Looking into the future of cities

Sustainable urbanisation is an integral part of sustainability work at SATO, a company providing urban homes. Building new homes with good public transport connections, investing in the energy efficiency of rental apartments and creating more recycling opportunities for residents are ways to ensure a cleaner future for cities and their people.

Building materials, the construction of apartments and energy consumption during living cause the most significant climate effects and the highest environmental load in our business operations. By reducing emissions from our operations, we are also reducing the cost of maintenance.

Compact structures and lively cities through complementary construction

Location is the most important criterion for our residents. Complementary planning supports not only the creation of denser urban structures in line with the objectives of master plans, but also SATOs goals to offer new apartments with good public transport connections and a wide range of services. As complementary construction makes use of existing urban structures, it is ecological and reduces the need for municipal investments in infrastructure, in addition to improving services in the neighbourhood through the growing number of residents.

At the end of the review period, SATO had complementary construction projects in progress to produce more than 3,000 new homes. In 2017, we accelerated urbanisation in our planned areas in Martinlaakso in cooperation with the City of Vantaa, and started the development of the Wise Mobility Block in the Oulunkylä district of Helsinki. In Oulunkylä, the planning began with an urban structure relying on public transport connections and pedestrian and bicycle traffic that is easily adaptable to changes in housing and mobility needs.

In 2017, most of our investments were in line with our target of building new SATO homes with good public transport connections. Most of our planning development projects are situated in excellent locations in terms of services and public transport, such as the West Metro and its extension, which is under construction, as well as the future Raide-Jokeri, an express tramline between Itäkeskus in Helsinki and Keilaniemi in Espoo.

We are investing in infrastructure through the acquisition of plots, plan development, investment in public utility services and soil remediation, to name just a few examples. In 2017, our investments in infrastructure totalled EUR 4.1 (22.1) million.

Promoting more climate-friendly homes

Through our environmental programme, we are committed to the objectives of the new energy efficiency agreement for the real estate sector to reduce the total consumption of electricity and heat by 10.5 per cent between 2014 and 2025.

Objectives of the environmental programme 2020

Specific consumption Target Reference year
Emissions -20 % 2013
Heat -23 % 2009
Water -20 % 2009
Electricity +/- 0 2014

Legislation concerning the energy efficiency of residential buildings sets a zero energy requirement for new buildings, corresponding to energy efficiency figure 128. Through its financing agreement with the European Investment Bank, SATO is committed to building markedly more energy-efficient buildings, with our energy efficiency figure target being 116 for new buildings. Nearly 20 projects have already been completed or are in progress in line with this commitment, and the total value of these investments is more than EUR 200 million.

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 for action planning.

In 2018, we will look into the implementation of environmental certificates for residential buildings, and we will start measuring energy efficiency during construction on all new sites. Water and energy consumption and the amount of waste are monitored and reported on construction sites.

“In 2017, we renovated waste collection points in cooperation with residents, maintenance partners and waste management companies. We will continue this work in 2018.”
–SATO Pulssi panelist

Residents play a significant role in achieving our environmental goals. We provide our residents with information and guidance on eco-friendly living and help them make a difference through waste management solutions, for example.

patiently working for energy efficiency

In 2017, we invested in the energy efficiency of SATO homes and buildings. We installed apartment-specific temperature and humidity sensors that enable us to ensure optimal temperatures for homes and address any exceptional humidity values. In addition, we installed water-efficiency equipment in more than 6,000 rental apartments and repaired defective devices in the process.

Our investments and other energy efficiency measures will generate around EUR 500,000 in annual cost savings. In the review period, our weather-adjusted heat consumption increased by 0.7 per cent, our specific electricity consumption by 1.3 per cent and water consumption by 0.5 per cent in comparison with 2016. Our specific emissions decreased by 2.0 per cent from 2016.

Water consumption

Heat consuption


Our upgraded energy monitoring system enables us to detect any deviations and resolve problems more rapidly. Energy consumption is reported monthly to SATOs management team. We only use renewable wind power in all of our buildings.

Greenhouse gas emissions



We reached the target set for 2020 for reducing emissions already during 2017.

In 2018, we will continue to invest in energy efficiency, and will seek to address any deviations more rapidly. Automatic alerts enable us and our partners to monitor changes in consumption more effectively.



Energy consumption within the organisation           (GRI 302-1)


2016 2017 Change
Change %
Total [MWh] 238,263 283,484 264,874 -18,610 -6.6%
Share of purchased energy          
Electricity [MWh] 23,689 24,531 23,624 -907 -3.7%
District heating [MWh] 214,056 258,299 240,427 -17,872 -6.9%
Share of own production          
Oil [MWh] 518 654 823 169 25.8%
Building energy intensity (CRE1) 2015 2016 2017 Change
Change %
Consumption of heating energy, adjusted for weather [kWh/rm³/a] 42.9 41.5 41.8 0.3 0.7%
Consumption electricity [kWh/m³/a] 3.89 3.85 3.91 0.06 1.6%
Actions to reduce energy consumption and their impact          
Energy efficiency investments MEUR          1.5
Reduction of energy consumption MWh (GRI 302-4)          7,750
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions tCO2-e (GRI 305-5)          1,364



