Responsibility is part of all investment activities of Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company and its principles of corporate governance. Varma’s responsible investment principles also include controlling climate change. Varma uses Leanheat’s solution to diminish the carbon footprint of its properties.
Responsible investment has become a given. As early as a couple of years ago, Varma’s opinion was that responsibility does not contradict the requirement for yield in the long run, but instead, investors and enterprises have an additional opportunity to make the world a better place to live. This must be reflected in investment decisions.
In 2016, Varma published a climate policy paper for investment where it set ambitious targets to shrink the carbon footprint of investments in various asset categories. The long-term goal is to reconcile the portfolio with the Paris climate agreement. This means Varma is a participant in the worldwide effort to curb global warming over two degrees Celsius. According to Reima Rytsölä, Varma’s Executive Vice-President Investments, the goal is not far away.
For an investor, slowing down the climate change requires focusing on a couple of issues. Under consideration are how to minimize the risk involved in fossil fuels, and simultaneously, how to beneficially use future technologies,” Rytsölä says.
Varma owns many properties in different parts of Finland, including 4,100 apartments. For those properties, we have our own targets, as well as targets we are committed to through participation in the VAETS program for the real estate energy efficiency agreement for rental properties.”
In apartments, the easiest way to cut carbon dioxide emissions is to look at heating,” states Aarne Markkula, Property Development Director, Varma.
With Leanheat’s solution, overheating of apartments has decreased, consumption peaks have been cut, and through quick detection, problems in buildings have been intervened with immediately without allowing excess heat leaks. As energy consumption has gone down, so have CO2 emissions.
Markkula specifically points out the financial benefit of adopting Leanheat’s solution.
This investment pays itself back in less than three years,” he says.
Varma has made comparisons between the results from Leanheat and those simultaneously achieved with a competing solution. The comparison shows that Leanheat produces significantly better results – so much better that Varma is now planning to expand the use of Leanheat’s solution in the properties it owns.