Responsibility at SYK

SYK’s responsibility is divided into three categories

Ecological sustainability Ecological sustainability
Financial sustainability Financial sustainability
Social sustainability Social sustainability

Our responsibility vision

We continued our work on responsibility in 2018 based on the responsibility vision we established in the previous year: our goal is for our campuses to be the most responsible campuses in Europe by 2030. This means the following:

1) Ecological sustainability

As active members of our community, we participate in the global effort to mitigate climate change and preserve biodiversity. We utilise renewable and smart energy solutions as we move towards energy-positive and carbon-neutral campuses. We are aware of our own ecological footprint and we develop the ecological sustainability of our campuses in cooperation with others.

2) Financial sustainability

By being frugal with capital, we are also frugal with natural resources. Being diligent in capital allocation allows us to ensure the responsible effectiveness of our operations. By applying the principles of the sharing economy and smart resource utilisation in our operations, we also create the conditions for new entrants.

We contribute to economic stability by developing our campuses into attractive places. Our strong financial position also enables us to be ecologically and socially responsible.

3) Social sustainability

Everyone is entitled to learn and access information. As a developer of learning and research environments, we contribute to the creation of social sustainability in society.

Campuses as open and constantly changing operating environments make it possible to utilise multiculturalism in internationalisation. We work with universities to create safe, healthy and ideal conditions for lifelong learning.

We also recognise our role in preserving the cultural heritage. We play a part in facilitating research and education, which in turn promotes regional vitality and well-being.

  • Financial sustainability

    We create economical stability by developing attractive campuses. Our strong economy contributes to our ecologically and socially responsible operations.

  • Sosial sustainability

    All the people in the world have the right to learn and acquire knowledge. As a developer of learning and research environments, we contribute to creating sustainable societies.

  • Ecological sustainability

    As active members of the community, we participate in global efforts to prevent climate change and preserve biodiversity.

Our goal is for our campuses to be the most responsible campuses in Europe by 2030

Responsible development of property assets

As a property owner, SYK’s responsibility is centered around developing properties in line with the principles of sustainable development. We are responsible for providing our customers with appropriate and healthy operating premises. Our aim is to ensure the long-term sustainability of our properties from the human, environmental and economic perspectives.

We want to develop our campuses into environments where everyone, regardless of their role or perspective, can find it motivating and meaningful to act responsibly and in line with sustainable development. We want our campuses to have a positive impact that supports responsible lifestyles. With this in mind, we aim to share knowledge and promote environmental awareness in our buildings.

Only buildings that are used can generate added value for society, which makes them worth the investments made in their construction and maintenance. Accordingly, the attractiveness of our campuses is also significant from the perspective of responsibility. We want our campuses to be highly integrated parts of vibrant university cities.

Making more efficient use of space is responsible from the perspective of the economy as well as the environment. At the same time, we recognise that learning is a social situation. We often convert underutilised premises into group work spaces to support collaborative learning.

We are responsible for providing our customers with appropriate and safe operating premises. This is part of SYK’s product responsibility.

Cooperation with partners

We are a small expert organisation whose operations are based on reliable partnerships. Our partner network consists of hundreds of partners, the most significant of which are universities, construction companies, property maintenance companies, consulting companies, funding providers, property leasing operators and other expert organisations. We aim to build sustainable and long-term relationships with our partners.

In our role as client, we require our partners to operate responsibly. Economic responsibility and environmental responsibility are emphasised in our assessment of partners. In practice, this can involve issues related to taxation and nature.

We develop our industry by making substantial investments in research, development and innovation activities that help take the property and construction industry forward. We also promote a culture of experimentation by allocating funds from our annual renovation budgets to demo projects implemented in partnership with universities each year.

Economic responsibility and environmental responsibility are emphasised in our assessment of partners.

Reporting on responsibility

We have strengthened the principles of sustainable development in our operations since 2011, practically throughout our company’s existence. We have developed our responsibility reporting since 2013. We report on responsibility in accordance with the GRI principles and we publish an integrated annual report and responsibility report on our website and in the GRI database annually.

We adopted the GRI Standards framework for our reporting in 2018, having previously reported in accordance with the GRI G4 guidelines. There were no other significant changes in the content, scope or aspect boundaries of the report.

Unless otherwise noted, the figures reported by SYK in its responsibility report are for the parent company University Properties of Finland Ltd. For occupational accidents, we also report figures for subcontractors and external partners to the extent that they are related to University Properties of Finland Ltd’s construction sites or campuses. Our financial report also includes consolidated figures. The consolidated figures include the parent company University Properties of Finland Ltd and three real estate companies: Kiinteistö Oy Arctic Centre, Kiinteistö Oy Kuopion Studentia and Kiinteistö Oy Bioteknia, which are partly owned subsidiaries of University Properties of Finland Ltd. We aim to have a positive impact on the responsibility of these subsidiaries through our involvement in their boards of directors.

The aim of our reporting is to promote the openness and transparency of our operations, to provide increased opportunities for comparisons within the industry and to improve the monitoring of key aspects. A further goal is to identify aspects of our operations that our stakeholders have a special interest in, through which we can strengthen our positive impacts on the surrounding society, economy and environment.

We also carry out comparisons with corresponding reports by other operators in the property sector and interact with them to jointly develop responsibility within the industry.

We also participate in the discussion on responsibility in our industry together with our stakeholders and we are interested in new reporting models. We are a member of the FIBS corporate responsibility network and we take advantage of the lessons and ideas that originate from it.

SYK’s key themes of responsibility:

Ecological sustainability: Energy source, Self-sufficiency in energy, Energy efficiency of buildings, Emissions, Circular economy, Waste, Resource efficiency

Social sustainability: Customer satisfaction, Learning environments, Employee satisfaction, Well-being, Cultural heritage, Safety

Financial sustainability: Solvency, Self-sufficiency, Responsible development of assets, Economic support for society, Sharing economy

10 largest partners, measured by revenue, in 2013–2018

SYK’s dimensions of responsibility

SYK’s dimensions of responsibility

Ecological sustainability

  • Energy source
  • Self-sufficiency in energy
  • Energy efficiency of buildings
  • Emissions
  • Circular economy
  • Waste
  • Resource efficiency

Social sustainability

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Learning environments
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Well-being
  • Cultural heritage
  • Safety

Financial sustainability

  • Solvency
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Responsible development of assets
  • Economic support for society
  • Sharing economy