“Impact investing helps to promote well-being effectively and, in a resource, wise way. It is a means of channeling private equity to projects whose aim is to achieve positive, measurable social benefit”. Ms Maarit Vierunen, Espoo Investment manager.
EXTERNAL SIGHT - MS MAARIT VIERUNEN, ESPOO INVESTMENT MANAGER
Why sustainability is so important for Espoo?
In its core, sustainability is about preserving humanity. To succeed we need functional societies and local governments. Sustainability needs to be incorporated into everything we do in Espoo. We see Espoo as testbed for sustainable solutions, for example in transport, energy and city development. We cooperate with companies to find solutions that help us achieve our targets of sustainability and carbon neutrality. And even more importantly, we want to find solutions that not only help us, but can be replicated in other cities and enable carbon neutral life in the cities across the globe.
Espoo is a city test for The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. What does it mean and represent for the city, its communities?
Year 2015, 193 national states agreed upon how we can constructively manage and develop our global community’s sustainably. SDGs were born. In Espoo we commit to this idea and mindset. SDGs for us are both a roadmap on how to develop the city and a review and reflection point for all of our activities. They are also a way for us to communicate sustainable development: economical, ecological and sociocultural within our own organization, to our residents and to our partners locally and globally. Most importantly SDGs for ESPOO is a shared mindset where we commit ourselves doing things together.
You recently launched « schools in shape » to develop Espoo schools and day care centers of tomorrow. Meridiam was chosen to be part of this program. Can you tell us a few words about it and the rationale behind it ?
At the beginning of 2018, Espoo launched the Schools in shape project, which aims to provide safe and healthy spaces for students and school staff. In a growing city, there is much demand for school space. The number of students in basic education and upper secondary schools is currently increasing in Espoo by about a thousand students every year. Existing schools are being systematically renovated. During the renovation, school activities will be moved to another school facility that is available to act as a bypass facility. The purpose of this is to provide safe space for students and school staff also during repairs.