Environmental financial statements 2022 completed in Espoo parishes: Environmental stress significantly reduced

The first environmental financial statements of the Espoo Parish Union have been completed. One of the objectives of the Parishes is to phase out the use of fossil fuels by 2030 and improve the energy efficiency of properties. Environmental stress will also be reduced in parishes in other aspects.

Paddlers on the water. The sky is blue and the weather is sunny. Photo by Jyri Hakala.

The Aalto University Student Union visited the Hila waters in spring 2022. The excursion was organised by the educational institution work of the Espoo parishes. Image: Jyri Hakala.

- We are on schedule to give up oil heating. This year, we will increase the capacity of the geothermal system in the Hvittorp course centre, for example. We will move to geothermal heating also at the Velskola course centre, says Risto Hämäläinen, Director of Espoo Parishes.

The electricity used by the Parish Union is already 100% fossil-free. The possibilities of sorting property waste will be improved one site at a time.

Responsibility for all creation means action 

The responsibility for all creation is one of the eight operational priorities of the Parish Union's strategy (Church in Espoo in 2023–2030).  We want to offer opportunities for spiritual nature experiences and activities in nature. In particular, we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the need to use natural resources.
- For example, the number of printouts has decreased by half since security printing was introduced last year, says Risto Hämäläinen.  

All procurements require an environmental impact assessment. The amount of vegetarian food has been significantly increased in all catering services, including confirmation camps and excursions.
- Visitors to the camp centre have given good feedback on the vegetarian food, says Development Manager Kerttuli Boucht.  

Environmental education is visible in parishes' work in all departments and in many events. The response to climate anxiety and the desire for nature-oriented spirituality has been to organise activities around these themes, such as retreats and pilgrimages.  

In 2022, the largest cemetery of the Parish Union, Kellonummi cemetery, was the first Finnish cemetery to receive the prestigious Green Flag Award. Recognition requires versatile and long-term environmental work and the promotion of biodiversity. 



The environmental financial statements of the Espoo parishes for 2022 are based on the environmental policy approved by the joint church council and the environmental programme for 2021–2030 defined by the joint church council. The extensive report contains both descriptive and numerical information. The document was recorded by the Joint Church Council on 5 June 2023.

The Parish Joint Authority's Environmental Programme 2021–2030 is based on the requirements of the SFS 14001 standard. Work to promote the programme's objectives will continue. All parishes and the joint parish service unit have prepared their environmental plans for 2023–2025.  

13.6.2023 12.35