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Carbon-neutrality: Tampere Hall and the Marriott hotel to use renewable energy

Tampere will feature a carbon-neutral city block as Tampere Hall and the Marriott hotel take new steps to reduce energy consumption. The Tampere Hall property has been using renewable energy since 1 November 2019. The hotel will switch to renewable energy by the end of 2019. Tampere Hall is Finland’s first carbon-neutral conference and concert centre. The hotel, scheduled to open at the beginning of 2020, is the international hotel chain’s first carbon-neutral new property in Finland. The Moomin Museum located in Tampere Hall is Finland’s first museum housed in a carbon-neutral property. Using renewable energy in buildings is the key element in the pursuit of a fossil-free society. The energy used by Tampere Hall and the hotel is supplied by the Tampereen Sähkölaitos utility company. The considerable investments made by the Sähkölaitos Group in increasing the use of renewable sources in energy production have contributed to achieving carbon neutrality in these properties. The energy supplied by Sähkölaitos is generated locally in Tampere and the surrounding region. In addition, Tampere Hall uses energy generated by its own solar power plants. The carbon-neutral energy used by Tampere Hall and the Marriott hotel:
  • Tampere Hall switched to using hydropower electricity generated from the Tammerkoski Rapids in 2012, and the building was connected to district cooling sourced from Lake Näsijärvi in 2015.
  • Solar panels were installed on the roof of the building in 2017 and again in 2019, enabling Tampere Hall to produce part of the electricity it uses.
  • In terms of the energy it consumes, Tampere Hall achieved carbon neutrality in November 2019, as heating switched to using whole tree chips. Chips are computationally a carbon-neutral form of energy and approved as emission-free by the EU. However, transportation and burning of the chips do generate some emissions.
  • The Courtyard by Marriott Tampere City hotel will switch to electricity produced by the Tammerkoski Rapids power plant and to district heating generated from whole tree chips by the end of 2019.
  • The hotel property is owned by Keva, the Finnish public sector pensions institution. Keva’s objective is for all of its new buildings to be carbon neutral as of the beginning of 2020. The hotel will be Keva’s first carbon-neutral new property.
Read more about Tampere Hall’s carbon neutrality The Tampere Hall Ltd. culture and conference centre will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. Tampere Hall was the first conference centre in the Nordic countries to receive the Nordic Ecolabel, back in 2014. Several improvements to increase energy efficiency have been made in the building over the years, and various items of equipment have been replaced during their life cycle. This year, the building’s energy classification was raised from E to C. “Next, we will start seeking ways to reduce the carbon footprint of our events and business operations even further, and also find ways to reduce the emissions or even to compensate them. We already have a variety of low-carbon products and solutions that reduce the burden on the environment. Our restaurant serves low-carbon food, and efficient solutions have been implemented in our waste management operations. The changes in energy consumption have also provided us with financial savings. Our consumption has been cut by nearly a half in 30 years,” Tampere Hall CEO Paulina Ahokas says. With regard to environmental responsibility, Tampere Hall has been a pioneer in its sector since the establishment of the company. Tampere Hall began building its own environmental programme back in 1992 as the first conference centre in the world to do so. “Next year, responsibility will be one of our main themes throughout the year with Tampere Hall’s 30th anniversary celebration, Moomintroll’s 75th birthday, the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra’s 90th anniversary and the grand opening of the hotel.” Read more about Tampere Hall’s environmental responsibility

A carbon-neutral Tampere by 2030

According to various calculations, buildings account for nearly 40 per cent of all energy consumed in Finland and generate more than 30 per cent of the emissions. Reducing emissions generated by the built-up environment is an essential factor in making Finland a carbon-neutral country. Tampere aims to be carbon-neutral by 2030. This objective is supported by the city’s budget, which will include climate budgeting. Tampere will be the first municipality in Finland to implement this form of budgeting. “The main sources of emissions come from heating of buildings, traffic and electricity consumption. Changes in these will make a difference. The carbon neutrality of the Tampere Hall city block is one example of the practical implementation of such changes,” says Tampere Mayor Lauri Lyly.

Membranes on the roof offset emissions generated by commuters

The roof of Tampere Hall is covered with more than 7,000 m2 of membranes that neutralise harmful substances from the air and thus complement the conference centre’s carbon neutrality objectives. According to studies conducted by Tampere Hall, the emissions generated by the commute of the company’s employees can be offset by the membranes installed on the roof. “The membranes compensate for more than 730,000 kilometres of driving per year. We can calculate how the impact of the membranes offsets both the kilometres commuted by our employees and the work-related kilometres accumulated by our two company cars,” says Tampere Hall’s Property Manager Marko Koivisto. Text: Anne Sivula Photo: Laura Vanzo/Visit Tampere Video: Protips Production