
You can see our NOx and SOx emissions from our Corporate Sustainability Report 2020.
According to surveys that we have commissioned, odor emissions are momentary. The mastication process for softening natural rubber causes discharges of compounds during the precipitation and dehydration phases of rubber milk that results in an unpleasant odor in the near surroundings. We use droplet separators for reducing the odors from mastication. We have also managed to lower the number of separate mastication processes, thereby reducing the related odors.
Our factories have introduced new odor control equipment that represents the best available technology (BAT). In our Russian and US factories, the technology covers all the mixing lines, whereas in Finland the technology is being implemented gradually during 2021. We have also managed to lower the number of separate mastication processes, thereby reducing the related odors.
Some odors are generated during the tire curing process. The quantity of the curing fumes released in the process is directly proportional to the amount of cured rubber. The concentrations of individual substances in the fumes are very small.
Our production facilities have noise limits subject to their environmental permits. We regularly track and measure noise emissions. According to the measurements, we are below the noise limits.