Responsible business has always been included in the values of UKI Arkkitehdit. Responsible business means that the company acknowledges the social, economic and ecological consequences of its operation.
We know how great the impact of construction is to the environment. Although the constructor has decision making power to restrain it, we as designers have a central role in influencing important decisions. At the moment, legislation requires operators to invest in environmental issues on a minimum level, but this is about to change. Built environment is an essential part in the solution to climate change, and we want to be part of this solution.
We at UKI Arkkitehdit recognise the environmental impact of our own operation and we want to find concrete means to reduce it and foster sustainable building. This is why promoting sustainable development was chosen the spearhead of our business in 2021 as our company strategy was updated, and a responsible team was created for that purpose.
The EcoCompass certificate has been awarded to us in November 2022.
We wanted to make our environmental work systematic and measurable. The choice of EcoCompass consisted of a few factors:
- The certificate is based on the international ISO 14001 standard.
- EcoCompass certification does not mean a great change at once but continuous improvement in line with the values of our company.
- Getting the certificate requires creating an environmental program, which includes diversely scaled goals, concrete actions and schedules.
- An EC specialist has been involved in steering the whole certification process.
- The reliability of the certification is ensured by the following facts: EcoCompass is owned by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and auditing is performed by a third party inspector.
- Improving competitivity. An awarded EcoCompass certificate demonstrates that UKI Arkkitehdit is committed to developing its operation from an ecological angle and strives to offer the best design solutions.
Our environmental promise
We strive to systematically develop our expertise in the overall sustainability of our design solutions and reduce the consumption of natural resources caused by our work.
- In the environmental program, segmented goals were set and actions were decided for achieving the goals. Responsible persons and schedules were listed for the actions.
- The environmental coordinator in our company is Tamara Louis, who is motivated about the subject and leads the sustainable development team besides her own design work.
- Staff training: emphasising the importance of environmental issues in internal communication. In the future, the aim is to communicate concrete environmental achievements internally and externally with the help of EcoCompass indicators.
- Changes that have already been implemented in the premises involve waste disposal, purchases and energy consumption. Office waste sorting has been developed and the staff has been briefed, electricity contracts have been updated to fossil free and efficient recycling of IT equipment has been arranged.
- Sustainable development training for the whole staff has been planned already for the beginning of 2023. The advanced training set is offered to project managers, including detailed orientation to lifecycle planning and carbon footprint calculation.
The goals are sufficiently ambitious, and the actions are concrete and realistic, and they are effective in reducing environmental impactsSanna Rousu, Green effect Company, auditor
GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL membership
UKI Arkkitehdit Oy is involved in the operation of the Green Building Council Finland association. UKI Arkkitehdit Oy as a company is also a founding member of the association. FIGBC is Finland’s only developer of environmental issues working for the whole construction sector (constructors, designers, companies, etc.). FIGBC arranges annual trainings on such subjects as sustainable regional planning in construction, achieving low-carbon operation, defining carbon footprint threshold values, responsible investment and circular economy.
The managing director of our company, Mikko Heikkinen sits in the board of the association and Marjaana Harjapää is a construction committee member.
UKI Arkkitehdit is a supporting member of the #BuildingLife project.