We are committed to constantly developing our sustainability. During the ownership period, activities are taken in both separate properties and the operating models and processes of the funds in order to promote sustainability (e.g. BREEAM In-Use certifications as well as the development of reporting regarding energy, water and waste and its use in the co-operation with tenants). Carrying out and developing responsible operations is part of the day-to-day work of every member of our real estate team.
In 2019, taking into account and developing sustainability had a major role both in property development and construction and in the management of existing properties and seeing to the needs of the tenants. The real estate funds of eQ Asset Management participated for the first time in the GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) assessment of sustainable properties. The results that we get through GRESB will help us identify and prioritise development areas related to sustainable operations and build a strong foundation for systematic development of sustainability in our real estate investments. In 2019, we also joined the TETS programme (energy efficiency agreement of the real estate sector), continued with the development of stakeholder engagements (e.g. tenant satisfaction surveys and the integration of ESG recommendations in new leases) and improved the documentation processes of information pertaining to the energy management of real estate targets.
In our choices we try to find as low-carbon alternatives as possible. The investment targets of both the Finnish Real Estate Fund and Care Fund have used renewable electricity based on wind power since the beginning of 2018. In addition, we always evaluate the possibilities of using geothermal and solar energy in our new real estate targets. Towards the end of 2019, a school centre that we built in Lauttasaari was completed (primary school for about 600 pupils and nursery for 300 children) and delivered to the city of Helsinki. This is the first own developer contracting of our real estate funds. The school centre is completely carbon neutral during its use. The heating and cooling energy used by the centre is produced with geothermal energy, and the object also uses solar panels. A comprehensive system monitoring the quality of the indoor air has also been installed in the school centre.