The Finnish archipelago is one of the most challenging environments in the world in terms of ship navigation. A pilot who is familiar with local conditions provides a shipmaster with invaluable assistance to guarantee safe fairway navigation and manoeuvring in ports.
When a large ship enters the fairway from the open sea, it finds itself in a highly formidable environment: the fairways are narrow, the waters are shallow and rocky and there is no room for navigational errors. Maritime traffic accidents that lead to oil or chemical spills can have disastrous impacts on the fragile nature of the archipelago and its ecosystem. Pilotage is utilised in fairway navigation to avoid exceptional situations that might cause ships to run aground or collide. When vessels move through the fairways in a planned and controlled manner, however, the risk of serious environmental accidents decreases considerably.
The anomaly observations of the pilots regarding the ships, fairway environment, conditions and traffic flows further enhance and supplement the picture of the risk factors involved in maritime traffic. Recognising threats makes it possible to react with corrective measures.
We aim to minimise the environmental impacts of our activities, that is to say, our energy consumption and carbon footprint. We are committed to protecting the environment and preventing its contamination. We closely monitor the environmental impacts and energy efficiency of our activities. We also set aims for our annual activities to help ensure ongoing development.
The assessment of the environmental impacts of Finnpilot has identified those impacts which are most significant. They are as follows:
In terms of its environmental and energy efficiency, the company’s development work is guided by a development programme that involves the following aspects and objectives:
During 2019, the company initiated internal and external auditing of its environmental and energy-efficiency systems as part of the preparation for the certification of these systems in early 2020.
Energy is necessary to heat the pilot stations and fuel is necessary for vessel and vehicle transportation. The decrease in the number of pilotage assignments and piloted nautical miles in 2019 (-2% and -2.8% in comparison to the previous year) was also visible as decreased consumption and emission figures, but the consumption and emissions also decreased in relation to the number of pilotage assignments, by -1.4%.
Finnpilot runs 26 pilot stations and substations. The heating of its own properties is largely provided by renewable energy that is produced using geothermal and heat pump technologies. All of our archipelago locations are covered by our highly comprehensive waste water treatment programme.
The systematic renewal and maintenance of the transport equipment reduces the environmental load caused by their use. An economic driving behaviour, use of the engines in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer and the reservation of sufficient time for pilot transports are basic ways to minimise fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Optimal use of the engines also helps to prevent unnecessary wear and other negative impacts. At Finnpilot, the targets for equipment use are defined within the workplace-specific Fleet IoT system, which compiles engine and location data to automatically generate usage reports.
We endeavour to take full advantage of the potential service life of our vessels and equipment without compromising on safety. Regular and systematic investments are made in new vessels and the extension of the life cycle of existing vessels. The renewal of the propulsion and engine systems of the L237 boat, which was completed in 2019, reduced the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 17%, as calculated by usage profile. A similar project on the L240 vessel brought consumption savings of 5.1%.
We strive to recycle our old equipment as far as possible. During 2019, one fast pilot boat was sold to new ownership.