Conservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems

We are committed to the health of aquatic ecosystems in two ways. Firstly by seeking to mitigate or offset negative impacts on migratory fish stocks associated with the construction and operation of our hydropower facilities, and secondly through our efforts to contribute expertise and resources into targeted conservation efforts in the markets where we operate.

Mitigating  impacts to migratory fish stocks

Our hydropower plants have adverse impacts on aquatic ecosystems. These are caused by the regulation of watercourses, clearing of rivers, and building of dams. Impacts are mainly alleviated by means of compensation in accordance with permit conditions, with the funds being used by authorities to transplant fish in watercourses we operate.

We believe it’s important to restore the natural reproduction cycle of migratory fish stocks in watercourses where it’s cost-effective and where the chances of success are the greatest. We participate in practical local projects and research activities to promote fish migration.

Hydropower projects are long-term operations, we are committed to being transparent and engaging in open dialogue with different community organisations and local government agencies about potential impacts to local waters.

UPM´s Migrating Fish Program aims to enable the natural life cycle of fish

With our Migrating Fish Program, we want to help fish migrate more freely: we remove obstacles to fish migration and try out new innovations to revitalise fish stocks across Finland.

We believe that in revitalising migrating fish stocks the key is to restore fish stocks where there are the best conditions to their natural success. Means should be designed to best suit each watercourse and the effectiveness of the actions should be carefully evaluated. There is also plenty of room for new ideas in addition to fishing transplanting and fish ladders. As part of a diverse range of tools, UPM has piloted e.g. the introduction of bridge drums to allow the passage of fish on forest roads.


Migrating Fish Programme Projects

Project Type Description Schedule Partners Status
Eurajoki & Köyliönjoki JOKI -project funding Proving water quality and fish stock development 3 year project https://www.jokiohjelma.fi  On-going
Sapsokoski Fish stock revitalisation Modifications to the bottom of the dam, incl. processing of gravel and rock into spawn, construction of a natural fish pass 2022- Lapin ELY, Kainuu Fisheris Center, Fortum On-going
Arvajankoski Obstacle removal and migrating fish rehabilitation Dismanteling of and old water intake and its damn 2021-    
Sateenvarjo III Reserach program Migrating fish development on built water cources 2019- LUKE, other hydro companies On-going
Sapsokoski Obstacle removal Dismanteling of and old mill and mill damn 2019-2020 Lappi ELY Completed
Saimaa land-locked salmon Fish stock revitalisation Breeding and nursery area to Pielisjoki 2018-2019 Pohjois-Karjalan liitto, MMM, Kuurnan Voima and others Completed
Multia-Viitasaari Obstacle removal Forest road culvert overhaul 2018 Keski-Suomi ELY, Metsäkeskus Completed
Kalasydän Innovation Piloting of new fish transport technology 2018 Kalasydän Oy, other hydro companies Completed
Sateenvarjo II Research program Migrating fish development on built water cources 2016-2017 LUKE, other hydro companies Completed
Harjavalta Fish stock revitalisation Construction of fish hatchery 2013-2017 Varsinais-Suomi ELY Completed


Contributing to the minimising of impacts of water  ecosystems

Beyond our direct obligations, we are also committed to the collaborative role it can play in helping to conserve and restore important aquatic ecosystems in the communities where we operate.

In Uruguay, where we are building a new world-class pulp mill near Paso de los Toros, we are participating in the Rio Negro initiative, providing funding and technical support to keep the local river clean. 

Our commitment to restoring aquatic ecosystems is also reflected in our work as part of the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG). The mission of BSAG is to revive the ecological state of the entire Baltic Sea by connecting important players in the region. We have a long history of supporting this foundation through donations and various commitments, the latest of which is our 2030 commitment to reuse nutrients in our wastewater treatment, helping direct them away from potentially damaging discharge into the Baltic Sea.

UPM supports restoration of migrating fish stocks
Story | 04/09/2019 07:00:51 | 3 min

UPM supports restoration of migrating fish stocks

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Fish-friendly hydropower
Story | 01/16/2019 07:14:49 | 3 min

Fish-friendly hydropower

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