Aurinkopaneeleja myymälän katolla

S Group offsets CO2 emissions of three of its stores through verified carbon removal certificates

S Group is offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions of three of its stores by purchasing verified CO2removal in Puro, a new Finnish marketplace for auctioning verified CO2 removal certificates to balance out environmental impact. The marketplace, which came into operation in May, is the first of its kind in the world.


“S group has been involved with about 20 other companies in the development of Puro, which is led by the energy company Fortum. At the three auctions that have so far been held, S Group purchased carbon sequestration certificates for two S-Market stores and one Alepa store,” says Lea Rankinen, Senior Vice President for Corporate Responsibility at SOK.

These three stores, all in Espoo, are the Saunalahti and Karaportti S-Markets, and the Alepa store in Tuomarila. These stores are all quite new, and according to HOK-Elanto responsibility manager Satu Kattilamäki, their climate emissions levels have been significantly reduced from the design stage onwards.

“We have not compromised on our ambitious emissions reduction targets – what we have done is offset the CO2 emissions that we have not yet been able to prevent at these locations.”

S Group aims to reduce its climate emissions by 60 per cent by 2030 from the 2015 level. Progress has been swift: by the end of 2018, climate emissions had already been reduced by 38 per cent. Energy use in the stores is optimised, LED lighting is used, and they also make use of condensate heat. In addition, a solar panel system was installed at the Karaportti K-Market store, and will provide as much as 10 per cent of the annual electricity need.

A place in the market for carbon farming?

At present, three scientifically proven methods for sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere can be purchased in Puro, the CO2 removal marketplace run by Fortum. In these methods, carbon is locked either to carbonated building elements, to wooden building elements, or as solid carbon in biochar.

In future, it will be possible to adopt new methods of carbon removal in Puro once the methodologies for their quantification and verification are developed and approved.

S Group is also supporting a separate pilot project to determine the prospects for carbon sequestration in agricultural soil. This could provide farmers with a new income source.

“In a pilot project called Carbon Action, run by the Baltic Sea Action Group and the Finnish Meteorological Institute, more than a hundred farmers are testing tillage and cultivation measures for increasing the carbon-binding capacity of soil. Once the best methods have been discovered and scientifically verified over the next few years, it could enable farmers to sell verified carbon sequestration on the marketplace,” Rankinen says.

Alongside the Carbon Action pilot, S Group is also supporting the Pro Agria rural advisory services organisation in its efforts to provide practical training for farmers in carbon farming. Training is scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2019.

More information:

Lea Rankinen, Senior Vice President for Corporate Responsibility, SOK, tel. +358 10 768 2453

Satu Kattilamäki, Responsibility Manager, HOK-Elanto, +358 10 766 0651 

Photo: Yhteishyvä/Lauri Rotko

Photos: SOK

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