Ecologically sustainable residency programme

The Saari Residence’s activities are guided by ecological sustainability, which also encompasses social and psychological sustainability.

Environmental consciousness in residence activities

Saari Residence strives for sustainability, eco-friendliness and accessibility in its activities.  Jaana Eskola, coordinator of ecological activities at the Saari Residence, is developing a programme for ecologically sustainable activities for the residence.

In our operations, we invest in insights, inclusion and learning together. When selecting artists for the residence, whether they work with ecological topics is not one of our selection criteria; instead, our focus on ecology lies in the residence’s activities. However, we do also try to inspire artists and researchers working at the residence, as well as our partners, to make sustainable choices.

We offer the people working at the residence the opportunity to internalise the contemplation of ecological issues and make it part of their work and way of thinking through various study groups, discussions and workshops.

During our residencies for individuals, our residence staff will support the residents in adopting ecological practices. If necessary, we will guide them in person and act as discussion partners for themes that relate to ecology.

We organise expert lectures, workshops and study groups open to everyone in the vicinity of the Saari Residence and cooperate with the municipality of Mynämäki in various ways. For example, the Sustainable Lifestyles Accelerator project organised in the autumn of 2020 highlighted the key role played by consumer habits and lifestyle changes in mitigating climate change and preserving natural resources. The households that participated in this experiment committed themselves to reducing their carbon footprint and applying what they learned during the project to create a more sustainable everyday life.

In 2021, we will be building the Saari Residence’s environmental programme using the EcoCompass tool and charting the most significant environmental impacts of our operations. We are committed to reducing our environmental impacts in accordance with the principles of continuous improvement.

In spring 2021, Green Carbon Finland Oy will perform a calculation of Kone Foundation’s carbon footprint throughout its fields of operation.


Taking ecology into account in the residence’s everyday life

Artists and researchers working at the Saari Residence will be offered get-togethers, such as study or reading groups, workshops and so on, that deal with the theme of sustainability.

Depending on the season, we will organise an excursion for the residents, led by an expert, to the nature surrounding the Saari Manor, or a visit to a place that sheds light on various aspects of environmental science.

The Saari Residence’s library, which residents are welcome to use, contains literature that offers different perspectives on ecologically sustainable thinking, and residents can, if they wish, explore ecological thinking, the special characteristics of the surrounding area, forest issues, biodiversity, climate change or environmental and animal philosophy there.

We also take sustainability into account in the meetings and events we organise and during them serve vegetarian food and avoid food waste. If possible, we offer organic food and local products.

In our procurement, we take sustainability into account by favouring high-quality, durable products and recycled materials. We recycle the waste created at the residence at Saari. We also recycle material as much as possible in our workspaces and make sure that any liquids used to clean painting equipment, for example, are appropriately recycled. We are happy to guide residents, for example, in taking into account the chemical load of the materials they use in their artistic work and recommend they use recycled materials.

We encourage those living at the residence to pay attention to their energy consumption habits and to save energy when using heating, electricity and water.


Getting around and support for slow travel

There are bicycles at Saari which the residents can use to cycle to the nearby village and the bus stop two kilometres away where they can catch a bus to Turku. There are also two electric bicycles for the residents, and we encourage our residents to use them to move about the area of the Manor in a fossil-free way.

Once a week, we arrange transport for all the residents together to a grocery store in the municipal centre of Mynämäki, where they can also take care of any errands they may have. A shopping trip organised once a week makes you more aware of your consumption habits, including your consumption of food and any food waste you may have.

We want to promote the reduction of fossil fuels: the Saari Residence has a leased electric car and an older vehicle for transporting goods which runs entirely on biodiesel. We regularly examine and critically evaluate our activities and modify our choices according to the best information available and the prevailing practical framework.

We also encourage our residents to choose slow travel whenever possible, i.e. to travel by bus, train or ship instead of by air. Residents can also apply for support for slow travel when applying for residency. A grant for slow travel enables artists in residence to travel sustainably while avoiding flights whenever geographically and physically possible. With a slow travel grant, it is possible to make the time spent travelling a part of the residency period, which also encourages residents to think about their work and the time they spend working in a new way. We recommend that work groups coming from further afield apply for a longer group residency.

In 2017, Kone Foundation donated the Kulla Nature Reserve in Kemiönsaari to Finland, which was celebrating 100 years of independence. The purpose of this donation of forest was to compensate for the consumption of natural resources resulting from the Foundation’s operations. In 2021, Kone Foundation bought the Sanginjoki multipurpose forest from the City of Oulu and donated it to the Finnish state for protection. The idea behind the forest donation is to ensure that the area is allowed to return to its natural state and that it remains a forest for future generations.


Photo: Otto-Ville Väätäinen

Saari Residence’s buildings

All the buildings and workspaces at the Saari Residence, apart from two, are heated using geothermal heat. The electricity used at the residence consists 100% of Finnish wind power.

Saari Residence’s building stock is protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency, and the manor buildings are taken care of on a long-term basis in cooperation with this agency in such a way that their culture-historical and architectural values are preserved and their serviceable life is lengthened.

Sheep at the meadow of the Saari Manor.

Photo: Otto-Ville Väätäinen

Biological and cultural diversity in the Saari Residence area

The milieu of the historic Saari Manor includes some 30 hectares of fields and pasture land, as well as forest. The Saari fields are currently being rented to local farmers and producers, while respecting the principles of eco-friendliness, economics, ethics, aesthetics and being a trailblazer.

More ecologically sustainable thinking is also promoted in the management of the Manor’s surroundings, and every effort is being made to increase the biodiversity of the area.  The Saari Residence’s diversity planning team considers issues of diversity extensively, also taking into account the Manor’s park areas, pastures and forests.

Saari Manor is a built cultural environment of national importance and protected in accordance with the Antiquities Act due to its historical importance and cultural heritage. Kone Foundation is committed to taking care of the valuable cultural landscape surrounding the Saari Residence in accordance with the Finnish Heritage Agency’s instructions.