Chief Policy Adviser
tel. +358 50 383 7711
Low-carbon roadmap for Finnish commerce
Commerce is a major economic actor with a large volume of domestic purchases. It covers fast-moving consumer goods, speciality goods trade as well as technical and wholesale trade.
Current and target state
Current emissions from the commerce sector’s own operations are 0.5 Mt CO2/a and it annually consumes 3993 GWh of electricity and 2365 GWh of heat. In the most ambitious commerce climate scenario, carbon neutrality is achieved by 2035 with the support of compensation activities. By 2050, the sector could drop its emission close to zero with additional measures.
Carbon-neutral commerce can be expedited by 15 years by reducing the tax on electricity and supporting the small-scale production of renewable energy, for example.
Key measures to reduce emissions from commerce’s own operations concern energy use and logistics. Although electricity consumption is estimated to increase due to the electrification of processes, the need for purchased energy can be reduced by increasing own production of renewable energy. Since the sector possesses vast unutilised roof and land areas, dedicated small-scale production of renewable energy could be implemented. In addition, machines and production capacity will need to be upgraded extensively.
The transformation of commerce into services also supports the carbon neutral transition with new business models, which include leasing and life cycle solutions. According to the roadmap, the staff skills and customer solutions have also been future-proofed. Moreover, the industry has signed several voluntary agreements regarding increased energy efficiency and material efficiency.
Needs and requirements
The commerce roadmap finds that more extensive statistics regarding energy use, logistics and circular economy are needed to further analyse and target measures and monitor industry functions. Furthermore, it is noted that market and regulatory control is important in achieving a level playing field and maintaining competitiveness with e-commerce and non-EU operators. For instance, support for investments is required to update the used equipment with more energy efficient options. Moreover, the procurement criteria of the public sector should quickly be adjusted to include carbon footprints for the competitive offering of solutions that are in line with the climate policy.
Future and positive impacts
The commerce handprint is spread along the entire value and supply chain, from source to consumers. Convenience goods and specialty goods are an interface into private consumption and emission reducing alternatives can be offered. Technical goods can enable and accelerate transformation in infrastructure and housing.
Did you know that...?
• Commerce is the largest business sector and contributes approximately 10% of the Finnish GDP
• Commerce is the largest employer and by far the largest youth employer in the Finnish economic sector industry
• The commerce direct emissions cover only 1 % of Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions