“We have set ambitious climate targets for our investments, which requires that we follow sustainable practices in our own building. We have systematically reduced the emissions from our own operations in line with our climate targets. By switching to emission-free recycled heat, we are encouraging district heating companies to develop more environmentally friendly services,” says Varma’s Toni Pekonen, Commercial Property Director.
The waste heat used in recycled heat is a by-product of data centres, substations and industrial processes. It is processed in heat pump plants using renewable power.
Emission reduction from heating equals the annual emissions of 235 cars
The introduction of recycled heat reduces emissions by an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of 235 cars.
Varma is one of the first companies to switch to recycled heat. The recycled heat for the Salmisaari office is delivered by the energy company Helen.
“The electricity used by the heat pump plants is renewable and CO2 free, which is why the recycled heat is completely emission free. We are focussing heavily on utilising waste heat sources and on heat pump plants,” says Helen’s Account Manager Reijo Lemetyinen.
Waste heat is processed at Helen’s Katri Vala heating and cooling plant and the Esplanade heat pump plant. The latter was taken into use last year.
Carbon footprint clearly smaller
The carbon footprint of Varma’s own operations has declined 44% from the 2015 baseline. The significant reduction is largely based on fact that the greenhouse gas emissions from energy consumption at our Salmisaari office were cut by as much as 51% in three years.
This is mainly the result of switching to green hydroelectricity back in 2016.
Read how Varma’s head office in Salmisaari became a sustainability test laboratory (in Finnish).
Varma aims for emission-free heating and electricity in its properties
Varma updated its climate policy in November 2019, and at the same time set new emission targets for its real estate investments. Varma’s goal is to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of its direct real estate investments by switching to fossil-free heating and electricity by 2030 and 2025 respectively.
Varma’s entire investment portfolio aims for carbon neutrality by 2035. Read more about our climate targets.
Read more on our Climate policy for investments.