At the beginning of the year Sponda entered into a new kind of environmental partnership with about ten customers. The aim is to reduce the environmental load of the buildings and to support their environmental-friendly use.
One of Sponda's first environmental partners is an Elisa branch office at the heart of Tampere. Approximately 650 people work in this large, 11,000-square-metre building, so the environmental effect matters.
“We asked Elisa if they were interested in the environmental partnership because we knew that green values had been part of Elisa's strategy for years,” says the head of the Tampere region, Ari-Pekka Lehtonen. Elisa's Real Estate Manager, Tuomo Soikkeli, adds that carbon footprint reduction is one of the company's key objectives.
The partnership is not started from scratch as the two companies have already cooperated in Sponda's Energy Efficiency Programme. In the course of the year, a significant investment will be made within the framework of that programme. As a result, the ventilation in the Elisa office building will work only on desired floors. Up till now the ventilation has been working throughout the entire building also during the night when only a handful of people are working there.
Training and networking
“Through the environmental partnership we focus on the reduction of waste and recycling more. When we get more information, we'll be able to analyse this initiative more thoroughly,” Tuomo Soikkeli believes.
The Real Estate Manager expects that as a result of the partnership Elisa will obtain more detailed information about their consumption and volumes of different types of waste. He's hoping that Sponda's partnership network will provide an opportunity to obtain reference data and training tailored specifically for their employees.
“This is largely a matter of education in my opinion. Educating users is important, as we are not always aware of the correct procedures,” Soikkeli points out.
Targets case by case
Underlying the Energy Efficiency Programme and the new Environmental Partnership Programme is the European Union's objective to achieve a 20% reduction in both energy consumption and greenhouse emissions by the year 2020.
“As a major owner of real estate property, Sponda has a responsibility and obligation to do its part. However, we need the cooperation of our customers,” says Ari-Pekka Lehtonen.
Environmental partners agree on the practical measures on a case by case basis. It is essential to identify the current environmental impact of each customer, set goals and agree on practical measures to be taken according to the customer's wishes.
“Buildings and companies differ from each other in many ways and office waste and industrial waste are completely different. Some of the measures to be taken may be simple and can be implemented quickly while others are long-term objectives,” says Lehtonen.
The Environmental Manager at Sponda, Tiina Huovinen, believes that the Environmental Partnership Programme will grow as the first experiences from this new operational model help us create the best practices.
“The customers are genuinely interested in environmental matters, and customer queries bring forth issues related to waste management and sorting. At the moment we are already assisting our customers in joining the WWF Green Office community, for instance, by providing information about the energy consumption and amounts of waste in the building,” Huovinen reminds us.
Elisa's reception in Tampere