Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by master's degree program "Ympäristömuutoksen ja globaalin kestävyyden maisteriohjelma"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Laitinen, Anna-Emilia (2020)
    Current food production and consumption practices have major impacts on the climate and the environment. Studies are calling for a transition towards plant-based diets as climate change poses an imminent threat of global natural catastrophes. Plant-based milk (PBM) products can be seen as radical innovations and as alternatives to liquid dairy milk that have started to break away from their former ethical and medical market niches. This study aims to gain understanding in how PBM products are positioned as alternatives to dairy milk and how the mainstreaming of these products could challenge the dairy sector. Specifically, the study is interested in how Finnish PBM products are marketed and how these PBM producers could be potential drivers of a sustainability transition in the food industry. This study focused on the digital marketing material that Finnish PBM producers used during the initial launch of their PBM products. The materials were collected online from existing and locatable sources (e.g. websites and social networking spaces) as well as from solicited material acquired from company representatives. The data was analyzed by conducting qualitative content analysis on the materials. The results showed that Finnish PBMs are marketed as alternative yet convenient products that are simultaneously health, tasty, and functional, as well as sustainable and plant-based. Even though Finnish producers were found to be hesitant to explicitly challenge the dairy sector, some brands positioned their products as part of a new food system that is transitioning away from the use of animal-products. These results suggest that the mainstreaming of Finnish PBMs and specifically oat milk is a positive shift towards more sustainable modes of production and consumption. Furthermore, the involvement of well-established food and dairy industry actors in the Finnish PBM market could have a role in reforming the institutional structures that empower people to eat animal-derived products. The seemingly neutral, non-provocative marketing style of Finnish PBM products is aiming to normalize the use of PBMs and thus claim its spot in Finnish food culture as an everyday consumer good.
  • Peura, Saana (2021)
    Interest in the ecosystem services and the well-being provided by nature has grown while the urbanized way of life has reduced contact between humans and nature. Studies have found that nature supports well-being and health in several ways: spending time in nature relieves stress, lifts mood and improves concentration, among other things. Natural environments encourage physical activity and provide opportunities for both social interaction and self-reflection. Nature experiences during childhood and adolescence help to build an empathetic relationship with nature and may promote environmentally responsible behavior. In adolescence, however, contact with nature often decreases. To facilitate positive nature experiences to adolescents, understanding how they experience spending time in nature can help. This thesis examines how adolescents describe their memorable nature experiences and the well-being impacts they associate with these experiences. The thesis is part of the multidisciplinary research project NATUREWELL (The health and well-being impacts of outdoor recreation – study on urban youth). The research data consists of pictures and writings (n=21) by adolescents aged 15-16 years, in which they describe their memorable nature experiences. The data was collected from a secondary school in Lahti, Finland in spring 2020. The research material has been analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The results show that memorable nature experiences arise in a wide range of situations, but almost all participants highlighted the effects of nature on their well-being. The most common themes of the experiences were calming down in nature and uplifted moods, while several of the participants also highlighted the beauty of nature. Nature served both as a refuge and as a source of recreation for them. Half of the experiences had taken place in the nearby nature of the participants, half on trips elsewhere in Finland, abroad or at summer cottages. Photographs, paintings, drawings and collages by the participants often highlighted the visual aspect of the experience by depicting vast landscapes unfolding from the viewer's perspective. The described environments were forests, beaches, lakes, mountains and swamps. Based on the results, all the participants of the study have positive experiences of nature. They perceive psychological, physical, social and mental well-being effects in nature and often refer to them when justifying why they like to spend time in nature. The results of the study can be used in the planning of nature activities, environmental education and well-being interventions for adolescents. The nature experiences of adolescents with a negative attitude towards nature are an important subject for further research.
