VVO Group’s most significant environmental impacts are associated with construction and property maintenance. The most significant impact comes from the carbon dioxide emissions caused by our housing stock’s energy consumption. In Finland, the energy used by buildings accounts for 39 per cent of total energy consumption, which corresponds to 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
VVO Group has long traditions in energy management. Consumption monitoring has been in use
since the 1980s and the first environmental programme was launched in the 1990s. We boost the energy efficiency of our property portfolio with maintenance and operational measures without compromising on residents’ comfort. Annual property maintenance costs total approximately EUR 116 million, of which just over a third is spent on energy. Greater energy efficiency curbs rises in property maintenance costs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. If VVO had not used its energy wisely, our costs would have risen dramatically since the turn of the millennium due to increased energy prices.
In 2016, the temperature-corrected consumption of heating energy in VVO Group’s properties decreased by 2.4 per cent (2015: -0.8%) when compared to the previous year. Water consumption increased by 1.6 per cent (-1.1%) and electricity consumption decreased by 0.3 per cent (-2.6%).
CO2 emissions caused by heating energy production for VVO’s properties were approximately 49,000 (54,000) tonnes. VVO Group seeks to alleviate the environmental impacts of energy consumption by using carbon-neutral energy for property electricity. District heating is used in 99 per cent of VVO’s properties.
of properties use district heating
The balance between healthy and comfortable living conditions and smart energy consumption is sought by increasing heat recovery. In the coming years, VVO Group will use heat pumps to increase heat recovery ventilation in its existing housing stock. In addition, the monitoring of living conditions has been increased significantly in recent years. Room temperatures and ventilation are automatically monitored in new properties. In older properties, monitoring is carried out with regular sample measurements; however, different IoT-based measurement systems have also been taken into use. This increased volume of data helps to ensure energy-efficient settings in the properties and optimum indoor air conditions in the apartments.
The Finnish Energy Efficiency Act obligates major companies to conduct an energy audit at a four-year interval. The energy audit determines the energy consumption profile of all company or group sites and identifies opportunities for saving energy.
According to VVO Group’s energy audit, the most efficient way to improve renovation-related energy efficiency is to take improvements into account as a part of repair and renovation activities. Improving the energy efficiency of an individual structural component is considerably more cost-efficient in connection with other repairs than as separate energy repair actions. Another cost-efficient method of improving the energy efficiency of a property is to monitor consumption during use and maintenance and to take use-related technical measures.
As part of our renovations and new construction projects, VVO Group contributes to the development of efficient lifecycle solutions for residential buildings. Stricter construction regulations also steer us towards more energy-efficient solutions.
VVO Group will continue its climate partnership agreement with the City of Helsinki. VVO Group has also committed to following the Rental Property Action Plan (VAETS), which set a 2016 heating energy savings target of seven per cent compared to 2009. The savings targets for 2016 have already been achieved and, with regard to property electricity consumption, have even been exceeded. VVO Group decided to join the VAETS II agreement on 14 October 2016. The housing investment company pursues energy savings of 7.5 per cent by 2025.
VVO Group is the only Finnish real estate company in the Climate Leadership Council. As a member, VVO Group has an opportunity to influence climate issues and public dialogue. CLC is also a source of innovation and practical solutions. In return, VVO Group provides solution developers with pilot sites and views from the field of everyday housing operations.
In 2016, Lumo-kotikeskus in Tampere received the right to use WWF’s Green Office label. The agreements on the joining of the Tampere and Hämeenlinna Lumo-kotikeskus offices in the Green Office environmental system were signed in 2015. The Group head office in Helsinki has been Green Office certified since the inception of the programme in 2002.