Energy and environmental efficiency
Construction and completed buildings are responsible for more than 40 per cent of Finland’s total energy consumption. Recognising this, we at Sponda pay particular attention to the energy efficiency and environmental impacts of our properties.
The key aspects of the priority are:
- The energy efficiency of properties
- Carbon footprint and renewable energy
- Supporting customers and increasing environmental awareness among employees
- Environmental efficiency of own operations
- Environmental certification of properties
- The sorting and recovery of property waste
- Water consumption at properties
Why is this a priority?
At Sponda, we continuously develop our energy and environmental efficiency because the property sector plays an important role in mitigating climate change. Increasing customer requirements and stricter legislation are further factors behind the need for continuous development. The regulatory requirements will increase following the entry into force of an EU directive at the start of 2021, which stipulates that all new buildings must be nearly zero-energy buildings.
Energy efficiency is an integral element of all of our operations, ranging from property development projects to the renovation, maintenance and use of properties. The energy efficiency of buildings has a direct impact on carbon dioxide emissions through reducing consumption. In addition to reducing the environmental load, improvements in energy efficiency also produce cost savings.
Every day, nearly 30,000 people work in the office properties we lease to our clients and, on average, some 65,000 people visit our shopping centres each day. As much as 60 per cent of the total energy consumption of a building occurs during the use of the building, which means that co-operation between the landlord and tenants aimed at reducing energy consumption is of crucial importance.
At Sponda, we monitor energy and water consumption, carbon footprint and waste management volumes for our properties located in Finland on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. For our office properties in Russia, the consumption of electricity and water are monitored on a monthly and annual basis.
Environmentally responsible property development
At Sponda, new construction, property renovation and the design of low-energy office buildings are all subject to the company's design guidelines, which are reviewed and updated annually and are in many ways more extensive than the generally applied standards and regulations. The guidelines help us develop adaptable and energy efficient properties that offer functional working environments.
We pay particular attention to environmental requirements in our property development operations. We apply for international environmental classification, an environmental certificate, for all of our new buildings and major renovation projects.
In recognition of developing adaptable and energy-efficient commercial properties Sponda was elected the Developer of the Year 2015 by the RAKLI jury.
Sponda’s Energy efficiency programme is aimed at conserving energy
We support the energy efficient use of properties particularly through Sponda’s Energy efficiency programme, which is aimed at achieving energy savings in co-operation with clients. We set energy-saving goals and measures for achieving them individually for each property in co-operation with the users. Our Energy efficiency programme is complemented by our Environmental partnership programme. In addition to energy consumption, the programme takes into account the broader environmental impacts of the property.
Our Energy efficiency programme’s energy savings target was achieved ahead of schedule in 2013. The target of the programme was to achieve energy savings of 10 per cent by 2016, using the average consumption in 2001–2005 as the baseline. Our long-term target is to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption by 2020, again using the average consumption in 2001–2005 as the baseline. Our progress with respect to the long-term target is on schedule.
The cost savings achieved through the Energy efficiency programme are reinvested in the properties. Sponda’s partners Corbel Oy and Ovenia Oy are responsible for property maintenance operations and for collecting and monitoring consumption data.
Together with our environmental partners, we organise environmental events to distribute information to the users of properties on property-specific environmental matters and energy efficiency.
Sponda’s Green Lease
In the Green Lease model, we and the customer agree on joint objectives and compensation models to encourage the use of environmentally friendly solutions and the reduction of energy consumption. The difference between the Green Lease model and the Environmental partnership programme is that, under the Green Lease agreement, savings and excesses in energy costs are divided annually between the tenant and the landlord.
Environmental information for employees
The environmental expertise of our employees is improved with the help of the WWF Green Office programme. Our head office in Helsinki is a Green Office. We increase environmental awareness in other ways, such as the annual Green Day environmental event, internal training events as well as Green Office tips published on the company's intranet and Sponda’s Facebook page.
We encourage our employees to make ecological choices through a company car policy that supports low-emission options. Employees are also offered with company bicycles. As part of Sponda’s Green Office environmental programme, we also offer our employees training in economical driving.