ESG (environmental, social responsibility and good governance) issues are an important part of companies’ strategic planning and functions. ESG concepts are new, and the related regulations and practices are still developing into their established form. We describe below our ESG goals and practices in DEAS and its Finnish funds.

Our vision and promises

The main objective of DEAS Group’s ESG strategy is to own and manage properties in such a way that they improve the lives of their users. Through the three focus areas of our ESG strategy: stakeholder collaboration, social impact and new innovations, we promise to have a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy. We are committed to creating a more sustainable future for our investors, tenants and community. This is what we strive for in all three areas of ESG: environmental issues, social responsibility and the requirements we set for the administration of our company and service providers.

Our ESG strategy and EU guidance

Our ESG strategy emphasizes the achievement of the following five United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: 3: Good Health and Well-Being; Goal 8: Decent Work
and Economic Growth; Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

Our ESG activities are guided by EU directives, regulations and guidelines: the taxonomy of preventive activities, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The EU regulations will enter into force in stages. According to the SFDR, real estate funds and other financial products should be classified as one of three alternative environmental articles: 6, 8 or 9 starting from the current year. For a DPFF fund that invests in and is managed from Finland, the goal is to be an Article 8 fund by the middle of this year.

Our ESG measures

The most important ESG goal of DPFF is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the fund’s properties. Since more than 3/4 of the CO₂ emissions during use come from their electricity and heat consumption, DPFF targets the energy consumption and production of properties. The consumption is reduced through operational measures and investments. The DPFF is also part of the Energy Efficiency Agreement for the Real Estate Sector, which is valid until 2025. It has a minimum target of reducing energy consumption by 7.5% during the calculation period starting in 2017. All but two of DPFF’s properties have district heating. These two properties using natural gas and oil will switch from coal-based fuels to geothermal heat by the middle of this decade.

The DPFF fund’s consumption of energy, i.e. electricity and heating, was decreased by 6.5% for the former and by 4.0% for the latter in 2022 compared to 2021. The decrease in consumption was due to both enhanced control measures and increased remote control connections, as well as energy investments made. A total of 10 solar power plants and one geothermal power plant have been installed in DPFF properties. 11 properties have switched to LED lighting. The combined output of the solar power plants is 750 kWp, which means an annual electricity production of about 640 MWh. The fund will commission or update an energy certificate for each of its properties during 2022. Based on the energy certificate data, the fund orders energy audits or similar studies to the most critical properties in the next 2-3 years.

The recycling rate of the DPFF properties under landlord’s waste management responsibility, has been and will be increased. The aim is to minimise the amount of mixed waste that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burnt.
DEAS has also paid attention to social responsibility and good governance. The multi-tenant office properties have shared shower and bike storage facilities assigned to all tenant employees who run or drive a bike to work. Two of the properties, Oulun Tietotie 2 and Kalliosolantie 2 in Vantaa, have also been built with comprehensively equipped shared, free-of-charge gyms.

The gender distribution of DEAS is exceptional in the real estate sector. Both in the board and the highest management of DEAS AM Finland and DPFF half of the employees are women. DPFF is socially responsible through its beneficiaries as well. The majority of the fund’s investors are Finnish pension insurance companies that serve broad ethnic groups. The return achieved by the fund benefits many Finns in the form of pensions.