Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming, sea level rise, desertification and increasing incidence of extreme weather conditions, such as storms and heavy rains. HKScan therefore recognizes the importance of contributing to GHG emission reductions and committing to global and national targets as defined under the Paris Agreement. 

In order to understand and quantify our emission sources and to monitor our carbon footprint, HKScan is disclosing its greenhouse gas emissions in compliance with scope 1 (direct) and 2 (indirect) emissions of the Greenhouse gas protocol.

HKScan has disclosed its greenhouse gas emissions since 2014. In 2015, emissions were reduced by 37 per cent from the 2014 level and in 2016 further improvements led to a reduction of 53 per cent compared to 2014.

In total, HKScan’s GHG emissions decreased by 53 per cent or 127 thousand tonnes from 2014 to 2016. The total emissions for the entire Group amounted to 112 thousand tonnes of CO2e in 2016. About half of the decrease is attributable to the switch to hydroelectricity in Sweden and Poland, and the combined use of bio- and hydroelectric power in Finland. Increased energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources has contributed to the mitigation of climate impacts, as well as lowered emission factors for the Nordic and Estonian residual electricity mixes.

GHG mitigation in 2016

HKScan Finland has moved over to using 100% renewable electricity at all its production sites and offices in Finland. By choosing fully renewable Finnish bio- and hydropower, HKScan Finland’s CO2 emissions were reduced by 57 per cent compared to the previous year. Overall emissions were reduced by nearly 30 000 tons of CO2e. HKScan’s acquisition of a freezer and storage company in Forssa, Finland increased electricity consumption to a level corresponding to the overall electricity saving achieved at HKScan, resulting in no change to the total volume of electricity consumed from 2015 to 2016.

GHG emissions caused by heating declined by 750 tons of CO2e. The decline is due to a reduced need for heating. Emissions from transports and travel were of the same order as in 2014, and emissions from freezing were halved. 

See our website for more information (to be updated by the end of March).

Scopes 1 and 2 cover less than 10 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions of meat production from farm to fork (i.e. HKScan operations). Scope 3 (i.e. activities in the value chain prior to and after HKScan operations) covers more than 90 per cent. Animal primary production is the significantly greatest source of emissions in scope 3. In order to assess its products from a lifecycle perspective (and part of scope 3), HKScan uses Lifecycle analysis (LCA) to measure the various environmental aspects of our products.

Carbon offsetting

HKScan Finland has decided to offset its remaining Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions for 2016 and become one of the first food companies in the Nordic region to offset the emissions of its production sites. Offsetting is done by financing emission reduction projects via carbon credits. These projects reduce the amount of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere in amounts corresponding to the volume of emissions produced by our plants during 2016.  By choosing to compensate for our emissions, HKScan Finland is contributing to climate change mitigation and is taking growing responsibility for promoting sustainability. Offsetting our emissions is a key step in fighting climate change, alongside which we also take a variety of actions to enhance energy efficiency, utilize renewable energy sources as well as mitigate emissions in our value chain.


HKScan Sweden reached its climate target already in 2015 by achieving a 72 per cent reduction in GHG emissions. The preliminary target was to reduce emissions by 50 per cent from 2003 to 2020. In order to keep improving, Sweden has set a new target to be reached at the latest by 2030: a reduction of 95 per cent (Scope 1 and 2 emissions and inbound transportation and business travel in Scope 3) compared to 2003.

Examples from our sites

1. The Säkna farm in Estonia covered its slurry tanks with plastic to decrease emissions into ambient air. The plastic cover reduces methane and ammonia emissions as well as odours. All slurry tanks on other farms in Rakvere are covered with LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) floating covers.

2. HKScan Sweden is part of the Haga Initiative and participates actively in the climate network. More information on the network is available at:

3. The Halmstad plant in Sweden conducted a pilot study on flue gas cleaning in spring 2016. It revealed that treatment with activated carbon was the most effective cleaning method, potentially reducing annual consumption of natural gas by 87 per cent and 638 tonnes of CO2. Activated carbon will be installed during 2017.