The environment is the key element in Wärtsilä's approach to sustainability. In 2017, Wärtsilä announced its purpose for “enabling sustainable societies with smart technology”. One of the three key ingredients for this targeted industry transformation is to achieve a clean environment, and Wärtsilä´s environmental management practices gives full support to reaching this goal.
For Wärtsilä, environmental responsibility has two dimensions: products and operations. Most of the efforts to improve the company’s environmental performance, including its operations, are conducted as part of the product development and improvement processes. This work is supported by operational measures, which are based on achieving high environmental standards and which seek constant improvement.
The continual improvement in environmental performance requires the organisation to consistently work in a systematic way. This work is guided by the company’s strategy and its environmental targets, the Code of Conduct, and policies relating to Quality, Environment, Health and Safety, and it is co-ordinated and monitored by the cross-business EHSS Management team. In developing its operations, processes, and products, Wärtsilä endeavours to utilise the latest technologies available for improving efficiency in areas such as material and energy consumption, as well as for reducing and managing emissions and waste throughout the lifecycle of its products and services.
Wärtsilä has defined a process for developing an environmental strategy and targets for its products. The process includes the identification of aspects and impacts of the products, the means to influence these impacts, the identification of enabling and restricting boundary conditions, analyses of the information, and the preparation and implementation of the strategy and targets.
Wärtsilä continuously develops and improves its operations and products with the help of certified environmental management systems. The principle means is to apply certified EHS (Environmental, Health and Safety) management systems based on ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 in all Group companies, excluding those companies focusing purely on sales. These units are required to apply Wärtsilä's internal EHS model, which was aligned in 2016 to meet the requirements of the new ISO 14001:2015 standard. Wärtsilä’s EHS management systems cover all operations of its subsidiaries, which allows environmental protection and the reduction of adverse impacts to be promoted on a wide front. Currently, Wärtsilä is undergoing a transformation involving changing subsidiary management system certificates to business line specific certificates. This transformation is expected to be completed by end of 2018.
The company's EHS management system emphasises compliance with legal requirements, identifying and reducing environmental aspects, impacts and risks, training personnel and clearly defining their responsibilities, the full documentation of activities and procedures, actions to be taken in emergencies, and the continuous improvement of environmental performance. The company's subsidiaries and business units set their own targets for covering the significant environmental aspects of their operations, and for monitoring the overall performance of the management systems.
At the end of 2017, 57 Wärtsilä companies operated with a certified environmental management system. These certified environmental management systems cover roughly 87% of Wärtsilä's total workforce.