Saari Residence


Saari Residence is building an EcoCompass environmental management system – read our new environmental pledge

Kuva: Heli Konttinen

For a year and a half, the Saari Residence has been creating an EcoCompass environmental management system and during this time we have mapped the most significant environmental impacts of our residence activities. Environmental responsibility and reducing our environmental impact are important to us and they involve concrete actions in the operations of the residence. If the Saari Residence passes the official audit as part of the process in December, we will be granted the EcoCompass certificate. 

We are currently creating the Saari Residence’s environmental programme with the help of the EcoCompass tool, and we have, among other things, mapped out the most significant environmental impacts of our operations. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact in accordance with the principles of continuous improvement. 

The EcoCompass tool is an industry-independent environmental management system owned by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and is based on the international ISO 14001 standard. The EcoCompass environmental management system ensures that we take the most important environmental aspects into account in all our decision-making and operations.

The EcoCompass certificate operates in three phases: first, the organisation’s environmental impacts are mapped, then goals are set, goals already set are promoted and their implementation is monitored, and finally, the fulfilment of the criteria is audited. The EcoCompass certificate is granted when an organisation has created its own environmental programme with objectives and measures to be taken.

We started building the EcoCompass 18 months ago as part of the development of the Saari Residence’s ecologically sustainable residence activities and to create a more environmentally responsible operating method. Initially, we mapped the environmental impacts of our operations, for example in the spring of 2021, with the help of Green Carbon Finland Oy, which carried out a measurement of Kone Foundation’s carbon footprint. We also analysed the residence’s operations from the perspective of waste sorting, energy, procurement, chemicals, logistics and travel, communications and biodiversity, among others. The environmental management programme will also be used to further develop these areas and set more ambitious targets. 

When creating this programme, Saari Residence set its own, tailor-made goals that take into account both the residence activities as a whole and the environmental work previously carried out at the residence. Steps have already been in place at the residence to ensure that ecological aspects such as recycling, travel, procurements and biodiversity are taken into account.  

In December 2022, we intend to have an audit as part of the process during which an independent party will assess whether the Saari Residence meets the requirements and criteria set for it. If approved, the audit will result in a fixed-term EcoCompass certificate that is valid for three years.   

The principle of continuous improvement means that we are committed to developing our operations sustainably, while maintaining the goals already achieved – even after being issued the certificate. 

During the process, we have written the Saari Residence’s environmental pledge: 

  • Ecological residence activities enable and support new thinking and insights and nurture the transformative power of art.  
  • The activities of the residence are defined by ecosocial learning. 
  • The residence sets ecological sustainability as a priority in its procurement decisions. 
  • The residence is an experimental forerunner that communicates and shares information on the best ecological practices with other operators in the field. 
  • The residence cherishes the special nature of the Saari Residence’s cultural and traditional environment and maintains biodiversity in its area.