ABO Wind – A responsible contributor to the renewable energy sector

ABO Wind is an international family business born out of a burning desire to fight against climate change. As a renewable energy operator ABO Wind has been implementing wind power projects in Finland since 2013. ABO Wind is often also responsible for the sustainable maintenance of wind farms.

Green Carbon calculated the biodiversity footprint and the amount of ecological compensation of a wind power project in the planning phase for ABO Wind. Based on this calculation, measures were defined to avoid and minimize the biodiversity footprint.

"At ABO Wind, we have always wanted to be a trustworthy partner and a fair player in every respect. In spring 2023, we decided that we wanted to be at the forefront of Finland's renewable energy industry, doing impressive sustainability work. Green Carbon was quickly selected as our trusted expert partner," says Reetta Nurmo, Director of Communications & Public Affairs at ABO Wind, explaining the background to the incorporation of biodiversity into ABO Wind's sustainability work.

Reetta Nurmo (centre) and colleagues Annika and Kalle on a visit to the Pajuperänkangas wind farm.

Biodiversity footprint calculation identifies damage to nature, ecological compensation helps to compensate it

ABO Wind’s business is based on combating climate change, but the company also recognizes the impact of its own activities on nature. By calculating the biodiversity footprint, a quantified impact on biodiversity can be identified. That impact can then be minimized and compensated for through ecological offsetting.

"Increasing wind power is in itself an act for a better future. However, it is not enough; at the same time, it is also industrial construction, which has an impact on biodiversity. It is therefore also our responsibility to recognize our nature impact and to take steps to avoid and minimize our biodiversity footprint." Nurmo says.

Biodiversity road map puts the environmental sustainability plan into practice

The next natural progression after calculating the biodiversity footprint is to draw up a biodiversity road map. That points out the way forward in environmental sustainability. In its ambitious sustainability work, ABO Wind wanted to be one of the first to make full use of the tools Green Carbon offers. The road map mapped the current state of ABO Wind’s climate and nature work and the most significant climate and nature impacts. The road map also sets out a vision and a goal, and outlines concrete measures to mitigate the impacts.

"We have not set out to do a sustainability project, but to create the structures that will make our operations more sustainable every day. The biodiversity road map is an essential part of this work." Nurmo explains.

A forest tour on the sustainability day and taking into account the specificities of business

Calculating the biodiversity footprint of land-use projects require an on-site nature inventory and knowledge of the specific characteristics of Finnish habitat types. The choice of ABO as a partner was also influenced by the values of localness.

"For us, localness where we operate is particularly important. Green Carbon is a domestic operator that knows the Finnish forests and their special features. The company also has specific expertise for all our needs, whether it's calculating the biodiversity footprint or designing acts of environmental sustainability." Nurmo explains the choice of partner

ABO Wind also held a sustainability day for its staff, to which Kimmo Koistinen, Operations Manager at Green Carbon, was invited. Nurmo feels that as a partner, Green Carbon has taught ABO, which was already committed to sustainability, even more during the collaboration:

"We have learned a lot.! A trip to the forest with Kimmo on our sustainability day taught the whole staff about calculating and offsetting our natural footprint. The evaluation of the Tornimäki wind power project taught us how, with relatively small modifications, we can develop our projects to take better account of the surrounding nature. The road map project has also introduced us to the basics of climate impacts and increased our understanding of how to calculate our carbon footprint."

Sustainability programme and scaling up environmental work

ABO Wind is set to launch its first sustainability programme in early 2024, and the company feels that Green Carbon has played a key role in inspiring the programme’s goals and actions for the coming years. The sustainability programme will include the introduction of a carbon footprint calculation methodology in the first quarter to monitor as accurately as possible the actual climate impact of operations. It will also be scaled up to new wind power projects.

"It is clear that we will continue to need Green Carbon's expertise to develop our operations and introduce new approaches." Nurmo explains the background of our partnership with ABO Wind.

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