One of the main objectives in our purpose of “enabling sustainable societies with smart technology” is to strive for a clean and low emissions future. Our environmental management practices give full support to reaching this goal.
For Wärtsilä, environmental responsibility has two dimensions: products and operations. Most of the efforts to improve our environmental performance, including our operations, are conducted as part of the product development and improvement processes. This work is supported by operational measures, which are based on achieving high environmental standards and which seek constant improvement. We are also committed to continuous improvement in our environmental and social performance activities to avoid causing harm to those communities located close to our operations.
In order to ensure our ability to respond to future regulatory requirements, we actively monitor legislative initiatives and changes in environmental legislation. The majority of international environmental policies and requirements for Wärtsilä’s products and solutions are set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) / World Bank. At the regional or national level, organisations such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the European Union (EU), and emission standards such as in the USA, Germany, Japan, and India, are also important policy and regulatory directors for Wärtsilä products.
Wärtsilä offers solutions with zero or very low levels of emissions, and which comply to even the strictest local emission regulations, thereby contributing positively to air quality while minimising the impact on people’s health.
As our products have a long operational life, identifying the lifecycle impacts of our products is essential for understanding their total environmental impact. We manage the lifecycle of our products through their design, the careful selection of suppliers, production methods, and by optimising transportation, maintenance and repairs during the products’ operational life. The reconditioning of products and components increases their reliable service life, while modernising improves the existing operational performance of installations and enables our customers to meet tightening regulatory requirements.
The continual improvement in environmental performance requires us to consistently work in a systematic way. This work is guided by our strategy and environmental targets, our Code of Conduct, as well as policies relating to Quality, Environment, Health and Safety, coordinated and monitored by the cross-business Wärtsilä EHSS (Environment, Health, Safety and Security) team. In developing our operations, processes and products, we endeavour to utilise the latest technologies available for improving efficiency in areas such as material and energy consumption, as well as for reducing and managing emissions and waste throughout the lifecycle of our products and services.
Operations and products are continuously developed and improved with the help of certified environmental management systems. The principle means is to apply certified Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) management systems based on ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 / ISO 45001 in all Group companies, excluding those companies focusing purely on sales. Our EHS management systems cover all operations carried out by our subsidiaries. This promotes environmental protection and allows the reduction of adverse impacts to be carried out on a wide front.
Our EHS management system emphasises compliance with legal requirements, identifying and reducing environmental impacts and risks, training personnel and clearly defining their responsibilities, the full documentation of activities and procedures, actions to be taken in emergencies, and the continuous improvement of environmental performance. Our subsidiaries and business units set their own targets for covering the significant environmental aspects of their operations, and for monitoring the overall performance of their management systems. At the end of 2020, 55 Wärtsilä companies operated with a certified environmental management system. These certified environmental management systems cover roughly 87% of our total workforce.