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Emissions and wastes

Emissions to the air

The primary source of manufacturing noise is engine test runs and ventilation machinery on factory roofs. This noise is mostly low frequency and is therefore not easily detected by the human ear. Wärtsilä has specifically addressed the issue of noise protection using technical means and has succeeded in lowering noise levels considerably. However, noise abatement is a continuous need and requires regular monitoring.

Air emissions are mainly caused by test runs and the painting of completed engines or other Wärtsilä products. Test run emissions consist of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxides (CO2) and particles, as well as small amounts of other emission components. The painting of engines and other Wärtsilä products generates VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions. Engine emissions are reduced through research and development, as well as product development and testing. These measures also generate emissions, but their results reduce the future emissions of manufactured engines.

In addition to direct CO2 emissions, Wärtsilä's operations generate indirect CO2 emissions. In 2010, the calculated secondary CO2 emissions were 58,002 tons (62,211) (from purchased electricity and heat) and CO2 emissions from flights totalled 35,060 tons (37,882).

Wärtsilä has taken several measures to reduce its indirect CO2 emissions; the energy efficiency commitment aims to reduce energy consumption and emissions. In addition, Wärtsilä's focus lies on reducing travelling by implementing a strict travel policy and by using three main virtual meeting concepts: Office Communicator, which enables live chats between two persons or more; Live meetings allowing multi-person meetings from personal computers in which presentation material can be shared; and the Telepresence videoconferencing system. Wärtsilä Live and Telepresence are in everyday use. Approximately 400 Live-meetings are arranged daily and there are 25 Telepresence rooms established in Wärtsilä premises in 16 countries.

Waste management

Manufacturing activities cause various wastes. These are divided into two main categories: hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. Hazardous wastes include cutting fluids, various types of waste oil, paints and solvents, oily wastes and solid wastes etc. Hazardous wastes are taken to a hazardous waste disposal facility for appropriate treatment. All Wärtsilä companies sort their waste according to local municipal regulations. Generally speaking the main sorting categories are: waste to be incinerated, crude waste for landfills, clean cardboard and waste paper. Waste wood, scrap metal and metal swarf are collected separately. Only coarse waste and in some cases waste wood are removed for landfill disposal. Other wastes are used either as raw materials or for energy.

Waste management in Wärtsilä has four aims:

  • To reduce the amount of waste generated in processes
  • To use waste as a material
  • To use waste as energy
  • To dispose of waste in an environmentally sound way.