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CEO’s review

Despite the corona pandemic, the operational and financial result of the Turku Student Village Foundation’s 54th year of operation, i.e. 2020, was rather close to expectations.

As elsewhere in the world, the most significant external factor affecting the foundation in 2020 was the corona pandemic, the impact of which on the health of the foundation’s personnel, tenants, customers, partners and other stakeholders was sought to minimize and reject occupancy rate decrease and other potential negative effects on the foundation’s operations where possible. So far, the negative effects are estimated to have been particularly pronounced in the slight decline in occupancy and in changes in the work community’s internal and stakeholder engagement, some of which are likely to remain long-term or permanent and some are also positive. The latter will be strengthened. The impact of the pandemic will be assessed and changes in the foundation’s operations will be considered and made during and after the pandemic.

Strategy work was also carried out during the year and the foundation’s strategy was updated, which was approved by the foundation’s Board of Directors in the fourth quarter of 2020. The update clearly includes the foundation’s new values, responsibility and sustainability, also arising in this report. Responsibility and sustainable development are manifested in e.g. so that TYS is ready to introduce new things that promote the use of sustainable materials, energy saving and the use of renewable energy sources, and to invest in sustainable development solutions. The update of the strategy also identified changes in the operating environment, among which are e.g. climate change, carbon neutrality and negativity, sustainable development and circular economy, as well as economic stagnation and uncertainty. Although the update does not include major changes, it will be easier to communicate in the future and hopefully be more listener, viewer and reader friendly at the same time.

The foundation’s mission was also updated to include environmental friendliness: The Turku Student Village Foundation is a tenant-oriented pioneer that enables safe, individual, environmentally friendly and easy student housing. TYS‘s vision also includes that it is financially strong and able to meet both short-term and long-term economic challenges, aims for carbon neutrality by 2029, and is responsible and reputable.

The foundation’s strategic objective for 2030 includes, for example, that TYS is a pioneer in environmentally and climate friendly construction and maintenance. Means to achieve this include creating milestones to achieve carbon neutrality by 2029 and involving tenants in the measurement of electricity and water consumption per dwelling where possible.

A welcome new opening in the field of responsibility and sustainable development was also the EU’s Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) Lighthouse project, in which TYS participates. One of the objectives of the project is to create model examples of climate-positive neighbourhoods. The project name is RESPONSE – integRatEd Solutions for POsitive eNergy and reSilient CitiEs. The duration of the project is five years, of which the first two years are set aside for the implementation of the project and the remaining three years for the monitoring of the implementation. Most of the implementations in the Turku Student Village Foundation will take place in 2021. Tyyssija under construction is part of the energy positive area of the RESPONSE project, and solar panels will be installed on its roof in the spring of 2022.

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