Finnish power companies often don’t know the source of the energy products that they purchase from abroad, according to the results of a fresh survey published on Wednesday by the global corporate responsibility organisation Finnwatch.
According to Finnwatch, many electricity providers may be unwittingly buying from countries considered to be at risk of producing high carbon emissions, such as China and India, which are among the big producers of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide . The NGO added that companies in the supply chain may be neglecting their responsibility to minimise emissions.
"Finland is working hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as it should. At the same time, companies are importing billions of euros of [energy] products into our markets from countries where they are made using coal and other fossil fuels," the corporate responsibility watchdog said in a Facebook post.
"Activities that are damaging the climate are outsourced to the supply chain and the use of coal in Asian producers such as China and India is growing. In the study published today we are calling for immediate action to address this problem," it continued.
Finnwatch: Consumers also bear responsibility
The study found that a majority of participating firms said they did not know what energy sources risk countries such as China and India used to create energy products. The companies that said they did know, confirmed that some energy production came from fossil fuels.
None of the firms interviewed said that it had incorporated carbon footprint mitigating requirements into purchasing agreements in these countries.
Finnwatch executive director Sonja Finér noted that consumers should also shoulder some responsibility for the situation.
"Many people in Finland accuse China and other Asian countries for burning coal and accelerating the risk to the climate. It’s high time they realise that Finnish companies and our domestic consumption are feeding fossil energy consumption in production countries," Finér said in a statement on Wednesday.
The report contains information about 35 companies providing energy products for the consumer market in Finland.
Finér described the results of the study as surprising, since the respondents already conduct oversight of their subcontractors in risk countries and many of them could be described as pioneers in corporate responsibility in many respects.
Finnwatch is supported by a group of 11 local development, consumer, labour and environmental organisations.