Lahti Procurement Services prepared and published the new strategic Procurement Programme 2018. It focuses on innovative procurement and promoting the circular economy in procurement. In addition, a procurement working group was established to promote more versatile procurement criteria.
Päijät-Häme Catering Services particularly focused on offering new vegetarian options. The development of vegetarian recipes and increased variety in vegetarian dishes has encouraged customers to increasingly choose a vegetarian lunch. The story behind the food has a great significance for customers’ meal choices. Customers want to know where their food comes from.
The popularity of takeaway food continues to grow. After the lunch hour, excess food can be bought to take away at an affordable price. This reduces food waste. The value achieved by Päijät-Häme Catering Services through the promotion of a sustainable food system in 2018 amounted to EUR 26,000. The price of a lunch was EUR 3.99.
Lahden Talot Group continued to apply an energy-efficient approach to new building projects and renovations. All new projects have been planned and implemented in energy class A or B as nearly zero energy buildings with energy consumption below 100 kWhE/occupied square metre/year.
The first MiniMoi! contest, encouraging residents to change their consumption habits and reduce their carbon footprint, ended in spring 2018. As a result of the contest, the CO2 emissions of 96 properties reduced by 4.7 per cent, or 652 tonnes, from the previous year. The amount of mixed waste included in the calculation of total emissions continued to decrease. The result, 19.3 litres/person/week is a clear improvement.
Environmental education and research in the region
LUT university has popular Master’s programmes in Lahti. In the application round ending in January 2018, four Master’s programmes attracted 1174 applicants. There were 125 study places in the Master’s programmes starting autumn in 2018.
The year 2018 was characterised by the merging of LUT and LAMK at the turn of the year and the further expansion of LUT’s activities in Lahti. In 2019, an amendment to the law changed the name of Lappeenranta University of Technology to Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology. And for the year 2019, the amount of Master’s programmes rose to six.
The University of Helsinki’s main branches of research in Lahti include aquatic and soil ecology, urban ecosystem studies, environmental microbiology, environmental biotechnology, exotoxicology and environmental chemistry. The circular economy has become a very relevant theme. Related training is included in the BSc degree programme in environmental science as well as various MSc programmes, primarily those in environmental change and global sustainability.
Environmental maintenance training provided by Education Centre Salpaus focuses on the maintenance, repair and condition assessment of various types of urban environments. Students can choose to specialise in repair and maintenance operations, waste management, water maintenance operations or environmental communication and counselling. Salpaus’s Asikkala facility has been awarded a sustainable development certificate. A sustainable development working group relating to environmental education was established. It decides on sustainable development actions to be taken in accordance with the certificate. The indicators include, for example, electricity and water consumption as well as the amount of biowaste produced. These issues are also discussed as part of the education.
The new building project (7,900 m2) of the Salpaus joint municipal board, completed on Vipusenkatu in 2018, received Green Municipal Funding. The project has taken into account the energy efficiency and green values of the new buildings. The site has a geothermal heating system; the rest of the energy required is produced by solar panels and peak consumption is covered by district heating. The structural planning has implemented insulation that improves energy efficiency and provides insulation results that exceed the minimum requirements. Education Centre Salpaus uses the building technology and the technical facilities as a learning environment for environmentally friendly technology in heating, plumbing and air conditioning education. The next major learning environment renovation has begun on the Lahti City Centre campus.
Future plans and challenges
Implementation of the strategic procurement programme and training of personnel. Consideration of the ethical aspects of procurement.
Promoting corporate environmental awareness and working for the climate through means such as the development of climate partnership activities.
Utilisation of international visibility, such as the European Green Capital contest.
In 2019, Salpaus started planning a joint environmental competence module for all Salpaus students as part of the common studies included in the degree programmes.
Informing people about good examples.