Greenhouse gas emissions (GRI 305-1, 305-2, 305-3) 2015 2016 2017 Change
Change %
Direct greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1) 135 170 214 44 25.9%
Energy indirect greenhouse gas emissions* (scope 2)          
Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (market-based) 37,674 45,461 42,315 -3,146 -6.9%
Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (location-based) 41,962 49,901 46,591 -3,310 -6.6%
Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 3) 1,834 948 924 -24 -2.5%
Total emissions of greenhouse gases [t CO2-e] 39,643 46,579 43,454 -3,125 -6.7%
* In line with the GHG Protocol standard, a location-based emission figure has been reported for electricity consumption. The market-based figure is used in combined emission figures. The location-based figure refers to figures calculated using country-specific emission coefficients and figures calculated using electricity-supplier-specific market-based emission coefficients. In SATO’s properties, electricity does not produce any emissions because it is green electricity produced 100% by Finnish wind power.
GHG emission intensity of buildings (CRE3) 2015 2016 2017 Change
Change %
kg CO2-e/m² 32.2 33.3 32.6 -0.7 -2.0%
kg CO2-e/hlö 903.7 969.1 927.1 -42.0 -4.3%



Total water withdrawal (GRI 303-1) 2015 2016 2017 Change
Change %
Total [1 000 m³] 2,329 2,622 2,507 -115 -44%
All SATO properties use municipal water supply.          
Building water intensity (CRE2) 2015 2016 2017 Change
Change %
dm³/rm³/a 418 412 414 2 0.5%



Total weight of waste from tenants (GRI 306-2 b) 2015 2016 2017 Change

Change %

tonnes 21,578 2,985 23,389 -596 -2.5%
t CO2-e 1,834 948 924 -24 -2.5%
Distribution of waste from tenants by disposal method (GRI 306-2 b) 2017 % 2017 [t]
For recycling 41% 9,492
For energy 48% 11,208
To landfill sites 11% 2,689

New energy solutions for new SATO homes

In May 2017, SATO completed a wooden apartment building in Honkasuo in Helsinki. Special attention has been paid to energy efficiency in this building. Some of its electricity is produced using solar panels, and its energy-efficient apartments have a forced-air central heating system, which creates a comfortable atmosphere. The heating and ventilation are monitored continuously in all apartments.

In Soukanniemi district in Espoo, we completed our second apartment building with geothermal heating. The building also makes use of solar energy.

At the end of the review period, we had projects under construction to monitor the effects of new solutions on energy consumption and emissions.

Help with recycling and saving energy

We encourage our residents to always consider the environment in their daily lives. In the review period, we paid special attention to improving waste management and recycling. We also participated in the national Energy Saving Week campaign, organised an energy quiz and provided our residents with energy saving tips.

During the review period, we improved our waste collection points through added lighting and more frequent collection schedules, for example. We also helped our residents simplify their lives through recycling by doubling the number of recycling skips in the yards of our buildings. Nearly 150,000 kilos of electronics, bicycles, furniture, clothes and other items were collected in nearly 300 recycling skips and cages.

The residents brought 114 car tyres and 16 items of refrigeration equipment to SATOs recycling skips.

We want to increase the sorting of waste in our buildings to keep the yards clean and the neighbourhoods pleasant. During the review period, we carried out discussions with waste management operators to determine detailed recycling rates. At the moment, we are able to report reliably only separately collected waste by fraction. As we are not responsible for collection of household waste, reliable figures are not available for the time being.

In 2018, we continue to actively inform our residents about waste management and offer guidance in an increasingly multicultural environment.

Less food waste by sorting biowaste

LEss food waste by sorting biowaste

The ease of waste management and the cleanliness of waste collection points affect resident satisfaction. We take sorting requirements into account, from the planning phase of our apartment buildings to service and maintenance. SATO is participating in the BIORENT project to enhance the efficiency of biowaste management and reduce food waste in rental apartment buildings. Managed by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY), BIORENT is one of the Finnish Government’s key projects. We want to make waste management easy for our residents, and are developing new types of solutions for kitchens and waste collection points. The project offers us an opportunity to try new solutions and learn from the results produced by partners.


We promote the circular economy and transparent supply chains

SATO participates in promoting the circular economy and material efficiency in the construction industry. We ran an experiment on recycling demolition waste from renovation projects in cooperation with the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre. We donated used home appliances and movables from an apartment building we were renovating in Pihlajamäki in Helsinki to the reuse centre. According to the centre, the home appliances donated by SATO saved around 185 tonnes of solid natural resources.

Nearly 100 home appliances found new owners.

We seek to ensure that usable materials are reused and waste is sorted or processed sustainably. We will continue our good cooperation with the reuse centre on renovation and demolition projects.

Stories & Activities


Tips from Tiina, a recycling enthusiast: ”Make sorting waste easy for yourself – it’ll make you feel good!”

In the sorting cabinet in Tiina Heino’s kitchen, everything has its place. On the top shelf, the two empty sweets boxes contain metal waste, such as empty food tins and foil dishes.

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