Our goal is for our campuses to be the most responsible campuses in Europe by 2030. For us, responsibility means the following things:
1) Ecological responsibility
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. In 2019, we particularly developed the measurement of our carbon footprint and planned the compensation of carbon emissions and mitigation of the carbon load to be implemented in 2020.
2) Financial responsibility
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 responsibility
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.
“We are responsible for providing our customers with appropriate and safe operating premises. That is part of SYK’s product responsibility.”
As a property owner, our responsibility particularly includes 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 workspaces to support collaborative learning.
“Financial responsibility and environmental responsibility are emphasised in our assessments of 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.
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 in accordance with the GRI principles and publish an integrated annual report and responsibility report on our website and in the GRI database every year.
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 in our responsibility report are for the parent company University Properties of Finland Ltd. For accidents at work, we also report figures for subcontractors and external partners to the extent that they are related to SYK’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.