Towards reduced emissions – YIT’s first year living with climate goals

To promote our climate goals, we have placed a special focus on the calculation of our carbon footprint, development of our internal reporting and heating properties in a carbon neutral way.

YIT published its climate goals* a year ago. This first year has been eventful throughout the organisation. It’s clear that without the contribution of a number of different people and genuine commitment, we wouldn’t be where we are.

Thanks to all of you for the good work!

Improving our own competencies has been a major effort over the past year. We have provided training on the calculation of our carbon footprint throughout the Group in eight of the countries where we have operations, and we expect the calculation to inform our designs extensively towards lower-carbon solutions. Key to this development is cooperation between design management, calculation and procurement.

We must understand the carbon footprint of buildings and construction in order to identify the key measures in our sector to curb climate change. This is why, from early 2020 onwards, the calculation of the carbon footprint has been an obligatory part of our own product development. We also plan to start using automated calculation and related reporting on our self-developed sites in 2021. In addition, we use Infra projects to actively research and develop carbon footprint calculation options in terms of infrastructure construction.

We have also developed an apartment building project and commissioned a dissertation on the differences between the carbon footprints of wooden and concrete apartment buildings. These experiences will help us make more sustainable choices in the future.

We are constantly improving the monitoring of our operational emissions

In addition to calculating the carbon footprint of our self-developed projects, we have been working on an internal sustainability reporting system. Developed as collaboration between corporate architecture, business, the corporate responsibility team, development programmes as well as our data and analytics team, the system will materially support our efforts to monitor, and thereby reduce, our CO2 emissions. I can hardly wait to see the fruits of our work in the everyday operations of our sites and business units!

To measure our emission reductions, we need to know the starting level of our emissions. This year, we finished specifying the starting level of our emission reduction goals. This has helped us understand, with never-before-seen accuracy, the emissions that relate to our operations. One of the things we learned was that our employees’ air miles contribute only a fraction of our emissions.

Drawing up a road map for reaching our emission reduction goals is an ongoing process that involves a wide range of people from the business segment and different functions. It’s been a pleasure to see how different parties at YIT have proactively included emission reduction measures on their agendas. For example, improving the accuracy of waste sorting and energy consumption monitoring have been active areas of improvement this year.

As one of our measures to reduce emissions, we want to gradually increase the use of renewable energy. For example, we have this year reached an agreement with our largest electricity supplier for the purchase of origin-verified wind power in the majority of our functions in Finland and Norway.

Solutions for carbon neutral buildings

Besides the carbon footprint of materials, their use-time energy consumption is one of the major factors contributing to emissions.

We cannot solve the carbon neutral use of buildings for our customers on our own. However, we can use building heating solutions to affect it. For example, our Housing business segment has been piloting geothermal heat sources where heating combined with a green electricity contract would ensure emission-free heating for residents. We can safely expect geothermal heat sources to become a staple of our project portfolio in the future.

And, most importantly, our climate goals will inform our operations on the road to a more sustainably constructed environment for a long time to come.

Mia Ranta-aho
Head of Sustainability


*Fact: YIT’s climate goals

Our goal is to proportionately halve the carbon footprint of our operations as well as our self-developed projects from the 2019 level by 2030;

to the best of our ability, we aim to provide our customers’ properties with carbon neutral heating;

and we will begin to report the site-specific CO2 statistics of our self-developed projects from 2020 onwards.