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Office electricity consumption is the most sustainable in the banking and insurance sector

The banking and insurance sector has taken strides forward in electricity savings and green electricity use in the comparison between Finnish WWF Green Offices. The sector used up to 25 percent less electricity than in the previous year, and of the used electricity 92 percent was green electricity. This information can be found in the results for WWF Green Office’s annual reporting, which were published today.

The use of green electricity produced with renewable energy resources is growing more common in Finnish offices. Approximately 57% of all the electricity consumed at WWF Green Offices was green electricity. WWF Green Office is an environmental management system developed by WWF Finland, which currently has 400 participating offices at 150 organisations.

The banking and insurance sector and the ICT industry have been trendsetters in the Green Office network in the use of green electricity. More than 90% of the electricity consumed in these sectors is green electricity. The real estate sector has also reached a good level with a 60 percent share. There is a great deal of variation between sectors. For example, only three percent of the electricity used by trade unions and interest organisations is green electricity.

“Electricity produced with renewable energy is regarded in calculations as having no climatic effects, unlike electricity produced with, for example, fossil fuels. However, green electricity alone is not an all-encompassing solution, as this will also require savings in electricity consumption and energy efficiency,” says Green Office Project Manager Anniina Virta-Toikka from WWF Finland.

Office emissions fell by nearly 8,000 tonnes over the course of the year

In 2017, WWF’s Green Offices in Finland reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 7,680 tonnes from that of the previous year. This is equivalent to the amount of emissions that would result from flying from Helsinki to New York and back again every day for a period of five years.

The most significant reason for reductions in emissions caused by the Green Office network were air travel-related emissions, which were cut by 6,180 tonnes. Factors that may have influenced the reduction in air travel include travel instructions that have been edited to be more environmentally friendly, improvements to teleconferencing options, as well as cost savings that organisations are aiming for.

Overall emissions were also reduced due to a 1,780 tonne cut in emissions resulting from electricity consumption. The results were impacted by the change in the emission coefficient for electricity in the Climate Calculator used in Green Office reporting: emissions declined although electricity consumption grew by 2.5 percent in the network. However, electricity consumption per person has continued to decline.

“New activity-based offices as well as the automation of lighting and heating promote energy efficiency. Automation can use, for example, infrared technology to identify whether there are people in a space and to adjust building services accordingly,” Anniina Virta-Toikka explains.

Real estate plays a key role in mitigating climate change, but it is also important that the people who use the facilities act as well. WWF Green Office personnel are closely involved in taking steps to achieve the targets set by the environmental management system.

“Choices made by employees have a huge impact on the ecological footprint of the workplace. Each person can act in an environmentally friendly manner in the workplace by, for example, choosing a plant-based diet, sorting waste correctly and by favouring public transport in place of their own car,” Anniina Virta-Toikka states.

Key Green Office indicators:

INDICATOR

CHANGE IN EMISSIONS tCO2eq

CHANGE IN EMISSIONS %

CHANGE IN CONSUMPTION

Electricity consumption

-1,780.43

-5.86

+8,146,728 kWh

Heating and cooling consumption

+1,491.54

+4.65

+2,285,955 kWh

Road traffic

-390.08

-7.71

 

Rail traffic

+3.54

+15.53

 

Air traffic

-6,177.88

-19.56

 

Paper consumption

+19.71

+1.27

-319,034 sheets

Waste

-843.19

-31.52

- 1,015,078 kg

Water consumption

 

 

-10,175 m3

TOTAL

-7676.79

 

 

 

Sector-specific consumption comparison:

 

Change in electricity consumption (%),
2017 vs. 2016

Share of green electricity, % of electricity consumption

Electricity consumption, kWh per person

Consumption of paper, sheets per person

Change in consumption of paper (%), 2017 vs. 2016

Number of offices, electricity consumption reported

Number of offices, share of green electricity reported

Number of offices, paper consumption reported

Sector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banking and insurance

-25

92

1,798

2,631

-3

13

12

14

Property

-5

60

1,411

875

25

41

35

40

Education

7

33

6,367

914

-13

17

9

11

Agencies and ministries

1

18

2,208

7,836

-2

39

18

34

Unions and interest organisations

-6

3

2,647

1,433

-16

15

8

17

Retail and wholesale

1

12

3,117

984

-26

14

10

13

ICT

4

90

16,588

98

-36

5

4

3

Communications, law and consulting

-5

17

4,349

1,772

-9

19

12

18

Type of organisation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organisations/societies

 

4

2,173

1,303

 

31

13

33

Public administration

 

30

2,847

2,401

 

61

29

60

Companies

 

76

7,605

1,653

 

96

74

90

Average

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Office network

1

57

5,330

2,409

-5

188

116

183

Further information:

Anniina Virta-Toikka, Project Manager, Green Office, WWF Finland
tel. +358 (0)40 722 2823, anniina.virta-toikka@wwf.fi

www.greenoffice.fi/en

WWF Finland is part of the broad international WWF network that has offices in some 50 countries and operations in over a hundred countries. We build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. wwf.fi