HSL invests one million euros in reducing emissions

HSL encourages bus operators to reduce local emissions and carbon emissions from public transport.

Miljoona euroa päästöjen vähentämiseen

HSL's goal is emission-free public transport by 2025.

Next year, HSL will invest one million euros in supporting measures to reduce emissions.  So called environmental bonuses are paid on the basis of a tendering process to bus operators for measures to cut emissions. HSL’s goal is emission-free public transport by 2025.

The tendering process takes account of both carbon emissions and harmful local emissions such as small particles and nitrogen oxides. This year the emphasis is on reducing nitrogen oxides and carbon emissions. Bonuses are paid for new measures that exceed the commitments set out in the currently valid contracts.

HSL assesses the measures offered and pays bonuses at its discretion. The measures must be cost-effective.

The environmental bonus has gained popularity. Last year, HSL received 155 bids, of which it approved 95. The criteria are revised annually according to developments in the market and advances in the technology to reduce emissions.

 “We are trying to keep the bonus model up-to-date. Our monitoring suggests that the results of the bonus scheme were good: emissions clearly decreased,” says HSL Fleet Engineer Petri Saarikoski.

HSL introduced the environmental bonus scheme in 2013. Most of the bonuses have been paid for measures to promote the use of biogas and biodiesel on buses.

 “We expect as large cuts in emissions as possible. We don’t have preference for one type of measure over another; the competition is neutral in terms of technology. The most effective measures will be rewarded. With continuous improvements, innovations and optimization, the environmental bonus scheme takes us closer to our goals step by step,” says Petri Saari.

HSL aims to reduce public transport emissions also by other means. For example, in the competitive tendering of bus services, extra points are given for low-emission buses. In addition, the introduction of electric buses and other new technologies help to cut emissions. In order to achieve the goals set out for cutting local and carbon emission, environmental aspect need to be taken into account in the tendering of the services more and more. HSL is developing its tendering processes so that they would create opportunities and encourage operators to take measures.

HSL’s goal is to significantly cut public transport emissions. The goal is to reduce local emissions affecting air quality by 80 per cent and carbon emissions by 50 per cent from 2010 to 2018. We are making good progress towards the goal; nitrogen oxides and small particles have clearly been reduced.

 “We are working towards emission-free public transport. This is a challenging but achievable goal. We’ll use all available means to do our share in mitigating the climate change and minimize local emission. If we are successful, we will all benefit from cleaner air,” says HSL Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi.