Almost all Kiilto’s operating countries are on the shores of the Baltic Sea. The condition of the sea and its ecosystem has impacts way beyond the shoreline: eutrophication of the Baltic Sea is one of Northern Europe’s biggest environmental problems.
Kiilto’s promise to the environment and its vision, extending to 2080, are reflected in its corporate culture and affirm that the environment figures in all its processes. Continuous operational improvement lies at the heart of all operations, but this culture also guides in choosing cooperation partners. Kiilto is involved in many aspects of work on behalf of the Baltic Sea. Its latest partner is the John Nurminen Foundation, whose Clean Baltic Sea projects involve taking tangible steps to improve the ecological status of the Baltic Sea by reducing the nutrient load and environmental risks.
“We choose our partners carefully, valuing impact, perseverance and actual deeds. Both Kiilto and its staff have a history of prizing action taken to nurture the Baltic Sea. Since almost all Kiilto’s operating countries are located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, this is an issue we have in common,” says Eeva Solja, Kiilto’s Brand and Communications Director.
Work guided by measurable results and impact
The goal of the John Nurminen Foundation is to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage for future generations. It has launched almost 40 Clean Baltic Sea projects and completed 30 of them. The idea is to reduce the nutrient load and environmental risks.. In cooperation with other actors, treating wastewater from St. Petersburg and reducing emissions from the Laukaanjoki fertiliser plant have sufficed to lower the annual eutrophication load in the Gulf by up to 75%.
Founded in 1992, the Foundation is an award-winning communicator and producer of maritime cultural content. It seeks to tell the story of the unique Baltic Sea to increase understanding of why it should be protected.
Ongoing Clean Baltic Sea projects will reduce eutrophic emissions into it by reducing point loads from municipal wastewater treatment plants and industry, and by using various water protection measures to reduce non-point loads from agriculture. The Foundation’s projects are also eliminating existing and internal loads affecting the sea. They are doing so by means such as selective fishing and reed mowing, and exploring new ways to curb internal loads.
Read more about the John Nurminen Foundation
Protecting the valuable nature of the Archipelago Sea
In addition to supporting the John Nurminen Foundation, Kiilto is working with other actors to protect the Archipelago Sea. As part of the Baltic Sea, the Archipelago Sea is an important recreational area with a valuable, diverse natural environment and numerous islands. Its natural environment makes it unique, but its ecosystem is under severe pressure.
The Unique Archipelago Sea campaign aims to raise the profile and prestige of the Archipelago Sea, and bring about practical measures and political decisions to save it. The five-year campaign will continue until 2023.
“We also consider environmental issues outside our own fields and seek participation in projects we consider important,” says Oili Kallatsa, Kiilto’s Research, Development and Innovation Director.
What makes the Archipelago Sea unique is its size, nature and history. It has more than 41,000 islands: more islands and islets than anywhere else in the world. The sea has varied natural environments that are home to several endangered animal species.
“The Archipelago Sea is a unique and valuable environment in Finland and the world. Kiilto has operations located by the Archipelago Sea. That is why the cleanliness of the Archipelago Sea is important to Kiilto, and a natural target for support,” says Kallatsa.
The seriously ill Archipelago Sea
Over the years, the Archipelago Sea’s natural environment has been threatened by nutrients running off soil and contained in wastewater, industrial emissions and, in particular, agricultural runoff. This has made the sea eutrophic and cloudy, with high levels of blue-green algae. The ecosystem has also been disrupted by climate change.
The situation can be improved by reducing nutrient runoff into the Archipelago Sea, and intensifying the recovery of nutrients and biomass that have accumulated in the sea over time.
“Protecting the seas is also one of the UN’s sustainable development goals,” Kallatsa says.
Bio-based raw materials from Baltic algae
Kiilto also collaborates with Origin by Ocean. This startup is tackling the Baltic Sea eutrophication problem with an innovative solution. The company wants to refine algae into bio-based raw materials that can be used in novel ways in detergent products and cosmetics.
In spring 2020, Kiilto and Origin by Ocean published a statement of intent to use Origin by Ocean products in Kiilto’s product development. Both companies have strong belief in the future of hygiene and cleaning products that are bio-based and fulfil the requirements of sustainable development. The plan is to launch entirely new and versatile products that include ingredients refined by Origin by Ocean from Baltic Sea algae.
“The collaboration forms part of our Kiilto Ventures operations. For us, it is a means of continuously seeking ambitious and creative partners that share our values,” says Ville Solja, Chief Business Development Officer.
“Nurturing the environment is about more than standing still or maintaining a precious legacy. Above all, it is about building the future,” Ville concludes.