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Messukeskus supports UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, Agenda 2030, aims for sustainable development that takes into account the environment, the economy and people on an equal footing. The guiding principle of the programme is that no one is left behind in development. Sustainability is also at the heart of Messukeskus’ responsibility work.

The year 2020 was unprecedentedly difficult for the event industry. The pandemic prevented normal business at Messukeskus Helsinki and cut off many established forms of cooperation with stakeholders.

Despite the challenges, Messukeskus continued its long-term responsibility work by building a bridge over the crisis in all three areas: taking responsibility for people, the environment and the economy.

1 No poverty

Messukeskus employs and generates significant income for the entire Helsinki Metropolitan Area. According to the latest pre-Covid annual assessment, the economic impact of Messukeskus on the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in 2019 was a record EUR 357 million and the employment impact was 4,850 person-years. (Taloustutkimus 2019)

Cooperation with UNICEF Finland has continued through communication campaigns, awaiting a return to normalcy and previous extensive cooperation. In 2019, the collaboration enabled a schoolyear for nearly 24,000 children or a vital polio vaccine for up to 2.3 million children.

2 Zero hunger

We work actively to decrease food waste together with Compass Group Finland responsible for our restaurant services. In our cafes we serve coffee roasted responsibly with green energy, which gives no coffee waste that burdens the environment. In conference catering we favor organic and local food and you can also order a five-star zero waste buffet that uses first class raw materials that have not been utilized. 85% of the used raw materials are domestic.

Self-monitoring is part of our quality assurance and the monitoring is carried out in our facilities by Messukeskus as well as our restaurateurs and health authority reviewers that regularly visit events.

3 Good health and well-being

From the beginning of the pandemic, Messukeskus strictly followed the instructions of the authorities and immediately began to develop its operations with the aim of safe event participation for clients and staff. The hygiene level of the premises was raised, Messukeskus was the first trade fair organiser in Finland to publish comprehensive instructions related to Covid-19 safety measures and the entire staff was trained in more detailed hygiene and protection practices. New types of protective practices and equipment were introduced to the staff in the office workday. Internal and external communication related to Covid-19 safety continued throughout the year, and it was done in a multi-channel way, taking into account all clients and stakeholders.

Messukeskus offers its staff a working environment that maintains wellness at work and high quality occupational health services. The Covid-19 vaccine is provided to staff through occupational health. An early caring system is in use to support the ability to work. The ePassi employee benefit system is a staff advantage and it opens doors to sports- and cultural services. The staff is continuously trained in work safety and other aspects of safety. The offices have ergonomic furniture, that support wellness at work and first aid supplies.

As an event arena Messukeskus is fire safe and clear from obstacles. Our facilities are equipped with defibrillators, and there is always a Finnish Red Cross duty point at events organized by Messukeskus.  There are also nursing and baby care points in our facilities and at some events there is a quiet room that can be used. Special diets are observed in restaurants and at conference caterings.

Messukeskus encourages all clients to use public transport for environmental benefits.

4 Quality education

Messukeskus offers an exceptional learning environment for students that need special support together with our partner Vocational College Live. Cooperation is expected to continue, although activities have been suspended for practical reasons during the pandemic.

We also offer training positions and apprenticeships for students, possibilities to get acquainted with work life for schoolchildren and free entrances to certain events for school groups.

We support that our staff studies along with work and we offer a possibility for study leave. We also have own training events to develop the professionalism of our staff. As part of their work, the staff can also visit events and take part in training at events suitable for them.

5 Gender equality

Gender equality is realized in Messukeskus’ management: half of the persons working on the Board of Directors and Executive Team are women and half are men. Two thirds of the staff are women.

There are nursing facilities and gender-neutral toilets in our public areas. There are baby care points in both women’s and men’s toilets.

6 Clean water and sanitation

Messukeskus has decreased consumption of water by half during the past decade by taking into use water saving bubble nozzles.

Our faucet water is of high quality and we encourage our visitors to fill their own water bottles with our faucet water.

Waste water is handled with respect to the environment. Environmental friendliness and strict control restricts the use of chemicals.

