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08. October 2020

Low-carbon blog series: Sustainability management as a key factor in successful business


Written by Juho Linsuri, Business Product Analyst

In our four-part blog series, EnerKey, Lumme Energia and Solarigo discuss sustainability and low-carbon energy use in both business and properties. The second blog post in the series has been written by EnerKey’s Business Product Manager Juho Linsuri.

Interest in sustainability and sustainability management has surfaced recently. But what is sustainability and what is sustainability management? Sustainability means that the company operates in the most sustainable way possible. This can be seen, for example, in the context of the principles of sustainable development, which are economic sustainability, social sustainability and ecological sustainability.

Sustainability at is best means that a business handles things voluntarily, and not under the force of legislation. Nowadays, sustainability is also a competitive factor that allows companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Sustainability management is again a systematic way of dealing with issues related to responsibility. There are various tools available for sustainability management, which I present here in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

Economic sustainability means that the company is profitable in the long run. Economic sustainability does not have to conflict with ecological and social sustainability. The economy can rise like a rocket, but still be ecologically and socially sustainable ̶ often the most cost-effective life-cycle option is also the best option in terms of social and ecological sustainability.

In connection with the ventilation renovation of properties, better heat recovery and control based on carbon dioxide content almost invariably achieve the lowest emissions, the best indoor conditions and the lowest life-cycle costs. With EnerKey SaaS, you can plan and prioritize the profitability of your energy efficiency measures. You can also plan your energy budget for the coming years and be aware of the cost implications of your choices.

Social and ecological sustainability

Social sustainability means for example that all the company’s personnel is well cared for. Social sustainability is something worth holding on to since it also enhances the company image. Your customers will appreciate social sustainability since it is a lower risk to purchase products and services from a sustainable business operator. By guaranteeing healthy conditions for your employees and tenants, you are contributing to social responsibility. EnerKey SaaS has its own tools for monitoring indoor conditions, with which you can monitor the internal temperature, carbon dioxide content and humidity of your properties and see the effects of the conditions on the energy consumption of your property.

Ecologic sustainability means that the activities result in the least possible emissions to the environment. Energy should be sourced from emission sources that cause the lowest possible amount of emissions. With EnerKey’s emission tool, you can set emission factors for different energy sources, allowing you to monitor the emission effects of your operations. Even if you already get all your energy at zero emissions, saving energy is still profitable. Green energy is always produced the same amount. As an example, a wind farm always produces the same amount of energy, whether it is used or not.

In case you buy your electricity as solar power, the energy you don’t use will be released for someone else to use. Someone else who would normally use even the energy used with coal condensate now gets the solar power you left unused, and in turn, the use of carbon condensate decreases. Your emissions will not be reduced, but at the system level emissions will be reduced by about 600 kg CO2 / MWh. This number is also a margin-based emission factor for electricity that can be used to assess the emission impact of energy efficiency investments, whatever your actual electricity emissions.