Sponda achieved an excellent result in the property sector’s GRESB sustainability benchmark survey. Sponda was ranked first in Finland and second in the Nordic region in its peer group and also among the leading companies in Europe as a whole.
GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) is a global comparative study of sustainability that measures the performance of property companies in various areas of sustainability, including sustainability management, the environmental efficiency of properties, stakeholder engagement, risk management and the sustainability of property development. This year’s study surveyed 903 companies and funds in 64 countries.
"We encourage customers to adopt environmentally sound operating methods. One concrete tool for this is our own environmental partnership programme.
Sponda received a full five-star assessment and, for the sixth year running, the company was also awarded a Green Star for its social responsibility.
“We take pride in our long-term and comprehensive efforts to promote sustainability. It is a high priority for Sponda to take sustainable development and strict environmental standards into account throughout the property life cycle, and our results reflect this commitment,” says Pirkko Airaksinen, Sustainability Manager at Sponda.
Full marks for the management of sustainability
Sponda’s ratings exceeded its peer group averages in almost every area.
“We received full marks for our sustainability policy and the management of sustainability, along with excellent ratings for stakeholder engagement and the mitigation of environmental impacts. Our environmental certification projects and the on-site production of renewable energy saw us achieve scores that were substantially higher than the average scores of our peer group,” Airaksinen explains.
“The method provides customers and end users with reliable information on the extent to which sustainability has been integrated into the company’s operations."
Sponda’s Sustainability Manager considers the property sector’s GRESB method a significant factor in sustainability-related efforts to combat climate change.
“The method provides partner enterprises, stakeholders, customers and end users with reliable information on the extent to which sustainability has been integrated into the company’s operations and processes. Other sectors would do well to develop similar methods of measurement,” Airaksinen adds.
Engaging customers in sustainability efforts
Sponda actively encourages customers to adopt environmentally sound operating methods. One concrete tool for this purpose is Sponda’s environmental partnership programme.
“The programme helps customers reduce the environmental load resulting from the use of properties. In addition to energy consumption, the programme takes into account material efficiency, water consumption and factors related to the comfort of the indoor environment. We also help our customers communicate the environmental efficiency of their property,” Airaksinen says.
On a mission to take the entire industry forward
As a leading player in its field, Sponda has a strong focus on the development of sustainability throughout the sector.
“We require our contractual partners to have valid environmental systems or programmes, and we call on them to take Sponda’s environmental responsibility targets and operating principles into account in their operations,” Airaksinen explains.
Sustainability is all about co-operation. To minimise the property’s environmental impacts, we work in co-operation with our stakeholders, customers and maintenance organisations,” says Pirkko Airaksinen, Sustainability Manager at Sponda.
Sponda has already set out its own targets several years ago. Energy efficiency, for example, has been one of the company’s strategic priorities since 2009.
“The goal of our energy efficiency programme is to achieve energy savings of 20% by 2020, using the average consumption in 2001–2005 as the baseline. We are also a signatory to the Finnish property sector’s energy efficiency agreement (TETS), which sets energy efficiency targets until 2025. We are also implementing ambitious measures in areas such as the improvement of material efficiency and the increased use of environmental certification,” Airaksinen concludes.
Sponda’s six responsibility priorities:
- energy and environmental efficiency
- property locations
- enhancing the customer experience
- investing in employees
- transparent and ethical operations
- taking the industry forward