Viru Keskus, which is 73-percent owned by Pontos, was awarded the highest-level (platinum) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate in November within the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) category. It is the only shopping center in the Baltics to receive the certificate. LEED is the most used environmental rating system for buildings globally. The recognition was based on the high level of energy efficiency, recycling and sustainable use of natural resources. For old buildings, a high environmental rating is unique.
In the review, the company received full points for its energy use. Viru Keskus has for long produced total energy savings of 15% by using the self-learning AI-based program by Pontos’ other portfolio company R8 Technologies. The program uses nearly 40,000 sensors to monitor central real estate management systems and reacts in real time to changes in oudoor and indoor temperatures, electricity prices, indoor CO2 levels and the use rate of properties. With the system, commercial properties can reduce about one fourth of their energy costs.
Due to its smart solutions, Viru Keskus can offer its tenants nearly 50% lower utility costs compared to other commercial premises in the Baltics. “We are very proud of Viru Center setting an example in environmental matters across the Baltics. The built environment has a significant role in fighting climate change and protecting biodiversity. Investments in sustainable development are concrete steps. From 2021, the center has seen a significant renovation to be concluded in 2023. The center has also improved several crucial infrastructures, invested in more energy-efficient technology and carried out circular-economy measures. It is great that these procedures are also reflected in the environmental certificate received by the company,” says Päivi Tomula, Investor, Real Estate at Pontos.