  • Kuuri-Riutta, Olivia (2021)
    Global warming is changing the ecohydrology and carbon fluxes of northern peatlands. If the soil moisture level remains high enough, peatland carbon sequestration may increase under longer and warming growing seasons, enhancing the cooling climate impact of peatlands. However, in case the evaporation overcomes precipitation, peatlands will dry. This leads to increased carbon dioxide emissions and the weakening of the cooling climate effect of peatlands. In addition, peatland methane fluxes are regulated by temperature and moisture conditions. What remains unknown, is which changes will be the most prominent and to which direction the climate impact of peatlands will develop in the future. The purpose of this thesis is to gain a better understanding of the peatland climate responses by investigating the recent vegetation development of a subarctic aapa mire. In August 2020, four surface peat cores were collected from the margin of Lompolojänkkä fen in Finnish Lapland. Recent changes in plant communities and carbon accumulation rates were investigated. Pb-210 dating method was applied to establish the chronology. A shift from a Cyperaceae-dominated community into a Sphagnum-dominated community in the beginning of the 1960s was detected. The shift indicates drying habitat conditions. Recent drying has been reported from several other northern peatlands. On the other hand, a similar expansion of Sphagna has been interpreted to be caused not only by hydrological changes but also directly by increasing temperatures, which cannot be ruled out in Lompolojänkkä either. Carbon accumulation in Lompolojänkkä seems to have increased following the change in the vegetation. However, the inferred increase might largely reflect an incomplete level of decomposing characteristic to surface peat. In contrast to the peatland margins, no drying signals or vegetation changes were observed in the central parts of Lompolojänkkä. This variation within a single peatland highlights the heterogeneous nature of peatland climate responses and carbon dynamics.
  • Pursiainen, Annie (2020)
    Introduction: High anthropogenic pressure exercised on the Baltic Sea causes a decline in valuable reproduction areas of coastal fish, such as the northern pike (Esox lucius L.). Hence, the conservation and restoration of the reproduction areas of pike are increasingly of importance. The Kvarken Archipelago, located in the Gulf of Bothnia, presents valuable reproduction habitats for fish. The pre-flads, flads, glo-flads and glo-lakes provide warm and sheltered areas that are preferred by spring-spawning fish, such as pike. However, the precise environmental factors influencing pike reproduction in the region have not yet been identified. In this study, different environmental factors influencing pike reproduction in the Kvarken Archipelago were assessed. Furthermore, as technology advances, there is a need to evaluate the use of new techniques alongside the generally time consuming and expensive traditional research methods applied for surveying the pike reproductive areas. Henceforth, the present study assessed the suitability of the high-resolution aerial photography for identifying potential reproduction areas of northern pike. Methods: The data of pike fry density, the vegetation, the abiotic and biotic environmental factors, as well as the aerial images of the 45 sampling sites were collected by Natural Resources Institute Finland and Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland as part of the Kvarken Flada -project. Pike fry were sampled with a flat dipnet amongst vegetation along a 100 m sampling line during spring. Concurrently, the vegetation, the occurrence of sticklebacks (Gasterosteidae) and the abiotic factors affecting water quality, including salinity, pH, oxygen content and turbidity were determined. The temperature was recorded with temperature loggers from early spring until late summer. The temperature sum for June showed the greatest effect on pike fry densities and was thus used in the analyses. The archipelago zones, which are based on previously modelled temperature sums, were defined for the sampling sites in the geographic information system (QGIS). Additionally, factors describing the morphology, the vegetation and bottom substrate coverage of the sampling sites were utilized in the analyses. The presence of pike fry was analysed with binary logistic regression. The pike fry densities were studied using non-parametric analyses due to the high number of zero observations in the data. The aerial images were taken in late summer of 2017 and 2018, when the vegetation was fully developed. The vegetation types, i.e. reed, fallen reed, wetland grasses, submerged vegetation and filamentous algae, identified in the images were compared to the vegetation data gathered during field survey in QGIS. The performance of the aerial images was assessed by calculating the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity for the different vegetation classes, first for the whole dataset and then for the sampling points with pike fry observations. Results and conclusions: This study determines two key factors defining suitable reproduction areas of pike, the temperature sum for June and the morphology of the sampling site. The results indicate that pike prefer warm and sheltered areas with suitable vegetation, such as reed and wetland grasses. In particular, glo-lakes provide favorable conditions for pike and the temperature sum for June was significantly higher in the glo-lakes compared to the pre-flads. The temperatures of the glo-lakes were constant throughout the archipelago, providing suitable conditions for pike reproduction also in the outermost archipelago. In all of the glo-lakes pike fry were observed and generally the highest pike fry densities were found in glo-lakes. However, the year class strength of pike can be affected by the possibility of the juvenile pike to emigrate from the enclosed glo-lakes back to the sea. Salinity reflects the connectivity of the site to the surrounding sea and had a significant negative effect on pike fry density. Additionally, the presence of sticklebacks affected negatively the presence of pike fry, which might be traced back to the different use of the archipelago zones and site morphologies of these species. Increasing pH negatively influenced the pike fry density. However, pike fry were observed also in the highest pH conditions and therefore pH alone is not sufficient to explain the presence and density of pike fry. Due to the small sample size of the dataset, it can be assumed that not all of the factors influencing pike reproduction were identified and thus the use of a larger dataset is recommendable in future studies. This study provides new methodological information on reproduction area surveying of pike with high-resolution aerial photography. The different vegetation classes were successfully identified from the aerial images. The seasonal differences were noticeable in the results, as in the aerial photographs taken in late summer, the vegetation was fully developed compared to the field study in early spring. Nevertheless, aerial photography proved to be an effective method for identifying reproduction areas of pike based on the vegetation. Furthermore, reproduction areas in need of restoration could be assessed with aerial photography.
