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  • Preventing the energy crisis – Sponda and its tenant companies have started a shared energy saving campaign

Preventing the energy crisis – Sponda and its tenant companies have started a shared energy saving campaign

During the autumn of 2022 Sponda challenged its tenant companies to carry out energy saving measures at the different premises. Aktia and Jysk explain how energy consumption is lowered at their premises. ‘Long-term sustainability work and smart building technology provide solid grounds for the campaign’, says Pirkko Airaksinen, Head of ESG at Sponda. 

The unstable world situation and separation from Russian-imported energy have created a risk for an energy shortage also in Finland. There is a risk that energy consumption must be limited during this winter with local blackouts.

According to Pirkko Airaksinen from Sponda, office buildings and their use have a significant role in energy consumption in Finland and as the result, the companies in the field have a major responsibility for preventing energy crisis.

The goal is to lower the energy consumption at the premises especially during the peak times of energy consumption.

‘Energy-efficiency has been a central part of our sustainability work for a long time, and we wanted to challenge the tenants and users of the premises to participate as well. We believe that all the energy-saving potential has not yet been recognised and that together we can achieve significant results’, says Airaksinen.

”According to Pirkko Airaksinen from Sponda, long-term building development work bears fruit at the time of crisis. ‘With modern control systems and data, we have easier access to the information about energy consumption and consumption peaks and are able to manage the energy usage.’

Sponda is taking part in the national Down a Degree campaign and the company has prepared a list of energy-saving measures at the different locations as part of the campaign. The Down a Degree campaign is a campaign organised by the government with 812 companies already participating.

Now Sponda encourages its tenant companies to join in implementing the energy saving measures and supports the companies’ efforts to save energy.

Lowering the room temperature by one degree lowers energy consumption by approximately five percent.

The measures are targeted on outside lighting and illuminated advertisements, indoor temperatures and optimising the usage times of the appliances and systems at the premises, for example. Proactive measures are also taken, and instructions are provided in case of blackouts.

‘We would like to thank all the tenants who are taking part in our shared efforts in advance’, says Airaksinen.

Aktia – everyday choices and new technology

Aktia, located at the Arkadia building at the city centre, immediately enrolled to take part in the energy campaign.

‘We are very happy that Sponda has been so active with this matter. We announced that we are prepared to lower the temperature at our offices and storage spaces, limit the usage times of our illuminated advertisements and optimise the use of our electric devices’, summarises Annina Kaukonen, the Corporate Responsibility Manager at Aktia.

‘The significance of responsibility is highlighted in the current world situation. The companies monitor each other’s activities and good operation models spread quickly when everyone shares the mentality for solving the energy crisis,’ says Annina Kaukonen from Aktia. 

According to Kaukonen, the renewed Arkadia premises already encourage the users to operate sustainably. The central location promotes sustainable methods of travel and the 100% green energy produced with wind power and offered by Sponda promotes the company’s sustainability goals.

‘For example, our lighting is controlled by movement detectors, and we are assisted by an environment coordinator in terms of waste sorting. We also receive detailed data about our energy consumption from Sponda and we are excitedly looking forward to the construction of Arkadia’s own solar power plant,’ says Kaukonen.

The Arcadia premises, owned by Sponda, use 100% green energy produced by wind power and provide comprehensive waste sorting possibilities. There are also plans to construct a 40 kWp solar power plant on the roof of the building.

According to Kaukonen, it is good that the energy saving campaign highlights the significance of even the smallest everyday choices.

‘Many are surprised to hear that lighting and the use of office appliances, for example, form up to 60% of the energy consumption at the office. Or that the energy consumption of a computer can be lowered by up to 75% by turning off the computer after use.’

Jysk – large-scale sustainability work

Jysk operates in four of the shopping centres owned by Sponda. The company has 93 shops in Finland and employs 880 people. Maiju Försti-Tarkiainen, the company’s Development Coordinator, is excited about Sponda’s energy-saving campaign.

‘The majority of energy saving is achieved by the owners of the premises, and we had already asked for clarification about the indoor temperatures, cooling and lighting at the premises from our lessors. We greatly appreciate how Sponda has dealt with these matters in an active and owner-focused manner’, says Försti-Tarkiainen.

‘Our goal is to lower our energy consumption by 10% for the entire group. We will need the support of our group, our lessors as well as our employees to find the optimal operation methods and tools for limiting our energy consumption,’ says Maiju Försti-Tarkiainen from Jysk.

According to Försti-Tarkiainen, the company promotes sustainability on the basis of individual business units. As part of the energy saving campaign, the company has optimised the use of electric appliances and lighting, acquired energy-efficient led-lights, and installed movement detectors to monitor lighting, for example.

The owners and users of the premises are essential operators in energy-saving.

Jysk sees involving the employees in energy-saving to be important and the employees are encouraged to actively share tips on how to save energy in everyday activities. Profitable sustainability work is seen to engage the employees and increase the meaningfulness of their work.

‘It is important for the employees to see the actual numbers on how the effects are multiplied when the actions are taken at dozens of shop locations’, says Försti-Tarkiainen.

Everyday choices matter:

  • When you need to air the room, do it quickly by opening windows on the opposite sides of the room; do not let warm air escape by keeping the window ajar.
  • Do not attempt to lower the room temperature by airing the room but ask the maintenance personnel to adjust the temperature.
  • Use a laptop; it consumes only approximately 10% of the electricity consumed by a desktop computer.
  • Turn off the computer screen when you leave the workstation for a period of at least an hour.
  • Turn off the lights and the office machines in the premises that are not being used and when you are the last one to leave.
  • Remove the chargers from the sockets when they are not in use.
  • Avoid using the elevator and prefer walking, cycling and public transportation.
  • Programmable lighting management systems, twilight switches, timed switches and movement detectors help make lighting energy-efficient.
  • Choose energy-efficient home appliances. Adjust the freezer temperature to -18 C and the refrigerator temperature to +2 – +6 C.
  • Choose energy-efficient LED lamps.
  • Boil only as much water as you need and avoid letting the water run unnecessarily. 
  • Sort the biowaste, cardboard and plastic as well as glass and metal, if possible.
  • If there is an issue with the energy consumption, please contact the maintenance personnel.


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