27.10.2021 -

Services have an integral role in climate solutions

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. The only guarantee for having sufficient resources for both national and global mitigation of climate change is sustainable development.

The Service Sector Employers’ Association Palta is committed to renewing the climate policies of the EU and Finland by doing its part in limiting the rise of the world’s average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For example, Palta and six other transportation and logistics actors have created a roadmap to carbon‑free transportation. In addition, various services can be used to decrease emissions in other sectors.

Services create low-emission value and their carbon handprint continues to grow

Palta promotes legislation that accelerates sustainable development and mitigates climate change, and it supports and encourages its members in setting ambitious climate goals. Palta supports a carbon neutral Finland – a goal set to be achieved by the year 2035 by the Finnish government. The climate actions of the EU must be structured to allow for the Union to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050 at the latest.

Private service provision plays a greater and greater role in the Finnish economy every day. Over one million people work in the service sector in Finland, and services comprise approximately one third of the value of exports. Over 40 per cent of Finland’s total output is services, but services are responsible for only a quarter of Finland’s emissions.

The creation of intangible value is sustainable from the climate’s point of view, since in most of the main service industry branches, the value added per one tonne of CO2 when compared to the total average of Finland’s economy is many times higher. Services are a critical part of sustainable development both in the Finnish and global contexts.

Services are a critical part of sustainable development both in the Finnish and global contexts.

The carbon handprint of services, in other words their potential to reduce the emissions of other parties, is significant and keeps growing. Sustainable growth is strengthened by the growing service industry and the circular economy, which is defined by the use of services instead of ownership. The service sector produces solutions aiding various sectors to achieve significant emission reductions, as presented in Palta’s 2021 report “Reducing emissions with the help of services” (Päästövähennyksiä palveluilla in Finnish). The development of sustainable services creates work and new exports for Finland.

Palta’s solutions for achieving the climate goals

1. Decisions shall be made internationally – the climate is global

Decisions on the international and EU levels play an important role in both setting climate goals and building a working environment that promotes low-carbon solutions.

2. Clean energy production must be guaranteed

Low-emission energy can be used to build an electricity-based community. Energy efficiency and abandoning fossil fuels will cut emissions significantly.

3. Digitalisation and innovations shall be used to solve the climate challenge

Digitalisation and innovations play a key role in preventing climate change and as enablers of new, emission reducing service solutions.

4. Low-emission transportation and logistics shall be encouraged

Reducing the emissions of transportation is a key move required to achieve the climate goals. Finland shall strive to achieve low-emission and emission-free transportation in order to eliminate the carbon emissions from transportation by the year 2045, as stated in Finland’s national vision.