The pioneer of environmental solutions will not run out work in the future
After 40 years of operating in the field of environmental and ecosystem protection, there is now more demand for Lamor's expertise than ever before. The green transition increases the need for comprehensive environmental solutions, and global growth in environmental investments offers new growth opportunities not only for Lamor but also for other Finnish companies.
Lamor, established by the Larsen family in 1982, was originally called Larsen Marine Oil Recovery. Today, the company is specialised in environmental services and products. Lamor found its business idea when it had to come up with new uses for the fleet originally acquired for the shipping operations, as trade with the Soviet Union reduced significantly in the 1980s. It turned out that there was need for oil spill response equipment in the heavily trafficked Baltic Sea, which at the time lacked any equipment for responding to spills.
The company made a technological breakthrough in its own sector in 1991, when the brush skimmer was invented to collect oil.
Lamor, which was listed on the stock exchange in 2021, currently operates in more than 100 countries through its partner network and covers up to 40% of the needs in the world's oil spill response market. The business has expanded from oil spill response to broader environmental solutions at sea and on land. Soil restoration and decontamination operations and waste and water treatment are an important part of Lamor's operations.
Focus on the circular economy and minimising the carbon footprint in today's environmental services
Lamor's solutions benefit the environment and climate in many ways. Cleaning up oil spills prevents the oil from evaporating into the atmosphere, which would generate greenhouse gas emissions. Circular economy solutions also play an increasingly important role in environmental services.
“Lamor's waste and water treatment solutions are based on optimising the resource use and efforts to utilise as much recycled waste as a raw material as possible. For example, to save potable water, we reuse process water to the highest extent possible," says Mika Pirneskoski, CEO of Lamor.
Alongside the circular economy, the EU taxonomy has now brought the focus of environmental services to minimising the carbon footprint or, in a broader sense, driving net-zero emissions to combat climate change. To meet the growing needs of its customers, Lamor develops ‘Life Cycle Assessment’ services, i.e., data on the life-cycle emissions of its products.
Environmental investments in enterprises – from a necessary evil to a source of growth
Lamor has witnessed a change in the approach to environmental challenges from close proximity. As recently as 20 to 30 years ago, environmental investments were mainly seen as costs that needed to be minimised – a necessary evil. A major change in attitudes took place after some major oil spills, such as those caused by Prestige and Deepwater Horizon, occurred in 2000–2010.
Today, environmental investments are made not only for the sake of being prepared for or minimising damage. Companies increasingly want the investments to generate positive impacts. The green transition to combat climate change will bring new growth opportunities for companies.
For Lamor, the green transition manifests itself as a significant increase in environmental investments by customers. Lamor's business is further boosted by the fact that development and state funders have adopted a new focus area, sustainable investments.
“Without exception, the financing of large infrastructure projects is contingent upon keeping their negative social and environmental impacts at the minimum. Biodiversity is given clearly more value, which is reflected, for example, in the increase in ecological restoration projects. Oil and gas industry companies withdrawing from certain operations has also brought more business for us in tidying up after them,” says Pirneskoski.
Cooperation across company boundaries around genuine projects
The Finnish cleantech sector has grown dramatically in recent years, and the industry has a lot of global-level expertise. Pirneskoski considers that the strengths of Finnish companies lie especially in rapidly scalable products, i.e., data management and its integration into operational activities. On the other hand, no natural ecosystem has grown around environmental technology in Finland, as the state of the environment is “too good” in Finland. For example, from the perspective of water treatment, our high-quality groundwater requires hardly any cleaning.
Internationally, however, the cleantech market is enormous, but competition is also fierce. For Finland to succeed in this competition, Pirneskoski calls for stronger Finnish cooperation across company boundaries through developing different ecosystems and joint offerings.
The Business Finland ecosystem project focusing on the global plastic waste problem is an example of such a project, says Pirneskoski.
Climate-friendly projects have a special position in Finnvera's financing
Export financing granted by Finnvera plays an important role in Lamor's international success story. In particular, thanks to Finnvera and a senior financier, in spite of its limited resources Lamor was able to provide project-phase guarantees, necessary in the sector, before the company applied for stock exchange listing. Pirneskoski would be pleased to see more medium-sized Finnish companies in international arenas.
“In Team Finland events around the world, you mostly see large companies or small early-stage enterprises – medium-sized companies are missing. Through collaboration, SMEs and midcap companies could also start seeking stronger international growth,” Pirneskoski estimates.
Enabling export projects by means of financing is one of Finnvera's key tasks. The Team Finland network offers several tools for supporting the internationalisation of companies.
“The matters that become emphasised in export projects are knowing the exporter, the foreign parties involved and the target country well and sharing the risks with banks. At Finnvera, we strive to improve the financing expertise of SMEs and midcap companies in export trade by organising free financing workshops for export trade, where we present finance instruments available for exporters and means of protection against risks,” says Finance Manager Jari Mehto from Finnvera.
Climate-friendly projects are one of Finnvera's new strategic focus areas. This is reflected, for example, in the possibility to finance projects contributing to the green transition with a higher share of financing than usual. In addition to climate and environmental aspects, social perspectives are also taken into account in the assessment of all export credit guarantee projects.
LAMOR CORPORATION OYJ
- A family-owned company, founded in 1982 in Finland, is one of the world's leading suppliers of environmental solutions.
- Operates in more than 100 countries through partner and distribution networks. Subsidiaries and affiliated companies in 21 countries.
- Employs around 290 persons
- Turnover in 2021 was EUR 51.5 million.