The net environmental impact of the demolition of Makasiini Terminal was positive

Kaivinkoneet purkavat rakennusta.
Originally designed as a harbour warehouse, Makasiini Terminal was demolished in the spring of 2023. Photo: Marko Nenonen.

The environmental benefit resulting from reusing the materials generated from the demolition of Makasiini Terminal at South Harbour last year was greater than the carbon footprint of the demolition project.

“This was the first time that we surveyed the climate impacts of the demolition site and reusing the waste created in the project. In other words, we calculated the carbon footprint of the demolition site,” explains Construction Manager Pekka Haikonen from the Port of Helsinki.

“The aim was to establish new work methods that generate fewer emissions than before and take the environment into account better. For example, we will be able to pay more attention to aspects such as the carbon footprint of demolition machinery going forward. We also established a reference point against which we will compare the carbon footprint of similar demolition projects in the future.”

The Port of Helsinki selected Lotus Demolition Oy to carry out the Makasiini Terminal demolition project. All of the demolition waste was sorted and recycled where possible. Materials such as steel and other metal waste were recycled for reuse, glass was recycled as raw material for glass production, and concrete structures free of harmful substances were recycled as earthwork materials. In addition to the processing of materials, sources of emissions in the demolition project included the kilometres driven by waste transport vehicles and the fuel consumption of machinery, among other things.

“All in all, the demolition of Makasiini Terminal was a good project. Metals are reusable material, and we extracted more than 600 tonnes of them from the terminal. Even with the demolition process and the processing of materials taken into account, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions avoided with such an amount of metals is substantial,” says Head of Marketing Petri Uomala from Lotus Demolition about the calculation.

The Port of Helsinki is a significant infrastructure developer. Reducing the negative climate impacts of operations is a key aspect to the company, also at the end of the lifecycle of infrastructure.

Together with its owner, the City of Helsinki, the Port of Helsinki is committed to implementing the Carbon-neutral Helsinki action plan. The Port of Helsinki’s carbon neutrality programme, published for the first time in 2019, is a plan for the Port’s responsibility measures impacting the environment. The plan features dozens of different measures to promote carbon neutrality. The implementation of the measures is a joint effort by the entire Port of Helsinki.

What is a carbon footprint? The carbon footprint indicates the climate load generated by a product, operation or service, i.e. the amount of greenhouse gases generated over the lifecycle of the product or operation. However, it can also refer to carbon dioxide emissions alone instead of total greenhouse gas emissions.

More information:
Construction Manager Pekka Haikonen,
tel. +358 50 530 5000