How can carbon-neutral business operations be carried out in an industrial area?
Guide to creating a carbon-neutral industrial area
industrial areas, carbon-neutral, business, Porttipuisto, Hakkila, electricity, heating, traffic, outdoor lighting
The guide outlines measures that help industrial areas move towards carbon-neutral business operations. The industrial areas Porttipuisto and Hakkila in Vantaa were the sites in the guide, which focused on carbon-neutral electricity, heating and traffic. The guide also draws attention to improving and reducing emissions from outdoor lighting in industrial areas.
This solution is suitable for
- cities that aim to be carbon-neutral and would like to motivate companies to contribute to achieving this goal;
- cities that want to know how industrial areas can be made carbon-neutral.
- Location: Porttipuisto and Hakkila in eastern Vantaa
- Life cycle: design phase
- Organisers: City of Vantaa, AFRY Oy, SteraLux Oy
- Time span: 2019–2021
Benefits of carbon-neutral industrial areas
Commercial properties in Porttipuisto and Hakkila industrial areas are connected to the district heating network. The floor area of all the buildings in the areas is well over half a million square metres, so the carbon footprint from energy production is very big. All of the properties in these areas are privately owned, so the city cannot decide on how to introduce new forms of energy. This is why the guide describes various measures to encourage companies to adopt carbon-neutral alternatives that would also benefit them financially.
Vantaan Energia is developing a low-carbon, even carbon-neutral, district heating network. The extension of the waste-to-energy plant in 2022 will play a part in this, as it will make it possible to phase out the use of coal. The company also offers recycled heat options, which can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of industrial areas.
Incentives to use new energy options
Measures taken by Vantaan Energia directly reduce companies’ emissions as the district heating system’s emission factor decreases. Companies can already choose a carbon-neutral district heating option for an additional fee, which will be scrapped, making the option even more attractive.
The city plays an important role as an energy adviser for companies. The city must provide information about investments and construction projects and also make it easier for companies to carry out work that requires permits in industrial areas. The city should also encourage companies to carry out energy audits and speed up the development of company- and industrial area-specific measures to improve energy efficiency. In terms of transportation, the city has a responsibility to improve conditions for commuting in particular. A point that has been largely ignored is that streamlining traffic flows with traffic light settings would reduce travel time and cut emissions. The city should also try to make use of traffic data in industrial areas to ensure that the traffic runs as smoothly as possible. The availability of renewable fuels in the industrial areas must be guaranteed: companies need to have access to gas and charging infrastructure.
- Every industrial area is different but they all benefit from support from the city.
- The city should not try to force companies into carbon neutrality but offer incentives instead.
- Savings are the most important reason for companies to try to achieve the carbon neutrality goals.