Helen – The bioenergy pioneer automates its sustainability reporting with Pinja’s solution

The cooperation between Helen and Pinja ensures the sustainability of the biomass supply and production chain and compliance with the obligations of regulatory reporting

Transparency to all stakeholders

Reliable fulfillment of regulatory reporting obligations

Significant time savings in reporting and tasks at the end of the month

Once is a big and central system for us, and it improves the efficiency of reporting in many areas. For example, Once provides the data for our sustainability report quite directly, with little need for further processing.

Anna Häyrinen, Team Manager, Environment, Helen Oy

Challenge and need – the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II/III) and Sustainability Reporting (CSRD) set guidelines for demonstrating sustainability

With the commissioning of the Vuosaari bioenergy plant (2022), Helen’s use of biofuels doubled in 2023. The main fuel of the plant is forest chips, a by-product of forestry. The district heating capacity of the bioenergy plant is approximately 260 MW. In total, Helen produces about 1,500 GWh of biomass-based energy annually at its plants.

The sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive require Helen to demonstrate the origin of the biomass fuel used in the heating plant and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The verification of biomass origin data and the calculation of emissions in the production chain extends to the load level and the point of harvest. If the origin cannot be demonstrated to be sustainable, or the greenhouse gas emission reduction in the supply chain is less than 70%, the biomass will not count as zero emission. 

Therefore, the requirements of the Renewable Energy Directive require a lot of data collection, management, verification, and reporting. In addition, the RED II Directive has a key role in verifying the origin of the fuel, which is further enforced by the RED III Directive. The Vuosaari heating plant receives nearly 10,000 loads of fuel every year, each of which must be traceable. Due to the high volumes, manually collecting and reporting all the necessary data reliably would be next to impossible, or at least very time-consuming.

Helen already does sustainability reporting, but the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the EU taxonomy, which defines those corporate activities that count as sustainable, will add significantly to the collection and reporting of data. There was therefore a clear need for a solution that would ease the heavy workload and ensure the accuracy of the data from a CSRD and RED perspective.

In addition to the reporting requirements of the EU and national authorities, such as the Energy Authority, Helen prepares reports internally and for other stakeholders, such as the Helsinki Region Environmental Services (HSY).

The solution and its benefits – Once by Pinja is the central system for Helen’s sustainability reporting

Helen uses Once by Pinja to manage the fuel supply chain at its bioenergy plants. Over the years, Helen and Pinja have developed the system to meet Helen’s needs – a significant development task was a solution that supports sustainability reporting.

The sustainability reporting solution helps Helen to

  • ensure the sustainability of biomass used for heat production,
  • monitor progress towards carbon neutrality,
  • meet the sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive, and to
  • meet the requirements of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.


Reducing carbon emissions and demonstrating the sustainability of biomass is the major thing for us. With Once, it is now possible to demonstrate sustainability and calculate emissions in the production chain.

Anna Häyrinen, Team Manager, Environment, Helen Oy

The sustainability reporting solution of Once by Pinja:

  • Significantly reduces the time spent on reporting at Helen, and frees up resources for other work, as the necessary information is in one place, and reports can be produced with minimal effort.
  • Saves time and makes emissions calculations more accurate; the solution extracts the data, and the calculation tool calculates the CO2 balance, and produces a report that meets regulatory requirements. Once calculates and verifies the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of the operations throughout the supply chain.
  • Verify the sustainability of biomass – Once collects and generates information on the origin of biomass: it allows the tracking of the origin of the batches delivered and the by-products generated during the operation.
  • Ensures, through certification reporting, that the biomass is certified and origin-controlled.
  • Helps optimize fuel sourcing and emissions trading, and supports long-term planning for sourcing.

Once – supply chain management system

Helen in figures – 2023

1,826M€ Turnover

786 Staff

approx. 11,350 GWh/year Total electricity and heat production

55% Carbon neutral energy

38% Direct reduction of greenhouse gas emission

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