  • Suomalainen, Milla (2021)
    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of heatwaves in Finland. Heatwaves increase morbidity and mortality, especially among the elderly and chronically ill. Home care services are in an important role supporting the functioning ability and quality of life among populations vulnerable to heat. This study presents a qualitative empirical case study to understand heatwave adaptation in municipal home care services in Helsinki. The purpose of this study is to explore, describe and analyse the effects of the 2018 heatwave in the context of home care services, and the services’ capacity to adapt to heat. The data was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with home care workers both on the operational and strategical levels. Theoretical frameworks regarding extreme heat vulnerability and local adaptive practices were used to support the analysis. The results suggest that heatwaves have caused challenges for both workers and customers. While the working ability of home care staff may be reduced due to thermal stress, the customers’ reduced functioning ability may simultaneously increase the need for care. Some workers had experienced fatigue, and customers were described having typical heat exhaustion symptoms. Workers adaptive practices were mostly reactive responses aimed at reducing the vulnerability of customers to heat. Interviewees described having taken preventive measures to limit customers’ exposure to heat and prevent adverse heat-related health outcomes by monitoring customers’ hydration more carefully. No long-term preparedness measures were identified on the strategical level. The city had supported workers by offering mineral drink bottles and providing instructions for coping in hot weather. In conclusion, workers have an active role in adaptation, but it might be limited by their own thermal stress, customers’ different health conditions and resources, as well as service-level stressors such as lack of staff. Because heatwaves are expected to increase in the future, home care services’ preparedness to heatwaves might need to be improved. It would be important to consider adaptation needs of both workers and customers as they can be interrelated in the sense, that care is dependent on workers ability to function. In a wider societal framework, the adaptive capacity of home care should be secured through providing sufficient resources for these services. The latter is even more important in the light of future trends regarding the aging of population, increase in need for home-based services and decrease in workforce availability. More research is required on the effects of heatwaves on the most vulnerable populations, what adaptation needs there might be as well as how this relates to service provision.
  • Atti, Sanna (2021)
    Underwater light climate in mountain lakes is controlled by dissolved organic carbon concentrations and by lake ice regimes. Both are affected by local, regional and global variables linked to anthropogenic disturbances such as climate change and atmospheric pollution. Aim of this work was to investigate changes in underwater light climate over the past ~200 years in two oligotrophic mountain lakes and how it reflects on diatom (Bacillariophyceae) guild distribution. For these aims, diatom communities and ecological guilds were analyzed from sediment core and contemporary habitat samples along a depth gradient. In addition, sediment inferred chlorophyll a (CHLa) and lake water total organic carbon (TOC) were analyzed to detect development of primary production and lake water carbon content. Results showed that acidification of the lakes together with climate induced changes have been important drivers of the ecology of the lakes. Lake water TOC showed a decline and subsequent increase in line with the acidification and subsequent recovery of the lakes, likely affecting underwater light climate in the lakes. However, this did not reflect unambiguously into changes in diatom functionality. Warming has likely contributed to diversification of the diatom community over the study period while no distinct increases were observed in whole lake primary production. Overall, if the present study could not distinguish the exact role of underwater light in driving changes in diatom communities and functional traits, the result show that human pressures have left distinct imprints in the development of biotic communities in these remote mountain lakes.
