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Sustainable Campuses

Laurea strives to ensure that its campuses are in efficient use, attractive for the users, fit for purpose, energy smart and environmentally friendly. We want our properties and premises to be responsible and sustainable in terms of our work, the environment and the use of society's resources. We monitor the utilisation rates of the facilities and user experience, and we develop the facilities and different solutions as required by the needs and objectives of the activities.

The panels of the Tikkurila campus solar power plant on the campus roof

Our aims

  • We encourage and enable users’ sustainable action on the campus (including sorting of waste, minimising food waste, energy saving, reporting observed faults).
  • We reduce the energy consumption of our campuses and improve their energy efficiency.
  • We use renewable energy sources on the campuses and strive for fully carbon-neutral forms of energy production.
  • Through sustainable procurements as well as proper service and maintenance, we ensure that surfaces, furniture, building services technology and buildings have long lifespans.
  • We set sustainable development criteria to our partners when procuring services for the cleaning, maintenance and management of the properties, restaurant services as well as other upkeep and development. The fulfilment of these criteria is monitored together.
  • As far as possible, we favour the use of repair and refurbishing services when pieces of furniture reach the end of their lifespan, instead of buying new pieces and disposing of the old ones.
  • We ensure that equipment and furniture Laurea can no longer use itself primarily end up in circular economy solutions (such as Kiertonet) and, only if this is not possible, are recycled as raw materials in a sustainable way.

Solar energy

Since October 2019, a solar power plant with a nominal capacity of 120 kilowatts peak (kWp) has been operating on the roof of Tikkurila campus building. It enables us to meet about 10% of the annual electricity needs of the campus with emission-free energy.

Tikkurila solar power plant 2020 2021 2022
Annual output (MWh) 103,63 95,74 90,35
Share of the property's annual electricity consumption 12,2% 10,3% 9,2%

Real-time output of Tikkurila solar power plant (Solarfox output view):

The roof of the building on the Porvoo campus has a solar power plant of 58 kilowatts peak (kWp), which has been operating since September 2019. This campus is shared by Laurea and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. The estimated annual output of the power plant in Porvoo is approximately 50 MWh.

Lohja campus on the premises of Lohi, Finland's first carbon-negative shopping centre

In summer 2019, Laurea's Lohja campus moved to the premises of Lohi, SSO chain’s new shopping centre in Lohja town. According to the S Group, Lohi Shopping Centre is its first carbon-negative property that also has a solar power plant on its roof. In addition, significant emission reductions are achieved in Lohi by using renewable electricity produced with wind power, capturing waste heat from refrigeration equipment in shops, and illuminating the property with LED lamps. Emissions from district heating are offset with afforestation projects.

Carbon footprint of properties

The policy set by the Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (Arene) is that the UAS sector will be carbon neutral at the latest by 2030. To achieve this, a general set of criteria for calculating the carbon footprint of universities of applied sciences was developed in 2020. Since then the instructions for calculating the figures for the previous year have been revised slightly every year. Laurea, too, has calculated its carbon footprint based on Arene’s criteria since 2019. The calculation of the carbon footprint of properties includes not only aspects related to energy and water consumption and the ways in which they are produced but also waste management, any new construction, renovation and modernisation projects of facilities, maintenance repairs, use and upkeep, maintenance of outdoor areas and cleaning.

Laurea has managed to reduce considerably the carbon footprint of its properties and their share in Laurea's total emissions. Since 2021, all electricity consumed by Laurea has been completely emission-free. Heating emissions will also decrease significantly from 2023 on as district heating used by the Tikkurila campus will be emission free.

Sorting and management of waste

The entire waste cycle from sorting at source to collection by cleaners for the waste management services is important for achieving a sustainable end result. Our aim is at sorting made easy for users and sensibly centralised as well as a smooth final process.

Service and maintenance

Proper upkeep and maintenance of the facilities can improve the durability of buildings and the equipment, surfaces and furniture in the facilities, extending their lifespans. In our service procurement contracts, we also require our partners to take measures in line with sustainable development principles. As an example, cleaning and restaurant services are required to use environmentally friendly methods and cleaning agents as well as to sort wastes and monitor waste.

Examples of sustainable development measures in 2022

  • We improved the functionality of our campus facilities sustainably as well as designed and built new, user-friendly learning and Living Lab facilities.
  • We upgraded our lighting by using energy-saving LEDs on Tikkurila, Leppävaara and Otaniemi campuses.
  • Within the framework of a cooperation agreement relating to Tikkurila Clubhouse, we employed mental health rehabilitees to help with the arrangements for entrance examinations in the spring and autumn.
  • We prepared a competitive tendering process for property maintenance in Tikkurila and Otaniemi, in which environmental aspects were addressed more extensively than in the previous contract.
  • We sought a solution for a sustainable campus of the future in Hyvinkää.
  • We joined the development programme of Hansel’s Keino Academy with the aim of ensuring that procurements and their strategic management could lend better support for achieving Laurea's sustainability goals. 

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