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SATO’s Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2020: Success in energy-saving, organization adapted to respond even better to customer needs

SATO Oyj
·6-min read

SATO Corporation, Press release, 11 February 2021 at 2:15 pm

SATO’s Annual Report and Sustainability Report for 2020 has been published. The uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic during the reporting year was reflected in SATO’s business operations as an increase in tenant turnover and, in turn, as a decline in the economic occupancy rate. In 2020, we focussed on energy savings, reduced the emissions caused by our operations and improved the availability of our customer service.

The full year occupancy rate was 96.7 per cent. Besides the general uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the lower occupancy rate can be attributed also to the increased offering of rental housing in the market, as well as the decline in our customer satisfaction rating.

During the year under review, we were very successful in our energy-saving measures and fulfilled the objective we had set for 2022 already by the end of 2020. Thanks to our energy savings, the emissions from our operations also decreased. In 2020, we began charting our climate- related risks and opportunities and made a commitment to report on them in accordance with the recommendations of the TCFD.

In 2020, we focussed on energy savings, reduced the emissions caused by our operations and improved the availability of our customer service. Thanks to our energy savings, the emissions from our operations also decreased. In 2020, we began charting our climate- related risks and opportunities and made a commitment to report on them in accordance with the recommendations of the TCFD.

“The coronavirus pandemic that emerged in early 2020 was challenging for us and influenced our work especially in the exceptional arrangements we made to try to ensure the safety and well-being of both our employees and our residents. We nevertheless managed to cope well with the exceptional year. During the year under review, we improved the availability of our customer service and recruited a significant number of new employees during the year,” SATO's CEO Antti Aarnio says.

“In accordance with our Customer First development programme, we focussed on adapting our organisation and our service processes to respond to our customers’ needs even better. We aim to be closely present in our customers’ daily lives in order to serve them in the best possible way. We expanded our House Experts operating model in the Helsinki metropolitan area and twelve new employees started working in our Housing business in a new kind of Service Manager role.” Aarnio continues.

More energy-efficient living

Our sustainability work is guided by SATO’s strategy and our sustainability programme for 2019–2022, which emphasises carbon-neutral cities and the well-being of residents and neighbourhoods. We reduce the load on the environment by regularly taking care of and repairing homes and properties according to the life-cycle principle, and by building properties primarily in existing urban environments and near good transport connections.

During the reporting year, we continued to invest in energy efficiency and water conservation in SATOhomes. We are committed to the Energy Efficiency Agreement targets for the property sector, aiming for a reduction in the total consumption of electricity and heat of 10.5 per cent between 2015 and 2025.

Legislation governing the energy efficiency of residential buildings requires an energy efficiency figure of 90 for new buildings. SATO is committed to building markedly more energy-efficient buildings, with our energy efficiency figure target being 81 for new buildings.

We focussed on improving residents’ living comfort and reducing energy consumption with the help of artificial intelligence. During the reporting year, we installed some 3,000 sensors to measure temperature and humidity in apartments. All told, around 20,000 SATOhomes are equipped with such sensors. Our building electricity during the year was generated from wind power and was emission-free.

”Due to coronavirus pandemic, we did not, however, succeed in all our sustainability targets during the reporting year. Because of the pandemic restrictions, we were not able to implement all water-saving measures. Water consumption also increased as residents spent more time at home than usual.”, Aarnio observes.

We were again successful in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and retained our four out of five stars with 78 points. Compared to other northern European housing investors in its peer group, SATO’s result is above average.


Green Finance Framework and the first green bond

In spring 2020, we launched the Green Finance Framework, which integrates SATO’s sustainability targets with its financing arrangements. The framework is based on the company’s strategy and the sustainability programme that was launched in 2019.

In September 2020, SATO issued a EUR 350 million unsecured green bond with a maturity of seven years. This is our first green bond, and we are using the cash proceeds from the bond to finance and/or refinance sites in accordance with our Green Finance Framework.


SATO’s Annual Report 2020 is also the company’s Sustainability Report, drawn up for the seventh time in line with the GRI Guidelines. You will find our Annual Report and Sustainability Report at
https://www.sato.fi/en/annual-report-2020


To read about some of the things we did over the year, please see:

Service Manager knows the houses and the residents »
https://www.sato.fi/en/kotona/our-house/service-manager-loves-to-help-residents/70028074

Green Finance Framework and the first green bond »
https://www.sato.fi/en/sato-company/press-releases-sato/release1997049
https://www.sato.fi/en/sato-company/press-releases-sato/release2095398

Successful circular economy event »
https://www.sato.fi/en/sato-company/press-releases-sato/2wdzi3wcr3265H7cMJX5E0

80 spruces will bring joy to yards for decades to come »
https://www.sato.fi/en/kotona/our-house/80-spruce-trees-will-bring-joy-to-yards-for-decades-to-come/70029120


For more information please contact:

SATO Corporation

CEO Antti Aarnio, p. +358 20 134 4200, antti.aarnio@sato.fi
Communications Manager, Jenni Rantanen, p. +358 50 386 4381, jenni.rantanen@sato.fi

www.sato.fi


SATO is one of Finland's leading rental housing providers. SATO aims to offer a comprehensive choice of rental housing and an excellent customer experience. At year-end 2020, SATO owned nearly 26 800 apartments in Finland's largest growth centres and in St Petersburg.

We promote sustainable development and initiative through our operations and work in open interaction with our stakeholders to generate added value. We operate profitably and with a long-term view. We increase the value of our housing stock through investments, divestments and repairs.

SATO Group's net sales in 2020 were EUR 303,4 million, operating profit EUR 179,6 million and profit before taxes EUR 129,5 million. The value of SATO's investment property is roughly EUR 4,8 billion.