Year 2023: How Kuusakoski performed from an emission accounting perspective

For Kuusakoski, 2023 was ambiguous year from an emission accounting perspective. Overall emissions have decreased by 13 % during the last two years. On one hand, specific emissions, i.e. emissions per tonne transported, increased. Life cycle expert Sara Tikka summarises the key takeaways from Kuusakoski’s sustainability year from an emission accounting perspective.

Our operating environment became challenging towards the end of 2023 with a reduction in recyclable materials and lower demand from end customers. In 2023, we received a total of 870,350 tonnes of recyclable materials for processing across all our country-units, which was 10 % less than the previous year. However, our total emissions decreased by just over 4% from the previous year, totalling around 74 000 t CO2e. The largest emission reductions were achieved in direct (Scope 1) emissions from our operations. Our energy intensity, however, increased slightly, so the changes in Scope 2 emissions were more moderate.

Due to the nature of Kuusakoski's business, most of the emissions from our operations are generated from logistics, setting it therefore at the heart of Kuusakoski's emission reduction plans. While emissions from road transport have been reduced continuously through better planning and management, overall emissions from logistics increased slightly from the previous year. This is because in 2023 we increased the volume of sea transport, which had a notable impact on our logistics emissions, as the distances transported increased significantly.

Even though we fell slightly short of our annual emission reduction targets, we are already 13 % ahead of our long-term emission targets.

In the long term, however, we are on track with our emission reduction targets. Reducing emissions from our own operations and the entire value chain is an important goal for us, and one that we will push forward with increasing vigour in the years to come. Our goal is to make Kuusakoski Recycling’s own operations carbon neutral by 2035 and the entire value chain carbon neutral by 2045. Even though we fell slightly short of our annual emission reduction targets, we are already 13 % ahead of our long-term emission targets.

Our recycling business reduces global environmental impacts, as every tonne of recycled product and raw material in our operations enables a significant reduction in emissions in the form of avoided emissions. These emission reductions are realised when our customers replace virgin raw materials with recycled raw materials, or fossil fuels with bio- and recycled fuels. In 2023, the emissions avoided through our activities amounted to 1.39 million tonnes of CO2e. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of around 560 000 passenger cars.

For the future, it is important to invest in more energy and material efficient production. We closely monitor the emissions of our operations and have set annual targets to improve energy efficiency and material recycling rates alongside our long-term targets. In addition to these, we are constantly striving for emission reductions by improving our operations and investing in green projects that will also deliver emission reductions in the long term.

Read more from our Sustainability Report 2023

emission accounting overall emissions carbon neutral value chain logistics