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Survey finds: Majority of renters have made lifestyle changes for sustainability

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SATO Corporation
Press release 10 January 2023 at 12.45 pm

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The energy crisis is reflected as concrete actions in renters’ everyday lives. Over the past 12 months, almost 76% have made changes relating to energy consumption and 83% relating to mobility, finds a survey commissioned by housing investment company SATO in November.The survey explored renters’ views on sustainable housing.

Those living in a rental home are paying increased attention to energy consumption, and the energy crisis is reflected as concrete actions in renters’ everyday lives. A survey commissioned by SATO in November shows that 76% of renters have made changes relating to energy consumption or saving energy. Conducted through an online panel, the survey had 1,005 respondents who live in a rental home or are considering moving into a rental home within the next 12 months.

The majority (67%) of renters have sought to save energy through small everyday actions such as turning off unnecessary lights or not leaving entertainment devices on standby. More than half of the respondents report they have already reduced their electricity and water consumption, and a clear majority are willing to make changes in the future to cut down electricity and water consumption. Respondents are more prepared to save electricity than water.

Households in Finland consume energy especially for heating, and almost one in three respondents (29%) have turned down the temperature in their home.

“Heating is included in the rent of SATO rental homes, and in most homes residents are not able to affect the temperature. Instead, the temperature is monitored and controlled in a centralised manner using artificial intelligence. We aim to keep the temperature of SATO homes at around 21 °C, which is a healthy and energy-efficient indoor temperature,” says Elina Vaurasalo, Executive Vice President for Housing Business at SATO.

“As a large rental housing provider, we have the opportunity to have a significant impact on energy consumption and have indeed paid even more attention to temperatures during the current energy crisis. According to the survey, more than half of the respondents hope to receive guidance from the rental housing provider in issues relating to sustainable housing. In addition to our own energy-saving measures, we have also provided our residents with active guidance on how they can contribute towards energy saving in their everyday lives,” Elina Vaurasalo continues.

Almost every renter does recycling – 53% recycle all household waste

The survey shows that the rental housing provider is hoped to provide good opportunities for sorting and recycling waste. Recycling awareness is high among renters, as 96% of the respondents recycle at least one recyclable waste type and up to 53% recycle all household waste. The most commonly recycled waste types are cardboard, paper and glass, but more than two in three also recycle metal, plastic and biowaste.

“We actively encourage and guide our residents to recycle waste, as that has a direct impact on reducing the environmental load from our activities. One of the objectives of our Sustainability Programme is to increase materials efficiency and promote the circular economy principles during residential use phase. For example, we’re continuously developing our waste reporting and aiming to enable more detailed monitoring for our residents regarding their home building’s waste,” says SATO Sustainability Manager Susanna Kari González.

Walking or public transport – central location enables more sustainable lifestyle

In addition to reducing energy consumption, renters have also changed their mobility over the past 12 months. A total of 83% of the respondents have made at least one change in their mobility in a more sustainable direction, with the rate among young respondents aged 18–24 being as high as 94%.

Around half of the respondents have increased walking and seek to take care of multiple errands at the same time instead of making multiple journeys. Other mobility changes made include reducing private care use (29%), reducing mobility and travel (25%) and increasing the use of public transport (24%).

The central location of the home makes it easier to make mobility changes. If the shop is close enough, you can walk or cycle there. Consequently, the majority (80%) of the respondents regard the location of the home as an aspect enabling a more responsible and sustainable lifestyle.

Conducted in cooperation with Nepa Insight Oy through an online panel in November 2022, the survey had 1,005 respondents who live in a rental home or are considering moving into a rental home within the next 12 months. The respondents were Finnish-speakers aged 18–74 from the Uusimaa, Tampere and Turku urban regions. The survey studied respondents’ expectations regarding the rental housing provider’s responsibility and sustainability and respondents’ own choices relating to sustainable everyday housing aspects.

For a summary of the results (in Finnish) and a press release published on 16 December 2022, visit the sato.fi website at https://www.sato.fi/en/releases/release2575243

For media enquiries please contact:

SATO Corporation, Elina Vaurasalo, EVP, Housing Business, phone +358 40 131 4010, elina.vaurasalo@sato.fi
Susanna Kari González, Sustainability Manager, susanna.kari.gonzalez@sato.fi, phone +358 201 34 4194
Jenni Rantanen, Communications Manager, jenni.rantanen@sato.fi, phone +358 50 386 4381


SATO Corporation is an expert in sustainable rental housing and one of Finland’s largest rental housing providers. SATO owns around 25,000 rental homes in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Tampere and Turku.

SATO aims to provide an excellent customer experience and a comprehensive range of urban rental housing alternatives with good access to public transport and services. We promote sustainable development and work in open interaction with our stakeholders. SATO invests profitably, sustainably and with a long-term view. We increase the value of our assets through investments, divestments and repairs.

In 2021, SATO Group’s net sales totalled EUR 298.3 million, operating profit EUR 304.5 million and profit before taxes EUR 259.4 million. The value of SATO’s investment properties is around EUR 5 billion.www.sato.fi

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