  • Järvinen, Jasmin (2019)
    Climate change is one of the most major environmental challenges of our time. The upcoming decades will be crucial for delimiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5 - 2 degrees, as pointed out by the IPCC. Tackling climate change requires system-wide changes, emission reductions from all sectors and a shift towards low-carbon society. The global food system is responsible for circa 20-30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, achieving the goal of carbon neutrality necessitates profound changes in the food system, i.e. in the ways our food is being produced and consumed today. This, in turn, necessitates a transition towards more plant-based diets. There is a scientific consensus that plant-based diets are - in addition to human health - also beneficial for the climate, as they produce less greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon-intensive lifestyles are especially characteristic for people in industrialized countries. Food covers roughly one fifth of the annual carbon footprint of a Finn. Finnish diets produce relatively large emissions mainly due to high consumption of meat and dairy. As food choices contribute to climate change, it is crucial to seek solutions in order to steer sustainable food consumption. In addition to the efforts of the public sector, proactive companies are also capable of steering or “nudging” sustainable food consumption also by other than conventional means, such as information provision and financial incentives. These means and their acceptability are addressed in this thesis. This thesis explores how Finnish consumers allocate responsibilities between the government, companies and consumers for mitigating climate change. In addition, this thesis elucidates how Finnish consumers perceive food manufacturers’ role and contribution (means) in steering food consumption towards more climate-friendly choices. The study conducted for this thesis was a consumer survey (n=504) and the target population was Finnish consumers aged between 18-74 years. The material was collected during August 2019, and statistical methods were mostly applied to analyze the results. One of the key findings of this study is that half of the survey respondents perceive a shared responsibility between the government, companies and consumers in mitigating climate change. While least responsibility is assigned for consumers, their role is not, however, underestimated. It also seems like food manufacturers play an important role in steering climate-friendly food consumption in the respondents’ opinion. In addition, the respondents seem to be relatively accepting towards the fact of being steered by food companies in order to make more climate-friendly food choices. Also the means to steer consumer behaviour, which were addressed in this study, received a promising level of support from the respondents. The findings of the study shed light on the food industry’s opportunities to influence climate-friendly food consumption and can help to develop policies that aim to mitigate climate change and promote more sustainable culinary culture.
  • Tuusa, Minna (2019)
    This thesis aims to find out what are the challenges in the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy in a large labour-intensive company in the service business. Companies have an essential role in sustainable development and they are seen as important actors in spreading awareness of sustainability (Simas et al., 2013). While CSR is a concept that is playing an important part in the modern business world and has been involved in companies’ strategies for years now, there is still a gap between the CSR strategy formulation and implementation (Engert & Baumgartner, 2016). The research presented in this thesis is based on a literature review of CSR strategy implementation and on a single case study in a service business company, SOL Group, with high employee turnover, low wage levels and physical and intense working conditions. The objective of this thesis is to identify potential challenges in the CSR strategy implementation in large companies in service business, and based on the findings, structure hypotheses for further research. The case study data collection included four group interviews with several participants in each, as well as direct observation in the field, and it is supported by documents from the case company and literature. From the literature review, two models were identified: the five levers model by Lacy et al. (2009) and the success factor model by Engert & Baumgartner (2016). These two models were used as theoretical frameworks for analysing the challenges in the successful implementation of CSR strategy in the case company. The main finding was that the major challenge in the successful implementation of CSR strategy is to commit and engage the employees to the strategy implementation. This thesis proposes hypotheses for the future, to continue this research as an attempt to bridge the gap between CSR strategy formulation and implementation. It is hoped that the insight from this thesis helps companies to identify their challenges in the CSR strategy implementation and provides some guidelines on how to proceed if wanting to achieve a full implementation of CSR strategy.
  • Mattila, Bernd-Niklas (2020)
    Cladocerans play a key role in the aquatic ecosystem. They are abundant in lakes and are an essential part in the carbon and energy transfer of the food webs. These species are, however, prone to various environmental changes. Estimates have shown that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in northern lakes are likely to increase in the future. This increase of DOC in lakes has multiple impacts ranging from nutrient levels to shading impacts reducing primary productions. Investigating changes in cladocerans along a DOC gradient could help us understand how these species might develop in the future in our changing climate. In this Master’s Thesis, I studied how the cladoceran body length and community structure varied between 9 lakes with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration ranging from 2.4-33.5 mg l-1. For the analyses, these lakes where divided into two groups with a threshold of 12 mg l-1 or into groups of three based on their DOC concentrations. Then, the results were compared with cladoceran length data from an earlier study. Additionally, the changes in phytoplankton abundances and communities as well as the relation between DOC concentration and other environmental variables were analysed. The results showed an increase in the cladoceran body length above the DOC threshold. Moreover, the changes in body length varied between the studied genera. Both Ceriodaphnia sp. and Diaphanosoma sp. body length decreased in groups with higher DOC concentrations while Bosmina sp. were larger at high DOC concentrations. DOC concentration did not have any significant effect on the community structure of zooplankton. The studied lakes varied from their environmental condition making comparisons and general statements challenging. The results indicated that DOC concentration regulates the planktonic communities, but it is solely an imprecise predictor for changes in zooplankton communities. However, cladoceran densities seemed to benefit from increased DOC concentrations as nutrient levels also increased. Changes in cladoceran body lengths were challenging to interpret, because there are multiple factors that can have an impact both alone and combined with others.
