Sponda Ltd Press release 11 November 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
All Sponda’s shopping centres are environmentally certified – the goal is to certify all of Sponda’s central Helsinki properties
Sponda, Finland’s leading real estate asset management company, has met its latest corporate sustainability target, with all five of its shopping centres having now received the BREEAM Very Good environmental certification.
The achievement coincides with Sponda reaching a significant milestone in its sustainability work by certifying the last of its properties in the heart of Helsinki. Sponda’s ultimate aim is to obtain at least Gold rating in LEED or Very Good rating in BREEAM environmental certification for all of the company’s slightly more than twenty properties in the city centre by the end of 2021.
The primary certification type that is being sought for Sponda’s properties is the BREEAM In-Use certificate, which encourages continuous development and must be re-certified every three years. The In-Use certification of a property demonstrates that the property is managed and maintained in accordance with sustainable development standards. Only Sponda’s long-term renovation and new construction projects where the certification process is part of the development project are excluded from the target schedule.
Ratina, in the city centre of Tampere, is the latest and final Sponda shopping centre to receive a Very Good BREEAM certification. This construction-phase certificate guarantees that the building has been designed and built in accordance with strict environmental objectives. The Forum and Citycenter shopping centres in the centre of Helsinki as well as the Zeppelin shopping centre in Kempele and the Elo shopping centre in Ylöjärvi achieved Very Good ratings in the BREEAM In-Use certification between 2017–2020.
Pirkko Airaksinen, Sponda’s Head of ESG, commented: “Sustainability has become an increasingly important competitive factor for companies and in many cases, is now top of the agenda. This is only meaningful if we are able to objectively measure the progress we make in sustainability – this is what we are doing with our properties and their certifications.”
“Businesses need to be confident that factors like energy efficiency, indoor air quality, recycling facilities and material efficiency are certified to the highest level on an ongoing basis. To do this, we conduct long-term sustainability work and the certification of our properties is just one part of our sustainability roadmap. Feedback in our customer surveys shows that companies located in Helsinki city centre value the certification of their business premises and this is why we launched systematic certification work on our city centre sites” explains Airaksinen.
Sponda’s long-term certification consultant Jennifer Pitkänen-Lundsten from Raksystems considers certification to be a model example of systematic and pioneering sustainability work.
“We need bold and proactive leaders in the industry, and Sponda’s work in this area is encouraging others to do the same. The certification of such a large quantity of shopping centres is a major task and shows that Sponda is working for the environment and a sustainable future. When a large operator undertakes a process to make its entire property portfolio more environmentally friendly, the impact is significant. Residents and locals also benefit from this work as it means that properties are maintained and developed in accordance with the best international standards to ensure they are preserved from one generation to the next,” Pitkänen-Lundsten says.
The milestone follows last month’s notable achievement, when Sponda was the highest-ranking company in Northern Europe and the second highest in Europe in its peer group for the GRESB Standing Investments sustainability assessment, which evaluates and benchmarks companies with operational real estate assets. For the GRESB Development assessment, which evaluates and benchmarks the ESG performance of real estate developers, it was the third highest ranking company in Europe in its reference group.
Anita Riikonen, Marketing and Brand Manager, tel. +358 40 833 3804, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponda Ltd is a leading real estate asset management company in Finland specialising in owning, managing, developing and letting commercial properties in the largest cities across the country. With a focus on customer-oriented solutions and high-quality properties, Sponda is actively developing best practices in the sector, enhancing the cityscape and the environment in a sustainable way, and supporting its customers. www.sponda.fi
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