The most important of the projects in progress last year was the Aurum of Åbo Akademi University and the University of Turku. This project, the biggest in our history, progressed according to plan in good cooperation with the universities and the contractor. During 2020, the building received a BREEAM Excellent rating, the first Excellent rating in the history of SYK.
The project for demand response in electricity consumption advanced from plans to implementation. The incorporation of the actual demand response electricity consumption technology into property automation systems was also completed in 2020. As part of the project, a battery bank was added to the Lappeenranta University of Technology campus at the supplier’s initiative.
At the end of 2020, we had around 100 tenants as customers. Some twenty new leases were signed during the year. The development has been significant compared to the first few years of operations.
One of SYK’s priorities in 2020 was the development of customer relationship management. In September-October, premises and campus strategy discussions took place with universities. The goal of the discussions was to engage in open dialogue on the universities’ views of the future, determine guidelines for matters related to facilities and discuss topical themes.
In 2020, a total of 530,000 euros was allocated to four demo projects that were presented at the demo kick-off event in January. The event was organised for the first time. In addition, we are involved in 12 R&D projects, the themes of which are digitalisation, sustainability, joint development and service development, for example, in terms of need-based maintenance.
Due to the pandemic, the processes and tools of the CoSYK joint development model were digitalised. During the spring of 2020, we studied the use of digital cooperation applications with our partners. In addition, in the Round Table events organised by SYK-Lab, influential parties from the real estate sector introduced various topical themes emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.
SYK’s employment effect in 2020 amounted to approximately 2,040 man-years. An average of 32 employees worked for our company.
We are one of the largest payers of property taxes in all the localities we operate in, and in the Pirkanmaa economic region, we are one of the largest payers of corporate income tax. In 2020, SYK paid a total of EUR 27.4 million in taxes, of which property taxes represented 45 per cent.
During 2020, we received government grants of EUR 0,2 million, most of which were granted for renewable energy investments. Some of the grants were also received for other R&D projects.
In 2020, we also supported local communities internationally. Through company-level emissions compensation in the spring, we supported emission reduction projects in Panama, Uganda, Cambodia and Finland.
In 2020, the company’s first cooperation negotiations were conducted, resulting in a reformation of our organisation. An important objective of the organisational reform is to serve our customers better than before. To support the changes, we have developed our corporate culture by engaging all employees.
In 2020, we took a big leap forward by implementing emission compensation equivalent to the company’s entire carbon footprint. As a result, our campuses are already carbon neutral.
We also received the first BREEAM In-Use environmental certifications for existing buildings during 2020. The score of 77.6% achieved by the Arvo2 building at the Kauppi campus of the University of Tampere in the Asset section is clearly the best result achieved by a Finnish building.
In summer 2020, we made nature assessments for all our large properties, a total of 270 hectares. The purpose of the assessments is to create possibilities for more comprehensive consideration of nature values in campus-related activities, such as development, construction, maintenance and the daily use of campus.