  • Neuvonen, Eerika (2019)
    Corporations’ desire to act in a responsible way as well as the amount of sustainability guidelines has increased during the past decades. Responsible Care (RC) program is an international sustainable development guideline practiced in chemical industry. The program focuses on sustainable use of natural resources, safety and sustainability of production and products, well-being of work community and reduction of waste and emissions. This study seeks to examine the correspondence of contents between national Responsible Care (RC) program in Finland and sustainability framework guidelines known worldwide. The aim of the study is to examine how corporations in chemical industry who follow the national RC program can meet the goals of sustainability framework guidelines, what are the main differences between the national RC program and other sustainability guidelines, and how the national RC program should be improved. The research methods include the content analysis and in-depth interview for corporations. In this research, the sustainability framework is built and the involved guidelines are specified. The national RC program is reflected on the sustainability framework guidelines through content analysis. A model for comparative content analysis is developed to compare the contents of sustainability guidelines by the means of qualitative data visualization through radar charts. The corporate in-depth interviews are applied with a view to obtain complete and comprehensive responses. This study demonstrates that the national RC program highly corresponds to sustainability framework guidelines in terms of environmental responsibility and safety, while the RC program less highlights the dimensions of social and economic responsibility. Based on the main differences, the possible targets for improvement in the national RC program are suggested to enhance consideration of economic and social aspects in the program. From the in-depth interviews, corporations recognize the national RC program to be a useful tool to implement and develop corporation’s sustainability work, yet there is a need to better correspondence with sustainability framework guidelines and to be more user-friendly in practice.
  • Tiihonen, Katariina (2021)
    Forests have become one of the key themes when it comes to sustainability and have been subject to many demands and pressures from various stakeholders in recent years. In particular, the responsible use of forests has surfaced in discussions during the past 20 years. As the world and overall atmosphere is becoming more favorable to sustainability, companies are required to adapt to a changed society. The forest industry has a significant impact on Finland’s sustainable development and economy. In the forest industry corporate responsibility work has developed as demands from society have grown and the work has become more holistic over time as knowledge on the matter has increased. Pressures on companies' environmental work have come from outside companies from society, as well as from internal actors within companies. One well established forest industry company in Finland is Metsä Group, which has long been profiled as an environmentally responsible company. Therefore, corporate responsibility work and its development in Metsä Group has been selected as my research topic. In this thesis, I examine how environmental responsibility work has changed from the point of view of sustainability professionals in Metsä Group during the years 2000-2020. As research material, I use interviews with Metsä Group's sustainability professionals, as well as responsibility and annual reports from 2000-2020. For the interviews, I selected former and current Metsä Group employees who have worked in the company, either the whole duration or partly, during the years 2000-2020. I have analyzed the materials using content analysis as a method. The interviews revealed that, in general, employees felt that, compared to the early 2000s, in 2020 Metsä Group took more and more holistic action for its environmental responsibility. In general, it was seen that the most significant factors influencing corporate responsibility were megatrends such as climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as a general change in societal perceptions related to corporate responsibility. Leaders’ commitment and attitude towards environmental responsibility, as well as customer requirements, were also perceived as significant factors in promoting responsibility work. It was generally felt that if customers or management saw the matter as important it was invested in. All in all, the environmental corporate responsibility of Metsä Group had steadily improved during 2000-2020. Overall, the interviewees felt that environmental responsibility has been incorporated into Metsä Group's strategy, and that corporate responsibility work has become more holistic and professionalized.
