Finland, making a difference with green logistics

The Finns are very much known from keeping their promises. In pursuit of its ambitious sustainability goals, Finland is putting significant effort into transitioning its logistics infrastructure towards greener alternatives. For numerous industries, this green infrastructure serves as a crucial tool in achieving imperative sustainability objectives.

Carbon-neutral airports, electrified harbors, and a rapid move towards full electrification of road transports – that’s the way Finns like it!

Finland is served by an excellent network of roads, railways, waterways, canals, and sea lanes. Good transports are a must in this northern corner of the world, and in 2023, Finland was ranked second among 139 countries in the global Logistics Performance Index. The index, created by the World Bank, studies key areas of logistics performance, such as quality of trade and transport infrastructure, customs operations, as well as cost-effectiveness and timeliness of shipments.

Being top of class, however, is not enough when one’s goal is building a better future. Finland has made, and continues to make, enormous investments in turning Finnish logistics and transports green in the coming next years. Operating a business in and from Finland is therefore inherently sustainable, whether the business entails transporting shipments to and from a Finnish factory or delivering products to B2B customers or consumers.

A global forerunner in electrified road transports

The Finnish Government has vowed to halve the domestic traffic emissions by 2030 and eliminate emissions completely by 2045 (compared to 2005 levels). For this goal, electrified road transports are key. Over 90% of Finnish traffic emissions come from road traffic, out of which 40% stem from heavy transports. To reach the planned emissions cut, every third kilometer driven on Finnish roads in 2030 must be electrically powered.

The replacement of old cars with electric ones, the implementation of sustainable public transports, the increased use of renewable fuels, and the digitalization of road infrastructure is well under way in Finland. Likewise, the electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is quickly maturing in the country, and according to LeasePlan, Finland ranks number seven among European countries in EV readiness, consequently also taking a position in the global lead. An example of Finland’s rapid road electrification is the increased number of fast, high-power charging stations in Finland, which during 2022 grew by as much as 120%.

Carbon-neutral airports and air traffic

Out of Finland’s 24 airports, 20 are already carbon-neutral and will reach zero net emissions by 2025. The country’s first carbon-neutral airports are Rovaniemi, Kittilä, Ivalo, and Kuusamo in Lapland. In 2024, Finland’s largest airport, Helsinki Airport, will follow suit. The end goal, however, is not mere carbon neutrality, but carbon negativity.

For Finland’s regional air traffic needs, climate-efficient electric aviation is a viable option now under development. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom estimates that electric aviation will commence regional operation by the end of this decade, and in 2030, electric airplanes will be commonplace for transporting small passenger and delivery volumes. Electric aviation is particularly well-suited for crossing geographical obstacles, such as mountains and waterways, and route options are currently under investigation in the Kvarken region in Western Finland and up North in Lapland.

Port electrification well underway

While the electrification of the Finnish car park is ongoing, the electric transformation of Finnish ports is far along. Finnish harbor modernizations have for years already focused on the comprehensive electrification of ships, harbor machinery, heavy road transportation and general port activities.

Just as Finland’s airports, many Finnish ports are aiming for carbon neutrality in the coming few years. The first to reach this goal is the Port of Hanko, which will be fully carbon neutral by 2024. The Port of Helsinki likewise strives to reach carbon neutrality by 2035. One of its carbon-cutting measures is providing docking ships with renewably produced shore-side electricity, which will reduce ships’ port-side carbon emissions by as much as 50-80%.