Energy consumption during living, the construction of apartments and building materials cause the highest environmental load in our business operations. We reduce housing-related emissions by improving our energy efficiency, reducing the consumption of water and by improving waste handling and recycling options in our buildings. In this way, we can also reduce our maintenance costs.
Our residents play a significant role in achieving our objectives. We provide our residents with information and guidance regarding eco-friendly living and support the opportunities of our residents to have an impact through waste management solutions, for example. We allocate our investments close to public transportation routes.
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We developed the energy management processes for our residential buildings by having building management and maintenance work more closely together. In addition, we started to use wind power in our buildings from the beginning of the year.
We mainly allocated our energy efficiency investments to water-saving fixtures and building automation systems. These investments and other energy efficiency measures bring in future annual cost savings of EUR 260,000. The average repayment period of energy efficiency investments is two years. Energy investments will be allocated more closely on the basis of an impact assessment, and we will develop processes to monitor our activities.
We encouraged our residents to reduce their water consumption by holding a building-specific competition, and the total water savings in the participating buildings were about 1 per cent lower than in 2015.
During the reporting year, specific heat consumption was reduced by 3.3 per cent, specific electricity consumption by 1.0 per cent and specific water consumption by 1.4, per cent compared to 2015. Specific emissions rose by 3.6 per cent compared to 2015. The objective of new investments regarding public transportation connections was mainly fulfilled.
SATO started to use wind power in its buildings.
We want to encourage our residents to recycle their waste effectively, for which purpose we require information about waste volumes. We will continue to determine accurate waste volumes because we were unable to find reliable calculation methods during the reporting year. In order to increase the volume of recycled waste, we arranged containers for recycled waste outside our residential buildings similarly to previous years. A total of 85 tonnes of recycled waste were placed in these containers.
Future legislation governing the energy efficiency of residential buildings sets a zero energy level for new buildings, corresponding with energy efficiency figure 128. When it comes to our buildings, we want to achieve an even lower level, and we have set energy efficiency figure 116 as our target for new buildings. We are also committed to this energy efficiency level in our financing agreement signed with the European Investment Bank. We will set this target for contractors of new buildings.
During the reporting year, we had experimental buildings under construction, in which we are monitoring the impact of new solutions for reducing energy consumption and emissions. A wooden multi-storey building is under construction in Honkasuo, Helsinki, in which we will examine the impact of air source heating. This building will have a small carbon footprint, and it will be very energy-efficient. It will use renewable energy by producing part of the electricity required using solar panels. According to energy calculations, the solutions of the Honkasuo building fulfill VTT's passive house requirements. Our second residential building with geothermal heating was completed in Soukka, Espoo. Part of the electricity used in the building is produced using solar panels. Solar energy will also be piloted in the residential building to be built in Perkkaa, Espoo.
Statutory energy certificates have been prepared for all SATO properties. We have also developed a separate energy efficiency rating for our residential buildings, taking into account the energy efficiency and costs of each building. Using this rating, we are able to calculate an energy figure for each building which forms the basis of action planning.
During the reporting year, we became committed to the objectives of the new energy efficiency agreement for the real estate sector to reduce the total consumption of heat and power by 10.5 per cent from the level of 2014 by 2025.
We took part in the international Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) for the second time, and again reached the highest rating, i.e. the Green Star level. We received special recognition for the comprehensiveness of our energy monitoring, and the setting and monitoring of objectives.
SATO received the Green Star rating for the second time.
Key sustainability figures: environment
Our key sustainability figures represent energy and water consumption in our apartments, the volume and distribution of household waste, as well our personnel distribution and turnover, and the amount of training our personnel engage in.
By means of planning development, we can create conditions for the housing construction of the future. Development projects are long-term processes that engage a large group of authorities, partners, people living in the area and other stakeholders.