Imre-Gustav Vellamaa, Member of the Management Board of R8 Technologies. Credit: R8 Technologies
Opinion | Ticker

How to achieve ESG goals without additional investment?

„Modern premium class buildings have everything they need in most of cases. It is just about how to increase the efficiency to the level that is available inside the already existing systems.“

By Imre-Gustav Vellamaa

Whether we like it or not, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) takes an increasingly important role in our personal and business life. Thus, there are two options in the longer run: to adopt or disappear. If we choose adopting, and I guess we do, we are faced with another big question – how to achieve ESG goals?

Sure, every aspect of ESG involves several sub-aspects. So, there is a need to choose where to start from. I would focus on two ESG aspects connected to commercial buildings: energy efficiency & carbon emissions (environmental) and health & safety (social) since I have more experience in these sectors. 

Energy savings (and CO2 emission reduction) is a piece of cake. You can turn everything off and save even 100% of energy and reduce 100% CO2 emission as well. But of course, all the people would flee from you, because it would lose all the indoor comfort and health aspects as well. So, the main question is how to save energy and increase indoor comfort at the same time. 

Indoor climate complaints together with very high sustainability goals were the main reasons why Swedbank Estonia HQ in Tallinn was ready to start the building’s HVAC systems’ management with a new unique artificial-intelligence-based software solution, R8 Digital Operator, some years ago. Swedbank became one of the two first clients in the world using R8 Digital Operator. 

For the first step a full data-based HVAC-system diagnostics was completed and inspite of very strong technical team and facility management partner many more and less important faults were detected and turned into tasks. In the next step, HVAC autonomous control was added. As a result, thousands of HVAC system setpoints’ changes were made every month according to three main KPIs: energy efficiency, indoor comfort, and the building’s technical condition. 

Thererfore, a lot of time and human energy was saved and Swedbank’s technical team could focus more on issues where people need to act, leaving the rest to artificial intelligence. But most importantly, the number of complaints has been reduced remarkably; unfortunately, there are no statistics available but a similar project in Paris, France reported a 69% reduction of complaints regarding indoor climate. It is probably interesting – new? – to know that indoor climate quality can be measured by actual data as well, not just by the usual subjective questionnaires. The more demanding the tenants are the more important this is.

And finally, 1,050 tons of reduced CO2 emissions and over 130.000 euros of energy savings over a four-year period. All with 0 euros investment. Sure, replacing a broken pump or invalid sensor etc. is not included here. Modern premium-class buildings have everything they need, in most cases. It is just about how to increase the efficiency to a level that is available inside the already existing systems but cannot be achieved by automation systems with human teams alone. 

Sure, we have to mention about Covid-19  as well. In 2020 and also in 2021 the number of Swedbank’s employees working in their Tallinn headquarter offices has decreased strongly. And this situation has reduced the amount of human body heat and exhaust heat from computers– therefore, more heating is needed for colder periods and less cooling is needed for warmer periods. Also, ventilation units have been turned on not just for working hours but for much longer time periods, including the weekends, to minimize Covid-19 risks. The Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (EHVA) Covid-19 Guidance is followed strictly in the Swedbank Headquarter in Tallinn, Estonia. 

Sign up for our ACROSS Newsletter. Subscribe to ACROSS Magazine.

Ticker MORE

PingProperties has sold the Eudokiaplein shopping and health centre in Rotterdam

The Eudokiaplein shopping and health centre situated in Rotterdam-Noord, consisting of an office complex and a shopping centre, has been sold by PingProperties, on behalf of one of the companies under management, to the Pension Fund for the Metals and Electrical Engineering Sector (PME).

Icon Outlet celebrates a record-setting August

Icon Outlet has revealed it experienced a record-setting August across three key metrics compared to the same month in 2019. Sales increased by 24%, average transaction value grew by 11%, and footfall rose by 10% versus the same benchmarks in August 2019.

Citycon resolved on the long-term incentive plan for the new CFO

The Board of Directors of Citycon Oyj has approved a new Restricted Share Plan 2021—2024 for the Citycon´s incoming CFO, Bret McLeod who will commence his appointment as CFO on 1 January 2022.

Tommy Hilfiger to triple footprint in London Designer Outlet

London Designer Outlet has welcomed a number of new brands since the start of the pandemic

Westfield Centro continues strengthening its leisure and entertainment offering

In November 2021, the Dutch arcade game operator Gamestate will open its first branch in Germany in Westfield Centro on an area of over 700 square meters. Over 45 arcade stations will then enable visitors to prove their skills at the latest virtual arcade products or popular gaming classics. Gamestate is another highlight in the center's leisure and entertainment segment and once again demonstrates the international appeal of the location.

Edutainment Concept and Strategies at FİBA Commercial Properties

FİBA Commercial Properties continues to follow up the trends in all their global investments in China, Romania, Moldova and Turkey in terms of sustainable future projects.