Helsinki prepares to be carbon neutral in 2025 – Cruise Europe

Helsinki, the South Harbour (Courtesy Port of Helsinki Ltd - Mikael Kaplar, Studio Point, 2015)The Port of Helsinki is implementing a variety of measures in order to reduce its energy consumption and to meet its goal of being carbon neutral for its own operations next year.

This includes procuring energy from low- or zero-emission sources and carbon offsetting.

“So far, we have managed to reduce the emissions generated by our own operations to less than half of what they were in 2015, the reference year of the Port of Helsinki’s carbon neutrality programme, as a result of various energy efficiency measures and the procurement of carbon-free electricity,” says Andreas Slotte, head of sustainable development at the port.

“We have improved the energy efficiency of buildings, boosted the recycling and recovery of heating energy and switched to using LED lighting in harbour fields and properties. We have also increased our own solar power generation.”

Procuring the energy needed for its operation from carbon-free sources is part of the equation. The port switched to procuring carbon-free electricity in 2020. “Next year, we will also switch to using renewable district heating in our properties, the origin of which is guaranteed with the Finnish Energy Authority’s Guarantee of Origin,” adds Slotte.

Despite the above measures, a small amount of the port’s carbon emissions will have to be offset, such as a few remaining non-electric vehicles, less than 10 work machines and business trips.

The port has plans for a 25% reduction in vessel emissions by the year 2030, which includes onshore power supply (OPS). With four connections in place for ferries, it has plans for three large cruiseships to be a able to connect at West Harbour cruise quays by the end of this decade. The high cost of installation needs long-term commitment from the cruise lines and, hopefully, some funding from the EU.

Call numbers for this year are 99 compared to 90 in 2023, and more than 300 in 2019. The high utilisation rates of the ships indicates a healthy business. Looking ahead, calls are expected to reach 110 next year. Kaj Takolander, VP passenger services Port of Helsinki, says: “There are positive vibes in the market for 2026. We are expecting healthy growth and some new exciting initiatives. The re-defined northern Baltic Sea market is booming.”

(Helsinki prepares to be carbon neutral in 2025 – Cruise Europe)