  • Karlsson, Thomas Malte Molnár (2021)
    The way environmental issues are discursively constructed matters for how they are understood and what possibilities there are to solve them. This makes it relevant to investigate discourses around environmental issues and their proposed solutions. One such solution is ecological compensation, which has been widely implemented as a way to avoid environmental degradation and achieve no net loss of biodiversity. Compensation is also a contested mechanism, however, which has been shaped by the interplay of various discourses with diverging understandings of nature conservation. In this study, I investigate how ecological compensation is constructed by experts in Finland. Using the concept of storylines (Hajer 1995) I analyse 9 interviews conducted with experts involved in the discussion around ecological compensation, which is currently being implemented into Finnish legislation. Three storylines are identified which construct ecological compensation either as 1) a way to enable private actors to take environmental responsibility, 2) additional legislation to fill a “gap” in current conservation practices, or 3) a possibility to modify the relationship with nature by fostering local deliberations. This shows diverging understandings of ecological compensation among the experts and contestation over the way it should be implemented. What is at stake in the discussion are questions of how nature conservation should be understood, which makes ecological compensation pivotal for reconfiguring the field of nature conservation by shifting understandings of the roles and responsibilities involved. At the same time, consensus exists about the need to implement ecological compensation, which the experts all agree is the only possibility to stop biodiversity loss in Finland. This is traced to the interpretative flexibility of the ecological compensation concept which accommodates conflicting understandings and enables the experts to agree about the need for ecological compensation while contesting the “details” of how the implementation should take place. In that way, the implementation is supported despite contestation, and the discussion is focused on how – rather than whether – ecological compensation should be implemented.
  • Mäkelä, Iida (2021)
    Microbial diversity can be found everywhere around us. The diversity is however declining globally and the diversity loss is most visible in highly urbanized areas. The lack of microbial biodiversity has been linked to increased risk of certain im-mune mediated diseases most prevalent within urban population. Understanding how diversity differs between urban and rural areas can help us to figure out mechanisms behind biodiversity loss and higher frequency of immune-mediated dis-eases and develop prevention methods for the latter. The aim of the thesis is to study how bacterial communities differ between urban and rural areas using indicator species as proxy. The aim is also to find out if the results support the biodiversity hypothesis. The results of the thesis found out significant differences in diversity indexes between bacterial communities in urban and rural areas, which supports the biodiversity hypothesis. The study also found differences in Proteobacteria diversity index-es, which have been linked to some immune mediated diseases in previous studies.
  • Hämäläinen, Simon (2021)
    This thesis explores the drivers and barrier to greening in the Finnish music festival scene. The term greening originates in literature on sustainable business and refers to the process of a company achieving greater sustainability through investments, managerial and organisational decisions and implementing policies and processes. The concept of greening is applied to music festivals, a type of event, that cause significant negative environmental impacts. Sustainable event management attempts to mitigate negative environmental impacts and to cause positive impacts for instance through environmental education and inspiring behaviour change. As a theoretical framework, this thesis uses drivers and barriers impacting the greening of music festivals identified in literature. The drivers (organisational and personal values, competitive advantage, consumer demand and the desire to educate) and barriers (lack of finance or support from stakeholders, lack of control over venues, lack of control over patron behaviour, lack of time, lack of sustainable supplies and suppliers), networking in the festival scene and the use of external environmental audits form the basis for a qualitative content analysis. The findings based on interview data from five Finnish music festival managers and a representative from an environmental auditing service suggests that the most significant drivers are value-based and the motivation for greening stems from personal pro-environmental values and the desire to inform and educate audiences. The barriers to overcome are external, related to stakeholders, infrastructure and the supply chain as well as unsustainable attendee behaviour. Additionally, there is among festival managers some uncertainty regarding best practices. A need for increased support from stakeholders and for accessible information highlights the importance of networking. External auditing services should offer flexible and contextual tools and a more inspirational tone. In conclusion, sustainability is seen by the Finnish music festival scene as a key issue and one of increasing priority in the future.