Staff and event performers have shower facilities in dressing rooms.

7 Affordable and clean energy

Messukeskus has set as its goal for environmental work to be 110% carbon neutral in 2029. The goal will be achieved through decreasing energy consumption, increasing the share of renewable energy and utilizing carbon neutral alternatives.

In 2019 Messukeskus opened one of Helsinki’s biggest solar plants on the roofs of the exhibition halls together with Helen Ltd. The annual production of the plant is 445 MWh, which equals the annual consumption of over two hundred two room flats. The strong investment in responsibility continues by expanding the solar plant and by choosing energy efficient solutions. In addition to solar electricity we utilize geothermal energy, district cooling, recovering heat as well as led-technology and motor sensors in lighting.

During the pandemic year, energy consumption was reduced to a minimum with the goal of substantial savings in energy consumption.

8 Decent work and economic growth

Messukeskus employs and generates significant income for the entire Helsinki Metropolitan Area. According to the latest pre-Covid annual assessment, the economic impact of Messukeskus on the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in 2019 was a record EUR 357 million and the employment impact was 4,850 person-years. (Taloustutkimus 2019)

The rapid change in the operating environment due to the pandemic posed an unprecedented challenge to the business. Messukeskus adjusted its operations by seeking savings, freezing investments and applying for business subsidies. Savings were also sought through staff reductions and layoffs.

Additional work and economic growth is generated through resolute targets. Such are for instance increasing virtual and hybrid solutions, providing interesting digital content all year round, making chosen exhibition events international and seeking growth from international corporate events and congresses. Property development is also continued.

As an event arena Messukeskus is clear from obstacles. The offices have good indoor air and ergonomic furniture that supports wellness at work.

9 Sustainable industry, innovation and infrastructure

Messukeskus has developed its facilities continuously ever since the current facilities in Pasila were opened in 1975. In procurement the emphasis is on domestic, sustainable choices.

In energy solutions we utilize solar electricity, geothermal energy, district cooling, recovering heat and led-technology and motor sensors in lighting.

Messukeskus’ owner member The Finnish Fair Foundation supports Finnish business life by annually handing out 400 000 euros as stipends, grants, recognition rewards and incentives.

10 Reduced inequalities

As a partner of Live Vocational College, Messukeskus has provided a unique learning environment for students with special needs. Cooperation is expected to continue, although activities have been suspended for practical reasons during the pandemic.

We observe equality regarding salaries, collective agreements and recruiting. Persons with different religious and ethnic backgrounds are represented in the staff.

We have nursing facilities and gender-neutral toilets in our customer facilities. There are baby care points in both women’s and men’s toilets. Our personnel works in a multi-space office where the workspace is equal for every employee. As an event arena Messukeskus is clear from obstacles.

11 Sustainable cities and communities

Messukeskus is the City of Helsinki’s climate partner and aims at being 110% carbon neutral by 2029. As part of this goal we encourage all our clients to use public transport which benefits the environment.

We work closely with authorities and take care of statutory controls of our facilities.

As an event arena Messukeskus is safe and clear from obstacles. We cherish the cleanliness of our outdoor areas through constant maintenance.

12 Responsible consumption

Messukeskus makes use of 99% of its waste. You can recycle in all our facilities. During building and dismantling our clients are assisted by a circulating environmental supervisor. In procurement we have moved towards more environmentally friendly choices and we have decreased the use of disposable products.

85 % of food raw materials used is domestic. We work actively to decrease food waste together with Compass Group Finland responsible for our restaurant services. In our cafes we serve coffee roasted responsibly with green energy, which gives no coffee waste that burdens the environment. In conference catering we favor organic and local food and you can also order a five-star zero waste buffet that uses first class raw materials that have not been utilized.

Self-monitoring is part of our quality assurance and the monitoring is carried out in our facilities by Messukeskus, our restaurateurs as well as health authority reviewers regularly at events.

We encourage all our clients to use public transport which benefits the environment.

Environmental responsibility is communicated diversely to both clients and staff.

