Environmental strategy directs systematic procurement at Tampere Hall
The Tampere Hall Congress and Concert Centre, which is owned by the City of Tampere, has taken environmental issues seriously. According to the management’s policy, efforts are made to minimise the carbon footprint and to constantly improve environmental efficiency in the operations. The congress and meeting services of the Tampere Hall were the first in the Nordic countries to be awarded with the Nordic Ecolabel. The environmental targets and the Nordic Ecolabel systematically direct the type and method of purchases made by the Tampere Hall. In 2015 Tampere Hall also won the Sustainable Public Purchaser contest organised by Motiva Oy.
According to property manager Marko Koivisto, environmental issues are taken into account in procurement even before the tendering phase by examining the environmental impacts of the product group over the course of its life cycle and by studying various alternatives. Tendering itself focuses on environmental aspects and the targets of sustainable development. The Tampere Hall also attempts to make suppliers and partners commit to the same standard of environmental management.
Green choices in restaurant services
The environmental targets of procurement are met, for example, in the restaurant services. According to availability, the Tampere Hall prefers fair trade products, locally sourced food, as well as organic products. The Tampere Hall also strives to make ecological choices when purchasing tableware and crockery. – In order to find ecological crockery, we used the services of the procurement channel of the City of Tampere. A suitable partner was discovered after we clearly highlighted our own environmental ideology and needs. Our supplier has very similar values with us as far as recycling in concerned, says Marko Koivisto. In addition, environmental ozone water is currently used in the cleaning of kitchen areas, which has significantly reduced the need to use detergents.
Menus are planned according to the carbon footprint of food
At the Tampere Hall, the carbon footprint of various operations is monitored with a 360o optimum tool. – Currently, the annual greenhouse gas emissions produced by the building and our operations correspond to the emissions of about 240 passenger cars, Marko Koivisto calculates. The carbon footprint of food products purchased for the restaurants is also calculated. – Restaurant operations account for about one-third of our carbon dioxide emissions, therefore having a significant environmental load.
Information about the carbon footprint of foods has an impact on, for example, menu planning. Based on this information, we can offer more climate-friendly alternatives, Marko Koivisto explains.Information about the carbon dioxide emissions of various food products is often obtained directly from the wholesalers. – A lot of the time, wholesalers are these days able to give this information on their products if you just ask about it, says Marko Koivisto.
The Tampere Hall joined the Steps to Organic programme in 2009. At the end of the year, it will be entering step five, which is the highest level in the programme. That is when the kitchens use at least twenty significant organic ingredients, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, cereal products and fresh juice, on a permanent basis. Alcoholic beverages and brewery products are also mainly organic.
Savings and environmental benefits from cleantech solutions
Various cleantech solutions have been acquired for the Tampere Hall in a broad-minded way. – The reasons include the willingness to seek solutions to compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions we have caused, Marko Koivisto explains. Detergents are no longer used in the cleaning of kitchen areas, as they have been replaced by ozone water. Ozonised water is produced with an ozonator that is connected to cold tap water. The disinfecting properties of ozone are based on its extremely rapid oxidising power, as it ‘burns’ microbes. The disinfecting power of ozone water obtained from the ozonator device lasts for four hours and its cleaning power for eight hours: after that, the ozone water turns into ordinary water again. It has been possible to almost completely eliminate the use of cleaning chemicals in the kitchen facilities without compromising on cleaning efficiency. According to Marko Koivisto, the acquisition of the device has reduced cleaning costs, and it paid itself back in less than a year.
Noxite air-purifying roof membranes have been used in the roof coverings. Coated with titanium dioxide over a roof area of 130 m², the amount of CO2 emissions cleaned from the air corresponds to the emissions of a petrol-driven passenger car with emission standard Euro 5 over a journey of 15,000 kilometres. Algae will not gather on a titanium dioxide coating, either, which makes it easier to maintain the roof and reduces the need for using anti-algae and antifungal cleaning products. Currently, a total of 2,050 square metres of the bitumen roof has already been installed, compensating for CO2 emissions corresponding to a journey of 395,769 kilometres.
– I had seen an advertisement of the ozone water technology somewhere before, and we started to investigate it further after the launch of our environmental programme and a rise in cleaning costs, says Marko Koivisto. First, the device was ordered for test use. As our purchases are driven by our environmental targets, we have a mandate to purchase new kinds of solutions even if they are slightly more expensive than traditional alternatives. Innovative solutions may also turn out to be less expensive in use, for example, due to their lower maintenance costs. Therefore, it is always good to keep an eye on the life cycle costs, Marko Koivisto says.
The Tampere Hall has carried out groundbreaking environmental work since 1992 when it was the first congress building in the world to start building an environmental programme. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Tampere Hall has received several environmental awards over the years. And it is not planning to rest on its laurels in this work, either.
– In the future, I’d like to see a solar power plant connected to our building, Marko Koivisto hints at some of the future visions.