DEN handles its customers biggest acquisitions in a responsible and sustainable way.
Sustainability is one of our basic values
At DEN, sustainability isn’t just another separate function, but rather we see it as one of our basic values and a central element of our strategy. From design and procurement to the end of the life cycle of the houses we build, sustainability is a part of everything we do.
As the leader in our sector, we have both the obligation and the opportunity to achieve something special in terms of sustainability. We want to play our part in speeding up the sector’s transition to being carbon neutral. We continue the comprehensive development of sustainability through all our operations, partnerships and products.
During the strategic period 2021–2025, our sustainability work will emphasise the environment, health and safety, and good governance.
In 2022, as the leader in our sector, we published our sustainability report for 2021. The report discloses DEN’s own carbon footprint and the indicators related to workplace health safety and governance. A transparent way of reporting that is based on facts helps us choose effective measures and verify results. In future, we will publish our sustainability report annually. In future, we will publish our sustainability report annually.
Sustainability work is done together
The sustainability report includes the work of a large group of people, who come from all parts of the organisation: factories, procurement, design, accounting and management.
The whole personnel go through the sustainability training (offered in DEN Akatemia). The management team regularly reviews sustainability issues.
The sustainability work at DEN is led by Maria Mroue, Director of Marketing, Communications and ESG.
Focus on the environment
When it comes to the environment, our main goal is to reduce our carbon footprint and increase the amount of carbon neutral products in our product range. In 2021, we began calculating our carbon footprint from all our operations.
In 2022, we reduced our carbon footprint by a total of 9 per cent, even though its construction volume increased. For example, the construction of single-family houses grew 23 per cent from the previous year. In proportion to revenue, carbon footprint decreased by nearly 16 per cent. Materials and raw materials counted for 75% of DEN’s carbon footprint, and 21% of our carbon footprint came from the life cycle of finished buildings. Only a very small portion of the carbon footprint is generated from the production process itself.
Therefore, we can say that our production processes are already effective. However, as our goal is carbon neutrality, we have begun taking multiple measures in order to further reduce our carbon footprint (especially the footprint of materials and raw materials) together with our suppliers.
Customers can already purchase any Designtalo house with the EKO2 package. With this package, each house is designed to be especially energy efficient and its carbon footprint is compensated.
The traceability of materials plays a key role in sustainability. The logs we use come from PEFC-certificated Finnish spruces. As a building material, wood is an exceptionally low-emission material and it stores carbon in the structures of the house for generations to come.
From the perspective of the environment, minimising the materials waste and building houses that use their square metres efficiently are key factors in building. By combining good planning and efficient production, many of the materials that are cut to size (e.g. wood, insulation materials) can be used in their entirety. By building houses that have efficient square metres, building materials are saved in the process and the energy costs of house are reduced.
Focus on health and safety
Workplace health and safety is essential in the construction industry. We track health and safety in real time. In recent years, we have especially invested in gathering precautionary security observations.
The number of safety observations has grown, and any potentially dangerous situations can be avoided thanks to preventive measures.
We have developed our own innovations for improving workplace health and safety. Designtalo and Ainoakoti use their own patented scaffolding system at their construction sites. This ensures that working on roofs and at the upper part of walls safe and prevents falls. All working phases carried out above ground level can be executed safely and ergonomically, which also improves the quality of the work.
Regular safety walks are organised at our factories, allowing us to track the safety of the work environment by means of active observation.
The prevention of injuries and illnesses that arise over the long term is also part of workplace health and safety. For example, potential harm caused by dust at our factories is minimised by keeping the air humidity at a level where it binds the dust. In this way, the amount of dust in the air is as low as possible.
The health and safety of our customers is something we pay a lot of attention to. At DEN, the storage of the materials and the processing of the elements is done at our own weather-protected factories in Nivala and Alajärvi.
The process of building a ready-to-move-in detached house (from erection of the frame to the installation of the roof) is very fast. This means the damage caused by moisture due to the weather is minimised.
The quality of the indoor air in log houses has been scientifically proven to be excellent from a health point of view. The quality of healthy indoor air is ensured by the high-quality framing and insulation materials that DEN uses in its prefabricated houses.
Focus on good governance
Here at DEN, good governance consists of, for example, having a set of ethical guidelines that every new employee of DEN reads through and signs when they first come to work for us. Our supplier partners also have their own set of ethical guidelines.
Our ethical guidelines include policies and instructions regarding, for example, the following:
- Sexual harassment and non-discrimination policy
- Diversity and inclusion policy
- Human rights
- Child labour
- Whistleblowing policy
- Data protection principles and personal data protection policy
- Anti-corruption policy
- Principle of approval
- Policies regarding insider trading
You can read more about the ethical guidelines from these links:
Ethical guidelines for the personnel
Ethical guidelines for supplier partners