13 Climate action

In 2009 Messukeskus received the ISO 14001-environmental certificate for its environmental management system as the first Finnish exhibition and congress center. In 2019, the ISO 20121 Responsible Event Organiser Certificate was the first in Finland to be piloted in congress arrangements.

There was an even stronger commitment to promoting responsible travelling. Messukeskus received Visit Finland’s Sustainable Travel Finland label as a sign of its valuable and long-term work for sustainable travel.

Messukeskus has set as its goal for environmental work to be 110% carbon neutral in 2029, and is moving towards the goal despite the pandemic. The goal will be achieved through decreasing energy consumption, increasing the share of renewable energy and utilizing carbon neutral alternatives. In 2019 Messukeskus opened one of Helsinki’s biggest solar plants on the roofs of the exhibition halls together with Helen Oy. The annual production of the plant is 445 MWh, which equals the annual consumption of over two hundred two room flats. The strong investment in responsibility continues by expanding the solar plant and by choosing energy efficient solutions. In addition to solar electricity, geothermal energy, district cooling, recovering heat as well as led-technology and motor sensors in lighting are utilized.

We have committed to the industrial energy efficiency agreement. During the first season 2011-2016 our goal was energy savings of 9%, but we reached 26%. This gave us a recognition award issued by the Energy Authority and Motiva Ltd. Work continues during the season 2018-2025.

Messukeskus makes use of 99% of its waste. You can recycle in all our facilities. During building and dismantling our clients are assisted by a circulating environmental supervisor. In procurement we have moved towards more environmentally friendly choices and we have decreased the use of disposable products. The event signposts are digital displays which decreases the need for printed material.

85 % of food raw materials used is domestic. We work actively to decrease food waste together with Compass Group Finland, responsible for our restaurant services. In our cafes we serve coffee roasted responsibly with green energy, which gives no coffee waste that burdens the environment. In conference catering we favor organic and local food and you can also order a five-star zero waste buffet that uses first class raw materials that have not been utilized.

Self-monitoring is part of our quality assurance and the monitoring is carried out in our facilities by Messukeskus, our restaurateurs as well as health authority reviewers regularly at events.

We encourage all our clients to use public transport which benefits the environment.

14 Underwater life

Moomin Characters and John Nurminen Foundation are our partners in #OURSEA-campaign which increases awareness of the situation in the Baltic Sea and raises funds to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage. During earlier years we have co-operated with BSAG (Baltic Sea Action Group) for the benefit of the Baltic Sea and by selling DROPP-water in our facilities.

Messukeskus handles waste water with respect to the environment. Environmental friendliness and strict control steers the use of chemicals.

We make use of 99% of waste. You can recycle in all our facilities. Plastic is sorted in their own recycling points.

The fish used in the restaurants is caught responsibly; for instance WWF:s recommendations regarding serving tuna fish are followed.

With the support of the Finnish Fair Foundation, the Save the Baltic Sea Award is presented annually and the Environment Award every other year.

15 Life on land

We make use of 99% of the waste. You can recycle in all our facilities. We decrease the use of disposable products and plastics. We prevent food waste actively together with Compass Group Finland who is responsible for our restaurant services. 85% of the food raw material used is domestic.

We encourage all our clients to use public transport which benefits the environment.

We continue to develop our facilities and one plan in the future is to build a green roof on top of the conference facilities.

16 Peace, justice and corporate governance

Messukeskus works in close co-operation with the authorities. Risk assessment and safety is maintained with this co-operation. The facilities of Messukeskus as well as the staff are insured for injury and damage.

Messukeskus is a member of the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa.

17 Partnerships for the goals

Messukeskus operates in co-operation with authorities and several stakeholders. Companies and associations within various branches are included in development groups and bring valuable knowledge when developing events.

Ways of working are improved constantly by quality management. All business processes and environmental systems have a steering group responsible for development. Internal and external audits help us to develop our operations constantly. Our certification partner DNV GL also assesses our operations continuously.

During the pandemic, Messukeskus’ multi-purpose facilities serve the City of Helsinki and healthcare companies as Covid-19 vaccination and testing areas. Other alternative uses for the premises have also been sought for actively. The premises have been used for example as entrance exam facilities for educational institutions and court office halls.