4 May 2021
EUR 104.6 million
This spring, NIB received the BREEAM Certification for its newly renovated office premises in Helsinki, Finland.
“Over the past few years, we have conducted an extensive renovation project in NIB’s headquarters. It was clear already in the beginning of the project, that we aim for our office building to be certified in accordance with a leading green building certification programme, such as BREEAM”, says Gunnar Okk, Vice-President and COO at NIB.
BREEAM* is an internationally recognised green building rating system. It guides owners, operators and developers to focus on a building’s sustainability performance during planning, design, construction, operation or refurbishment.
Walking the talk with our clients
Gunnar Okk, who has been orchestrating the project since it began in 2015, highlights that “walking the talk” is a point of honour for the Bank. When NIB is discussing with prospective clients with building or real-estate development projects, the Bank requires from them green building certifications such as the BREEAM Excellent/Outstanding level, or the LEED** Gold/Platinum level.
“Now we have refurbished our own premises to obey the same high standards that we require from our customers. Sustainability aspects have been taken into account in building features, material choices and water services”, Okk tells.
Even though we achieved the goal, it cannot be said that acquiring the BREAAM Excellent certification was easy for such an old building as NIB’s office premises.
“What was challenging in reaching the highest possible BREEAM rating of Outstanding was that our premises here in the centre of Helsinki are under the Act on the Protection of the Built Heritage, which meant that no changes to the façade were permitted. To achieve the Outstanding rating would have meant reconstructing and lifting the whole roof, and there was little chance of getting a building permit for that”, describes Elina Mustonen, Director and Head of Office Services & Facilities at NIB.
In line with our mission
Sustainability has always been a principle for NIB, as stated already in the Bank’s mission. This also includes internal sustainability work. NIB has been a part of WWF’s Green Office programme and succeeded in qualifying for the certificate as early as 2010. The programme has assisted the Bank to develop waste management, recycling and sorting, energy efficiency and reducing paper consumption.
The recently received BREEAM Excellent certification adds to this commitment and at the same time is an important signal, both internally and externally.
We now know how much work it requires to attain certification, but we can also better recognise the benefits. Sustainably managed premises can achieve substantial savings in energy, water and maintenance costs compared to a standard building. In general, a guiding framework such as BREEAM, besides taking into consideration energy and water usage, also promotes sustainability in the fields of material choices, commuting, and health and wellbeing.
*Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method
** Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design