Our customers are Finnish universities outside the Greater Helsinki region, higher education institutes, businesses and public corporations operating on our campuses, and all users of our premises. Universities and higher education institutes are increasing their spatial efficiency, which has freed up premises for non-university users. This has led to an expansion of our customer base. We expect this trend to continue in the coming years.
Customer relationship management is a strategically important aspect of our operations. It is aimed at ensuring that we correctly understand the campus and spatial needs of each customer, and that the customers have access to a campus, premises and services that meet their needs.
Responsibility to the customer particularly concerns always maintaining the premises in an appropriate condition, and developing the premises in response to our customers’ changing needs. We support the success of our customers by developing our properties into attractive campuses.
SYK is owned by the nine Finnish universities outside the Greater Helsinki region (University of Eastern Finland, University of Jyväskylä, University of Oulu, University of Lapland, Tampere University, University of Turku, University of Vaasa, Åbo Akademi University and the LUT University) and the Finnish government, represented by Senate Properties Ltd.
The owners exercise control over the company at General Meetings and elect the members of the Board of Directors. The owners are influential organisations in their respective regions, giving SYK significant regional influence. In addition to being the company’s owners, the universities are its customers. Contacts are actively kept with the universities.
University Properties of Finland Ltd is a member of Real Estate Employers. Real Estate Employers is an advocacy organisation representing employers in the Finnish real estate and facility services sector. SYK is also a member of the Finnish Association of Building Owners and Construction Clients (RAKLI) and the FIBS corporate responsibility network. RAKLI brings together responsible professionals in the real estate and construction sector and disseminates information on these industries, while FIBS is Finland’s leading accelerator of sustainable business and a developer of companies’ expertise.
“We aim to maintain an ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders.”
We engaged in close cooperation and dialogue with owners, partners, influencers and decision-makers in 2019. In 2020, we will further develop correctly addressed communication with our stakeholders.
Our communication channels include our website and social media accounts as well as one-on-one meetings and local media conferences. We also aim to engage in close cooperation in the area of communication with our partners and the media.
In early 2019, we conducted a total of 20 stakeholder interviews among our major customers and partners as well as employees. On the basis of the results, we defined in closer detail the essential aspects of our operations and reporting. We conducted the stakeholder survey as theme interviews where we surveyed our customers’ and partners’ views regarding our operations, what they consider the most important aspects of our work and what their views are on SYK’s responsibility.
In the stakeholder survey, the respondents ranked responsibility themes and material aspects of operations in their perceived order of importance. The most important themes highlighted by the survey were safe and healthy premises and long-term property development solutions. A few of the interviewees also highlighted cost-efficiency and innovative premises as key considerations. The results of the survey will guide us towards closer and better stakeholder engagement in the coming years.
The materiality matrix shows the major themes brought up by the stakeholder survey in their order of importance indicated by the research data. Financial aspects, such as the efficient use of space and cost-efficiency, were left out of the ranking in the survey, since they are ever-present considerations in our operations and they are already given a high priority as a basic premise. We believe that cost-efficiency and the efficient use of space are obvious priorities in our operations and we always seek to maximise them.