“Mitigating climate change is one of Varma’s key sustainability targets, and in recent years, we have also succeeded in reducing the carbon footprint of our real estate. Environmental ratings are a concrete way to develop the sustainability of real estate,” says Varma’s Commercial Property Director, Toni Pekonen.
Varma’s goal is to have its most important buildings certified according to the BREEAM environmental rating system by 2025. The aim is to achieve a minimum rating of “Good” or “Very Good”. Today, 38 buildings owned by Varma have BREEAM environmental certification.
BREEAM* is an environmental rating system for buildings and building projects to assess the eco-efficiency of buildings using harmonised methods. The environmental rating system covers areas such as energy efficiency systems, waste sorting and recycling opportunities, and location, i.e. whether the building is situated along good public transport routes and how cycling is encouraged in the space solutions, for example.
Certification as a tool for development
“BREEAM certification is an internationally recognised proof of a property’s environmental quality, and the system also provides a practical tool for reducing environmental impacts and developing operations,” says Kari Hiltunen, Head of Department at Ramboll, Varma’s partner in building certification.
In 2019, Varma plans to certify at least 10 new buildings.
“While certificates are important for the real estate owner, they also show our tenants that we focus on sustainability and environmental impacts in our buildings,” says Pekonen.
Buildings certified in 2018:
- Spa Hotel Saimaa, Lappeenranta, Finland - Good
- KOy Jyväskylän maalaiskunnan Kotikeskus, Jyväskylä, Finland - Good
- KOy Nokian Nuijamiestentie 5, Nokia, Finland - Good
- KOy Pirkkalan Palmrothintie 1 A, Pirkkala, Finland - Good
- KOy Pirkkalan Palmrothintie 1 B, Pirkkala, Finland - Good
- KOy Salmisaaren Liikuntakeskus, Helsinki, Finland - Good
- KOy Helsingin Lönnrotinkatu 18, Helsinki, Finland - Very Good
- KOy Jyväskylän Sorastajantie 1, Jyväskylä, Finland - Good
- KOy Ornant, Helsinki, Finland - Good
- KOy Vaasan Sampotalo, Vaasa, Finland - Good
- KOy Helsingin Valimopolku 4, Helsinki, Finland - Very Good
- KOy Metsänpojankuja 1, Espoo, Finland - Very Good
- KOy Partolan Kauppajätti, Pirkkala, Finland - Good
- KOy Rajalla, Tornio, Finland - Good
- Jumalniemi Shopping Centre, Kotka, Finland - Good
* Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method
How can real estate sustainability be improved?
- by using solar energy
- by switching to green electricity
- by ensuring efficient ventilation
- by using energy-efficient lighting
- by optimising heating settings
- by ensuring correct recycling of waste