Ecologically sustainable residency programme

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

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS AT THE RESIDENCE

The Saari Residence strives for sustainability, eco-friendliness and accessibility in all its activities. Jaana Eskola, the 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 joint learning. When selecting artists for residencies, whether they work with ecological topics is not a selection criterion. Instead, our ecological focus lies in the Residence’s activities. However, we also try to inspire artists and researchers working at the Residence, as well as our partners, to make sustainable choices.

Through various study groups, discussions and workshops, we offer Saari residents working in the two-month period the opportunity to contemplate ecological issues and make them part of their work and way of thinking.

We organise workshops, study groups, and lectures by experts open to everyone in the vicinity of the Saari Residence and cooperate with the municipality of Mynämäki in various ways. If necessary, we will guide them in person and act as discussion partners for themes related to ecology. For example, the Sustainable Lifestyles Accelerator project organised in the autumn of 2020 highlighted the key role of consumer habits and lifestyle changes in mitigating climate change and preserving natural resources. The households that participated in this experiment committed themselves to reduce their carbon footprints and applying what they learned to create more sustainable everyday lifestyles.

We are currently developing 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 performed a calculation of Kone Foundation’s carbon footprint throughout its fields of operation.

ECOLOGY IN THE EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES

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

Depending on the season, we will organise an excursion for residents, led by an expert, to the nature surrounding the Saari Manor or a study visit to destinations that offer insights 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 explore ecological thinking, the special characteristics of the surrounding area, forest issues, biodiversity, and climate change and environmental and animal philosophy.

We also take sustainability into account in the meetings and events we organise, and during them, we 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. We also recycle material as much as possible in our workspaces and, for example, ensure that any liquids used to clean painting equipment are appropriately recycled. We are happy to guide residents in considering the chemical load of the materials they use in their artistic work and recommend that they use recycled materials.

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

Once a week, we arrange a joint trip to a grocery store in Mynämäki with the electric car. Reducing your grocery shopping to once a week helps you to be more aware of your consumption habits, including food consumption and food waste.

We thrive to become fossil-free: for transporting people and goods, the Residence has a leased electric car and our older vehicle runs currently on biodiesel. We have bicycles and electric bikes for residents’ free use, and we encourage our residents to use them for small trips around Mynämäki and for reaching buses to Turku.

We evaluate our activities critically and aim to continuously improve our choices and actions according to the best information available

NAARCA

In 2021, the Saari Residence and the Scottish Cove Park residency centre launched a network of artists’ residencies in Scotland and the Nordic countries, The Nordic Alliance of Artists’ Residencies on Climate Action (NAARCA). NAARCA aims to build long-term and sustainable cooperation, bringing the artists’ residencies together to discuss new ways of tackling the climate emergency, both through the content of their residency programmes and through concrete climate action.

NAARCA is co-devised and co-led by the Saari Residence and the Cove Park. In addition to Cove Park (Cove, Scotland) and Saari Residence (Mietoinen, Finland), the Nordic Alliance of Artists’ Residencies on Climate Action brings together the Nordic artists’ residencies of Artica Svalbard (Svalbard, Norway), Art Hub Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark), Skaftfell Center for Visual Art(Seyðisfjörður, Iceland), Baltic Art Center (Visby, Sweden) and Arctic Culture Lab (Ilulissat, Greenland).

SUPPORT FOR SLOW TRAVEL

We encourage our residents to choose slow travel whenever possible, i.e., to travel by bus, train or ship instead of by air. Residents can apply for support for slow travel when applying for a 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 also possible to make the time spent travelling a part of the residency period, which encourages residents to approach their work, and the time they spend working, in a new light. We recommend that workgroups coming from farther afield apply for a longer group residency.

ECOLOGICAL COMPENSATION

When Finland celebrated its 100th year of independence in 2017, Kone Foundation donated the Kulla Nature Reserve in Kemiönsaari to the people of Finland. The purpose of this donation 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 donation was to ensure that the area is allowed to return to its natural state and that it remains a forest for future generations.

SAARI RESIDENCE BUILDINGS

Saari Residence’s building stock is protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency, and the manor buildings are maintained 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.

BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN THE AREA

The area surrounding 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, and aesthetics.

Ecologically sustainable thinking is 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 extensively considers issues of diversity, including the Manor’s park areas, pastures and forests.

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