Our research supports the sustainable and responsible use of natural resources. We promote the green transition and the achievement of carbon neutrality goals in Finland and via our international cooperation. In our own operations, we aim to minimise the negative environmental impacts of our actions by reducing our footprint.
Our sustainability work aims to create a positive handprint – a positive impact on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We strive to prevent and minimise the negative environmental impacts of our operations. We take environmental considerations into account in our operations, in line with the principles of GTK`s environmental policy.
GTK’s priorities in environmental responsibility:
- Environmental policy and promoting its objectives
- Footprint mapping and reduction (procurement, travel, premises)
We base GTK’s environmental policy on our organisation’s objective: we offer solutions based on geoscientific understanding to society and companies to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and carbon-neutral world.
Our operations comply with the official regulations related to environmental legislation and operations as well as the objectives defined in GTK’s environmental policy. We take environmental aspects into consideration in directing data collection and research activities, services provided to customers, personnel training and other development. We ensure that the environmental laws, other regulations, and guidelines related to our operations are available to our personnel.
We take sustainable and environmentally responsible operating methods into consideration in project management and project practices. We minimise the environmental impacts of field work and travel. We are currently preparing to report on the ecological, social and economic footprint data related to our operations.
As an expert in geological data and processes that modify soil, GTK examines environmental impacts in an extensive and multidisciplinary manner. We ensure the necessary contacts with different stakeholders when assessing environmental aspects. We support the authorities in decision-making by issuing statements on topics within the scope of our expertise upon request; most of the requests for statements are related to the environmental impacts of planned activities. The Environmental Protection Act defines GTK as an expert organisation in statements concerning environmental permits. In accordance with good administrative practice, we do not issue statements on matters that have been subject to a paid report.
Geological sciences play an important role in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally. Geological research promotes, among other matters, the management of the impacts of climate change, supports decision-making on environmental changes and protection, and ensures the adequacy and sustainable use of critical raw materials. GTK has prioritised five UN Sustainable Development Goals, which we can promote significantly and effectively through our core activities. These priority goals include all key areas of environmental sustainability. A primary UN Sustainable Development Goal is defined for each GTK’s project. The project’s objectives must support this goal.
We monitor the implementation of our environmental policy and any related practices. The management’s annual quality review states the measures taken to promote the goals related to quality and environment as well as the status of the development measures agreed upon in the previous review. The annual sustainability report is an important monitoring mechanism. It reports to our stakeholders the measures we have taken.
Internal guidelines help us take environmental impacts into consideration. For example, the procurement guidelines describe the necessary steps for including environmental impacts in tendering. The field work risk checklist provides instructions for checking the state of the environment and follow-up measures that should be marked as completed once the field work is finished. Responsible parties for monitoring compliance with environmental guidelines are appointed.
We require subcontractors to familiarise themselves with GTK’s environmental policy and goals when providing services and encourage them to follow the same principles.
GTK’s environmental goals
- Complying with the common environmental objectives of the central government.
- Improving and maintaining personnel’s environmental awareness.
- Taking environmental aspects into consideration in the directing of data collection and research activities and in services provided to customers.
- When outsourcing services, using suppliers who commit to complying with GTK’s environmental policy.
- Appropriately and continuously reducing the environmental load caused by our operations, for example, by the following means: we favour low-emission modes of travel; we strive to use nearly paperless working methods; we make socially, economically and ecologically sustainable procurement decisions; we reduce the adverse effects of field work; we improve the efficiency of the use and recycling of materials; we consider the energy efficiency of our premises.