The number of Technopolis’ environmental certificates has almost doubled since 2017 when 43 percent of the company’s entire building portfolio was granted the LEED and BREEAM environmental certificates when measured in square meters. The number of environmental certificates has been increased systematically both in Finland and internationally. In 2022, Technopolis’ campuses in Luxembourg, Gothenburg, and Oslo, for instance, were granted the sought-after LEED and BREEAM certificates for their environmental friendliness.
“In 2017, Technopolis was the first company in Finland to adopt the LEED Volume Program for its existing buildings. Our starting point has been to certify all our new buildings, and the environmental certificates guide our work already at the planning and construction stage. Over the next few years, we aim to further increase the number of our environmental certificates,” says Marjaana Kymäläinen, Sustainability Manager at Technopolis.
At Technopolis, environmental certificates are seen as guiding principles in new building projects as well as in the maintenance of the company’s existing buildings. An environmental rating verified by a third party provides a transparent tool to manage, minimize and measure the company’s own environmental impacts as well as for sustainable maintenance.
AI-based solutions and systematic climate work as the drivers of carbon neutrality
Technopolis’ aim to improve the ecological efficiency of its buildings is visible as purposeful efforts to minimize the company’s environmental footprint in all its operations. The buildings’ environmental impacts, such as waste, energy and water consumption and the share of CO2 emissions, are closely monitored, and the company is committed to switching to using carbon-neutral energy in its buildings by 2030.
Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and increasing the use of renewable energy has been at the center of the company’s sustainability work for a long time. This work is currently being boosted with energy-saving measures focused on electricity consumption and heating.
“Both in the Finnish and international units, we have adopted AI-based systems, which have helped us reach significant energy savings in 2022. We also participate in the state-owned company Motiva’s Astetta Alemmas (Down a degree) campaign in Finland,” Kymäläinen notes.
The enhanced energy-saving measures support the company’s journey towards carbon-neutral energy consumption in all its buildings. The transition to carbon neutrality is progressing as planned: all Technopolis facilities utilize 100% renewable electricity only, and the Otaniemi campus in Espoo, Oulu’s Ydinkeskusta campus and the Fornebu campus in Oslo are already carbon neutral in terms of energy use.
In addition to carbon-neutral energy use, Technopolis pursues to reduce (embodied) CO2 emissions in (new) construction. The large-scale environmental impacts of the industry highlight the efforts to promote a low-carbon built environment.
“We consider it important that real estate does not only focus on reducing in-use emissions. As a signatory of the international Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, we have committed to calculate the lifecycle emissions of all our large new construction and renovation projects as well as to reduce the buildings’ emissions at the construction stage,” Kymäläinen continues.
Long-term sustainability investments also contribute to the pursuit of sustainable growth. In 2022, Technopolis has updated its sustainability strategy and prepared for the requirements of the new operating environment, including the forthcoming regulations for the real estate industry. Sustainability is now more and more evident in the company’s daily operations, be it building maintenance or offered services.
LEED®, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED® certification system is the program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings and communities. The rating system addresses building’s energy, water and material efficiency, indoor environmental conditions and building maintenance in accordance with sustainable development, among other things.
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a sustainability assessment method for buildings. BREEAM does this through third party certification of the assessment of an asset’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance, using standards developed by BRE Group.