Monitoring the state of the surrounding environment at the refineries provides long-term perspective

Neste monitors air quality and conducts forest ecosystem bio-indicator studies carried out by an external party approximately every five years in Porvoo and Uusimaa regions in Finland. Our time series data regarding the state of the environment surrounding our refineries are comprehensive and reach far back. 

With the bio-indicator studies, we monitor primarily the effects of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the forest environment. According to the latest one of these, a study carried out in 2014, there has been a slight step back in the condition of lichens both in Uusimaa and Porvoo regions, but the situation in the close proximity to our refinery has remained unchanged. In the long term, the state of the environment has been greatly improved thanks to the reduction of emissions. The improved state of the environment can be expected to lead to better ecosystem services.

A research report from 1965 (before Neste built its refinery in Porvoo) provides a good example of our long-term environmental monitoring. The report, based on a study that Neste had commissioned then, describes the condition of the sediment on the seabed in the marine area surrounding the location where the company nowadays has its refinery.

According to the report, the sea areas were not very clean even then, due to other emission sources in the area. Our time series covering 50 years and concerning the sea conditions show that when the refinery was started up and discharges of oil-containing water began to take place, the condition of the sea and seabed deteriorated. The situation has gradually improved, however, when the discharge of oil-containing water has been reduced since the 1970s. The current situation corresponds to the general state of the Finnish Gulf coast.