  • Leinikki, Elli (2020)
    Iron-manganese (FeMn) concretions are found on soft sediment bottoms both in the deep sea and coastal sea areas, formed as a result of a combination of biogeochemical and microbial processes. It has been estimated that concretions occur at least in 11 % of the Finnish marine areas. Concretions form hard substrates on predominantly soft seafloors, and they are therefore suggested to increase geodiversity and habitat complexity of the seafloor. This has been found to correlate with biodiversity of the benthic fauna. Despite their widespread occurrence in the northern Baltic Sea, the ecological importance of FeMn concretions has been left unaddressed. In the recent assessment of threatened habitat types in Finland, concretion fields were classified as a data deficient habitat type. The aim of this study is to examine the role of FeMn concretions as habitats in the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Benthic biodiversity was investigated utilizing two approaches; the abundance of mobile fauna and sessile macrofauna were studied with point-dives. The data was compared to pre-existing data from similar soft bottoms where there are no observations of concretions, collected in the Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment (VELMU). Samples for sediment in-fauna were taken with a Van Veen Grab Sampler, and additional data was gathered also from Environmental Information System HERTTA (administered by Environmental Administration). The shape and quantity of concretions appear to affect the abundance of sediment in-fauna. Similarities to the invertebrate composition of soft sediment habitats depends of the soft sediment availability in the habitat, which is dependent on concretion shape and quantity. Crusts seem to affect the faunal composition more than spheroidal and discoidal concretions, as they offer the most complex habitats, significantly different from bare seafloors. Based on this study, the concretion fields should not necessarily be considered as just one habitat type, since the faunal composition appears to differ according to the shape of the concretions.
  • Latsa, Ilona (2020)
    Northern peatlands have a major role in the global carbon cycle due to their carbon stocks and fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Anthropogenic climate change may affect peatland carbon dynamics through changes in e.g. primary production, hydrology, and permafrost dynamics. It is uncertain whether these changes will lead to northern peatlands becoming significant sources of carbon to the atmosphere. Changes in moisture conditions especially can be an important factor in determining the carbon sink potential of northern peatlands. In this thesis I examine the palaeohydrology and peat accumulation over the past centuries in a permafrost peatland complex in Lovozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia. I used testate amoebae as a proxy of past changes in moisture conditions. Other study methods used here are detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and 14C and 210Pb dating. The results were also supplemented with plant macrofossil and carbon accumulation data provided by other members of the research team. The results show varying responses of the peatland hydrology and peat accumulation to the past climatic shifts, suggesting that the changes have been driven more by autogenic factors rather than climate. However, all three sites indicated a drying trend and an increased peat accumulation for the last century. Yet, the last decade is charachterised by a wet shift. The wet shifts suggest that the peatlands may have crossed a threshold where increased evapotranspiration is exceeded by increased moisture due to thawing permfrost. The surface peat layers of all three sites were dominated by mixotrophic testate amoebae, which may have contributed to the high peat accumulation. The inconsistency of past successional pathways identified at Lovozero peatlands and the drying trend over the past century correspond to the previous studies from northern peatlands elsewhere. However, the most recent surface wetting during the last decade differs from what has been reported for the other northern sites. This suggests that the response mechanisms of peatlands to the anthropogenic climate change may not be uniform. Thus, further research is inevitably needed to increase our understanding of peatland-climate intercations.
  • Kuitunen, Petri Viljami (2021)
    The supervisory expectations directed towards banks and other financial institutions to integrate, identify and manage climate-related risks has increased substantially during the past decade. The transition towards a de-carbonized economy creates risks and opportunities for financial institutions. The European Central Bank (ECB) has identified climate-related risks as one of the key drivers in the euro area requiring a forward-looking approach to be taken into consideration while dealing with these risks. One of the main ongoing tasks in the area is the identification and classification of environmentally sustainable activities. The objective of this Master’s thesis is to examine the effect that the reported greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the implementation of an emission reduction strategy have on corporate repayment capacity, calculated through external credit ratings. Previous literature has found a relationship between companies’ creditworthiness and environmental factors, but the results vary depending on the applied variables. The typical approach used in prior studies is the application of aggregated values of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors or limiting the analysis to specific industries or countries. The theoretical framework for this thesis rests mainly on previous academic research on the topic and publications by supervisory bodies. The data comprises 593 corporations from 37 countries operating in different industries over the years 2015-2019. The value of the probability of default (PD) is deployed as a measure of corporate repayment capacity. The climate-related variables and financial ratios were provided by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Standard and Poor’s (S&P). The relationship between corporate repayment capacity and the climate-related variables was analysed using a panel data multivariate regression model, specifically the ordinary least squares (OLS) method. The results of this study indicate that emission intensity levels contribute statistically in a negative and significant way to corporate credit ratings, implying that higher levels of emissions lead to a higher PD. On the other hand, having an emission reduction target contributes positively and significantly to corporate repayment capacity, indicating that having this target leads to a lower PD. The analysed climate-related variables were statistically more significant in industries considered to consist of high emitting companies, as opposed to low emitting ones.
