The carbon footprint of Varma’s head office shrunk 23% in 2016. Switching to green electricity had the biggest impact on lowering the greenhouse gas emissions. The company is currently looking into the possibility of installing solar panels on the roof of the head office.
Varma’s head office in Helsinki’s Salmisaari district is part of the WWF’s Green Office system, the purpose of which is for the companies involved to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their operations. In addition to the property itself, the day-to-day activities of the workplace are also assessed, from waste and printing volumes to the work commute.
“The biggest reason for the major reduction in Varma’s carbon footprint is that we switched to using hydroelectricity, i.e. green electricity, at our head office. This cut the greenhouse gas emissions from our energy consumption in half during the year,” says Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Katariina Sillander.
Varma is currently looking into the possibility of installing solar panels on the roof of the head office. Solar power has already been introduced in a few of Varma’s investment properties, and new, suitable roofs for the panels are currently being sought.
Good results were also achieved in curbing paper consumption and in reducing emissions from the work commute. Emissions from air traffic, however, increased somewhat. Water consumption and waste volumes also rose; the reason behind the increase is the growing clientele in the restaurant that operates in the building and the resulting additional consumption.
Greener company car policy
At the turn of the year, Varma adopted a new, more environmentally friendly company car policy. Under the new policy, the emissions limit for company cars was lowered to 130 CO2 grams/kilometre.
“At the same time, Varma adopted a compensation model to support personnel who drive low-emission company cars (less than 110 CO2g/km),” says Sillander.
Sustainability target to mitigate climate change
Climate change mitigation is one of Varma’s key CSR targets. Varma’s investment portfolio, valued at nearly EUR 43 billion, has the biggest impact. Ambitious targets aimed at shrinking the carbon footprint by asset class have been set as a means of reducing the climate impact of investments. Varma achieved good momentum in its targets in 2016, and the carbon footprint of, among others, equities shrunk 22% during the year.
Compared to investments, the environmental impacts of Varma’s head office are minor, but they have a strong symbolic role.
“If we are to demand emissions reductions from our investees or co-operation partners, we must set an example ourselves and take a strong stance on mitigating climate change. Besides, no measure is too small if it helps keep the living conditions on Earth tolerable for future generations,” stresses Sillander.
Katariina Sillander, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, tel. +358 40 7099 836, email@example.com
Katri Viippola, SVP, HR, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, tel. +358 400 129 500, firstname.lastname@example.org