(Globenewswire) - Orion and the John Nurminen Foundation have signed an agreement on the Foundation's main partnership. Orion will make Baltic Sea protection one of its main themes of corporate responsibility in 2018-2019, and the company's commitment is also shown through communication with its interest groups and personnel.
Clean and vibrant nature is close to all of us in Finland, and this wealth is something that Orion wishes to protect. Orion fulfils and has fulfilled the legal environmental requirements before but a few years ago people at Orion set some additional ambitious goals for their operations, to reduce point emissions in waterways. In 2017, Orion achieved significant progress on wastewater management and the reduction of pharmaceutical residue emissions. "Last year we finalised this project. We have improved our wastewater management and got the new pre-rinse water collection systems running at our production sites. Most of the active pharmaceutical ingredients containing waste water are now being collected and sent to treatment with a 100% reduction", says Timo Lappalainen, President and CEO of Orion.
Eutrophication is still the largest and most visible problem in the Baltic Sea. Its most visible symptoms include blooms of blue-green algae, increased turbidity of water, build-up of slime on shorelines and oxygen-free bottom areas. Climate change also accelerates eutrophication.
"We have supported subjects of importance to society for years. This time it is the Baltic Sea's turn. The concrete work of the John Nurminen Foundation has led to visible results curbing the largest environmental problem in the Baltic Sea. We wish to be involved in doing effective work for the benefit of the Baltic Sea, and this is a natural subject for us, since we operate in all the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea," Timo Lappalainen states.
Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt, Secretary General of the John Nurminen Foundation says that "The state of the Baltic Sea is not a local environmental problem, but rather concerns all of us who live and operate in the area. Orion's entry to and participation in our Clean Baltic Sea projects is valuable for the Foundation because it is especially the donors and partners who make our work for the Baltic Sea possible. Over a 10-year period, we have completed almost 20 projects, and with the ongoing projects alone we will reduce phosphorus in the Baltic Sea by an amount that equals eight times the annual wastewater emissions of the City of Helsinki. Our focus will remain on controlling eutrophication. Despite the good results, we must stay up to speed in all our work, since there is a lot to do for many years to come."
In 2005-2017, the John Nurminen Foundation launched 29 Clean Baltic Sea projects, 18 of which have been completed. In the projects, many of the largest parties burdening the Gulf of Finland have been subjected to efficient cleaning. In the Gulf of Finland alone, with the help of two efficient measures, we have been able to reduce the phosphorus load causing eutrophication of the sea by 75 per cent in only 10 years.
The Foundation's new projects aim to cut the agricultural load and remove nutrients that have already ended up in the sea. In the entire catchment area of the Baltic Sea, the Foundation participates in the partially EU funded BEST project in which the aim is to enhance industrial waste water treatment and to seek best practices for the prevention of the emission of harmful substances, such as pharmaceuticals. The projects include managing stocks of cyprinid fish, which is running for the fourth year, and gypsum treatment of fields will be started in the Vantaanjoki river area in autumn. In addition, the risks and opportunities of biogas production with regard to reducing the internal load of the sea will be investigated.
In 2005-2017, the John Nurminen Foundation raised a total of EUR 14.6 million for Baltic Sea protection, EUR 12.0 million of which has been spent on the Clean Baltic Sea projects. The remaining EUR 2.7 million has been allocated to ongoing projects.
Orion is a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company - a builder of well-being. Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company is continuously developing new drugs and treatment methods. The core therapy areas of Orion's pharmaceutical R&D are central nervous system (CNS) disorders, oncology and respiratory diseases for which Orion develops inhaled Easyhaler® pulmonary drugs. Orion's adjusted net sales in 2017 amounted to EUR 1,034 million and the company had about 3,200 employees. Orion's A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.
Founded in 1992, the mission of the John Nurminen Foundation is to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage for future generations. The goal of the Foundation's Clean Baltic Sea projects is to improve the condition of the Baltic Sea with tangible measures that will reduce the load and environmental risks directed at the sea. The Clean Baltic Sea projects are funded by private donations and public funds. A publisher of nonfiction books and the free Loki online service providing marine information, the Foundation is also an active mediator of culture.
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SOURCE: Orion Oyj