  • Kalliokoski, Laura (2021)
    During the Covid-19 pandemic in Finland, there was a debate about the usefulness of face masks in suppressing the epidemic. Lack of scientific knowledge was emphasised in the debate, and the participants sought to define the role of science in decision-making. In this thesis, the ways in which ignorance and uncertainty were discussed and used to define the boundaries of science in the Finnish face mask debate are studied. In the theoretical part of the thesis, the meanings of ignorance and uncertainty are clarified and the boundary-work of science as well as uncertainty as a boundary-ordering device are discussed. The politicisation of non-knowledge and the characteristics of policy-relevant science are also examined. In the empirical part, the knowledge/non-knowledge claims of the Finnish experts and decision-makers who participated in the face mask debate are analysed. The data consists of 99 quotations collected from news articles published from March 1 to October 31, 2020. Qualitative frame analysis is employed to examine the forms of knowledge and ignorance along with the boundary-ordering devices used in the debate. The results show that experts working at the science-policy boundary highlighted uncertainty and ignorance most often. They also used uncertainty as a boundary-ordering device the most, although overall, this came up very rarely in the debate. The main discrepancy was between the assessments of different expert bodies, as research scientists did not usually mention the underlying uncertainties of scientific findings. Different actors had different approaches towards knowledge and ignorance, reflecting differences in epistemic cultures. Regulatory science and academic science have different criteria for assessing the credibility of knowledge. Moreover, not all ignorance and uncertainty in decision-making can be reduced with scientific methods. Therefore, more resilient decision-making processes should be developed, in which ignorance and limitations of scientific knowledge are identified and embedded in the decisions.
  • Renvall, Valtteri (2021)
    Energy consumption of apartment buildings account for a significant part of European Union’s total greenhouse gas emissions and improving the energy efficiency of buildings is a major part of reaching Union’s climate goals. To reach these goals the EU has revised some of its legislation and one of the latest reforms is the complete revision of Energy Efficiency of Buildings directive in 2018. Directives article 14 decreed that member states need to implement energy efficiency measures on large apartment buildings and to meet these measures member states were given three options on how to implement article 14. Finland implemented the article with so called voluntary advice method. The goal of this study is to understand the conclusion of the national implementation of article 14 and explain it with implementation theory. The study tries to understand what factors led to the implementation of voluntary advice method and whether this selection can be explained with implementation theory. Study design is one case explanatory case study. Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted for this research and the material was analysed with qualitative methods. All the interviewees were either officials in charge of the implementation or experts and researchers who took part in the implementation process. The study shows that the factors leading up to the selected implementation method were earlier experiences from other implementations, the straightforward nature of implementing advice method and the cost estimates between the given implementation options. It also became clear that the method was favoured by the officials, experts and target group and this volition might have affected the result. Study helps to understand the process of implementing EU legislation in a member state, what challenges officials face during the implementation and what kind of expectations steer the process. The study found out that previous implementation methods may have a significant impact on the implementation of revised directives. Study also verified the factors affecting implementation defined by implementation theories.
  • Boman, Rasmus (2020)
    The interactions within plankton communities are complex, and realistic modelling of these interactions create a challenge in large-scale environmental models. The objective of this thesis was to evaluate whether Bayesian networks could be a suitable method in the modelling of these communities. Besides observing the interactions between different groups within phyto- and zooplankton communities, another goal was to focus on the potential change on the ecosystem level. To achieve this, dynamic Bayesian networks with hidden variables were used to observe whether structural changes in plankton communities could reveal larger trends in the aquatic ecosystem. To compare performance and accuracy of the model, two Bayesian food webs with differing causal links between observations were built. Of the two models, the simpler construct utilizing hidden Markov model fared better, and a clear trend was detected in the hidden variable. This trend in the time series signify that the relationships between the observed variables have changed during the study period. The plankton data set was collected from the Archipelago Sea between 1991 and 2016 and the results from the model were further analyzed alongside with this observational plankton data. In the samples the total biomass of phytoplankton grew throughout the study period, whereas at the same time the total biomass of zooplankton declined. As the Bayesian network considers the observable variables while maximizing the fit of the hidden variable, the observed trend in the hidden variable indicate that some unobservable variables are affecting both phyto- and zooplankton communities. This clear trend detected by the hidden variable might be related to a trend of increasing eutrophication in the study area, but to better understand the drivers causing this change further research is needed. Besides detecting underlying trends, the dynamic Bayesian networks are a promising method to study the interactions within plankton communities.