Fingrid plays a role that touches the everyday lives of everyone in Finland. Consumers may not be aware of this role. It is our duty to support the value choices that consumers make by enabling clean electricity – wind power, hydro power, nuclear power – to be connected to the main grid. However, consumers expect an uninterrupted supply of electricity, whatever the weather, and – for example – buyers of wind power do not always think about how the electricity supply can be assured if the wind is not blowing. This is Fingrid’s work.
“It is completely understandable for consumers to be unaware of Fingrid’s role because they do not deal with us directly. In that sense, we are large and unknown among the general public,” says Marina Louhija, Fingrid’s General Counsel, who is responsible for corporate responsibility affairs.
Reliable electricity, functional processes
The security of energy supply is instrumental for Fingrid’s customers. Industrial production processes demand uninterrupted electricity transmission, which means that electricity must be supplied without even the slightest outage. Power cuts can easily disrupt processes and, in the worst-case scenario, give rise to substantial financial losses.
In the future, electricity will also be needed to help combat climate change. The intention is to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation and use clean energy to reduce the emissions from other sectors (heating, transport, industrial processes).
“Finnish society is dependent on electricity, and it is our mission to ensure the availability of electricity. We provide a transmission grid that combines clean electricity generation with electricity consumers, enabling clean energy to reach the market. If the transmission grid did not have enough capacity, electricity generation would need to be restricted. This is often overlooked in public discourse,” Louhija points out.
Increasing the amount of renewable energy carries many opportunities, but also risks. One example is wind power, which is expanding rapidly in Finland as it is elsewhere in the world. Even when the wind conditions are favourable, the electricity generated by wind turbines would not make it to customers without Fingrid maintaining a constant balance between electricity generation and consumption.
“Balancing electricity generation and consumption is one of our fundamental tasks. We are responsible for keeping the electricity system in balance so that users receive electricity without interruptions.”
Powered by good management
When corporate responsibility is discussed, the topic often turns to environmental and social responsibility. Companies also need clear management targets, and Marina Louhija says that good governance lays the foundation for everything else. Corporate responsibility management must be clear. It must be possible to monitor corporate responsibility targets and evaluate the achievement of such targets.
Companies also need risk management principles that enable them to control any corporate responsibility risks they have identified.
According to Louhija, responsibility is easy to internalise at Fingrid, as everything that is done in the company has a special societal significance. In one way or another, corporate responsibility is in everyone’s inbox. Fingrid plays a part in keeping the wheels turning in Finland, thereby creating value for society.
“When you think about it, we have a huge number of everyday duties that concern corporate responsibility. This means that our operating culture needs to be in good shape. This is what we are focusing on now and will continue to focus on in the future.”