Development partners for Metsähallitus’ offshore wind power are subject to strict criteria

In tendering for offshore wind power projects, Metsähallitus assesses the activities of potential partners based on strict criteria and from various perspectives.

In addition to financial criteria and strong expertise, the requirements for a partner to be selected include, in particular, financial strength, business plan and commitment to the project, as well as sustainability regarding both the company and the project, such as environmental performance, climate objectives, social responsibility and good governance.

Base requirement:  proven track record

Successful implementation of an offshore wind power project requires prior expertise in the field. As with all major offshore wind power projects, the aim is to ensure the implementation of the project.

In addition to individual companies, consortiums that combine the competence, resources and demonstrations required in the project may also participate in the tendering process.

Wind power projects that cost billions require a strong combination of experts and sufficient resources at different stages of the project. Long permit processes, commercial matters, project funding, technical planning and, ultimately, construction require a great deal of specialised expertise and skilled partner networks from the selected partners.

Attractive commercial terms

Metsähallitus will put out to tender the rights to the development projects as well as the rights to lease sea areas for offshore wind power production. In addition to the regular contract terms, the commercial terms consist of the price of the project rights and the lease terms of the state-owned sea area.

Strict sustainability requirements

Responsible and sustainable operating methods are required of offshore wind power project partners. Strict sustainability requirements (Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG) are standard practice in international investment projects.

Offshore wind power companies usually provide the markets with comprehensive sustainability reports annually. In the competitive tendering process, we will carefully examine the sustainability of the companies, such as in terms of climate and environmental performance, social responsibility and human rights, occupational safety practices and governance.

Climate and environmental performance matter

Offshore wind power projects partners must have a goal-oriented programme to reduce their climate impact. In addition, sensitive marine nature must be considered in the project.

For this reason, the partner’s environmental impact assessment is required to include a report on the measures taken to combat biodiversity loss.

Human rights and social impacts must be identified

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The Code of Conduct outlines Metsähallitus’ key principles of responsible and ethical operation. We are strongly committed to these principles and comply with them in everything we do.

Offshore wind farm project partners are expected to comply with international human and labour rights commitments. These include UN human rights principles and the International Labour Organization ILO’s principles. They must be taken into consideration in a transparent manner both in the partner’s own operations and in its subcontracting chains to ensure that the principles are upheld.

Partners are also required to have convincing occupational safety management arrangements and the partners must demonstrate good occupational safety practices.

Partners must commit to systematic stakeholder interaction. As a state-owned enterprise, Metsähallitus requires that the implementation of a long-term project that is significant for Finland, the local economy and the residents is based on systematic and open interaction with all stakeholders.

Good governance is a basic requirement

Good governance and compliance with laws, regulations and sanctions are basic requirements to which offshore wind power companies are generally committed in their ethical principles and which they monitor as part of their normal activities.

The management, ownership arrangements and beneficial owners of the partner companies will be investigated. Aggressive tax planning is unacceptable. Linking sustainability issues to the criteria for the management remuneration of partner companies is a good indicator of the implementation of sustainable practices in the company. The partners must have zero tolerance for corruption.

The partners also commit to complying with the sanctions imposed by Finland, the EU and the United States. There can be no sanctioned parties in the partner’s subcontractor network.

Investigation and assessment by an independent body

Metsähallitus cooperates with an external assistant in assessing the different areas of sustainability of the partners and their reputation in the so-called ESG due diligence process. Sustainability requirements are also included in the partnership agreements to be concluded after the end of the tendering process.

Partners selected for offshore wind power projects acquire funding from international markets. Financiers assess the targets to be funded according to the EU taxonomy principles, i.e. the classification system for sustainable finance, among others.

The Code of Conduct outlines Metsähallitus’ key principles of responsible and ethical operation. We are strongly committed to these principles and comply with them in everything we do.