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Ski Storsenter won the NCSC Sustainability Award 2022.
Whatever the future may hold: The green shift is already happening.
As the global climate goals for 2030 and 2050 have become increasingly tangible, the notion of sustainability has become more concrete than ever before.
As one of Norway’s largest corporations, the Olav Thon Group (OTG) has a special responsibility towards creating a better society for the next generations.
Although OTG has worked systematically with sustainability since 2012, a new strategy will push the group’s efforts even further in the right direction, according to OTG’s Sustainability Advisor Anders Nandrup Rylander.
– Our sustainability goals represent the guidelines for our sustainability work ahead. It lays the path for our transition into becoming increasingly sustainable, with ambitions and goals well into the future. Anders Nandrup Rylander, Sustainability Advisor, The Olav Thon Group
Many things at once
OTG has chosen three pillars, based on the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, for their strategy – climate and nature, circular solutions and social justice.
– Sustainability is a lot of different things at once, so we work in different ways within every issue. Some of our main goals are securing eco-friendly buildings operated by circular principles, while at the same time maintaining social justice within our own business and value chain, says Anders Nandrup Rylander.
– Examples include working to BREEAM-certify new and existing buildings, making sure tenants sort their waste and establishing production of renewable energy on a number of properties. We will evaluate our value chain as well, while establishing a strategy for equality and inclusion in our own business.
Beehives and new technology
Recently, Ski Storsenter, one of 90 shopping centers in the OTG portfolio, was awarded with the NCSC Sustainability Award for 2022.
Sensors measuring energy use and smart waste solutions are just two of the reasons why the jury singled out the shopping center located just outside Oslo. In addition, beehives on the roof and a spacious garden surrounding the center, with 5,000 bee-friendly plants, takes the concept of sustainability down to its essential form.
Thomas Rønning, Director of the Real Estate Division of OTG, is both proud and impressed with what the center has accomplished.
– Both the operational team and the management in Ski has gone into this with an impressing level of detail. There’s a lot of creativity and motivation behind this award, says Rønning.
Traditionally, the property business has been one of the main offenders when it comes to emissions and lack of a strategic approach to sustainability. While this is steadily changing, due to both customer awareness and stricter international policies, there are still challenges ahead, says Anders Nandrup Rylander.
– The biggest sustainability challenge in our industry is perhaps reuse of materials, especially building materials. The regulations that are underway may contribute to making this easier in the future. However, because it has been so strictly regulated, the industry lacks experience with reuse of materials. So it will probably take some time for us to fully embrace this.
The sustainability advisor is nevertheless excited about the opportunities that arise with the green shift.
– Personally, I believe that in many ways we’re only at the beginning of a transition to sustainable solutions. That makes it a bit difficult to imagine all the possibilities, because there are probably an infinite number of them, says Rylander.
– Technological development is perhaps the field I have the greatest expectations for. It can be as simple as getting several technical solutions to talk to each other, strengthening the effect from each individual measure. For example, connecting customer counters to ventilation control can potentially have an effect on the energy consumption of a building.