Did you know real estates produce nearly half of the world’s CO2 emissions? Not for a good reason though, as many of those buildings are empty and wasting resources right now. There are over one million empty office square meters in Helsinki alone.
VALO is a uniquely innovative and sustainable hybrid hotel that solves just this issue.
We extend lifcycles by creating/choosing…
…multipurpose facilities & furniture that are easily transformed according to customer demands.
…timeless design with selected removable surfaces for sustainable design updates.
…surfaces & upholstery that need less maintenance and less cleaning.
We’ve reduced our material, chemical, energy and food waste with smart systems and customer directions. We minimise square meters that serve no active purpose – we find comfort in sustainability, not wasteful spaces.
We redesign traditional hotel and office furniture and systems to reduce waste and extend lifecycles.
We have calculated our carbon footprint up to Scope 2: our total carbon footprint in 2022 was 271,06 tCO2e, meaning only 2,95 KG of CO2e per customer!
The Finnish Chamber of Commerce has evaluated our calculations to comply with the international GHG protocol, and has granted us their Carbon Footprint Calculated Scope 1 & 2 label.
Green Key certificate, yearly since opneing in 2020.
> The certificate represents leading standards of sustainable operations in the travel industry.
BREEAM International In-Use certificate with an “Excellent” -level evaluation, October 2022.
> Sustainably designed and run built environment, committed to ESG compliance, circular economy mindset, and ecological use of materials.
Sustainable Travel Finland certification, early 2023.
> Recognition for sustainable business design, choice of environmentally friendly local and Nordic elements, and commitment to long term work on sustainability matters.
VALO Hotel & Work is a dual-use building: our facilities can be transformed from hotel facilities to office facilities during routine cleaning. We fitted two buildings into one.
The transformation is done with a combination of adjustable multiuse furniture (our own designs), adjustable lighting & air-con, and cleverly designed spaces that fit both hotel and office vibes.
Our innovation raises hotel and office utilisation rates and significantly reduces energy and resources spent on their operations.
Our electricity is renewable wind, solar and hydropower. A third of heating and half of cooling come from geothermal wells.
Our building lot holds 21 geothermal heating wells, 400 meters deep, that heat the wellness area and some of the rest of the building. The lot could not hold more wells, so we use district heating to make up the difference.
Heating recovery system to better utilise the waste heat from cooling appliences, air conditioning, pools and waste water.
Infrared sensor on the kitchen hood to ensure energy efficiency. We only heat our saunas for a limited time and avoid their unnecessary heating.
We have water reducing shower heads and we’ve restricted water usage with limiters to the levels of the BREEAM Excellent certificate in all our water supply points.
Three distinct customer groups use our wellness area at different times of the day to maximise the utilisation rate.
Our cosmetics are by the Finnish eco-friendly natural cosmetics company Ole Hyvä. Their mild, gentle scents are derived from genuine essential oils. All the ingredients are 100% plant-based, biodegradable, environment friendly and vegan.
We provide cosmetics in large wall-mounted, refilled pump bottles that reduce the use of plastic in our operation and for our customers. Guests can buy the bottles for home and refill them with Ole Hyvä -cosmetics at Ruohonjuuri shops located around Finland.
We’ve chosen materials for VALO based on legal restrictions, sustainability, production methods and production location. Hallways and rooms have long-lasting surface materials that can sustain the luggage and cleaning carts rolling by, as well as general wear and tear.
Maintenance frequency is kept at a minimum which too helps maintain a smaller carbon footprint. Because trends tend to change and our facilities can transform quite a bit in time, we kept the material styles timeless and appropriate for a variety of uses.
Our furniture is mostly from Finnish and Nordic suppliers. Their main material is solid wood because of its minimal carbon footprint. We favoured Finnish woods and local production to avoid carbon dioxide emissions in transportation and to support locals. Most of the desks, sofas and beds in our rooms were mainly produced in Lahti, just approx. 100 km from VALO.
We designed long-lasting and flexible solutions, like fully detachable upholstery for chairs. Upholstery usually wears down the fastest; our detachable upholstery can be repaired and replaced separately from the furniture itself.
Our Emeco chairs are made from recycled soda bottles. The room sinks are made from locally recycled wood chips and resin (by Woodio), or from Durat, a Finnish material composed of partly recycled plastic.
We prefer to serve seasonal, local, and organic food and always offer vegan options. Our drink list comprises local delicacies and European, sustainable, organic wines.
Our breakfast ideology is “less is better”: plenty of vegan options and everything chosen with sustainable care. So no bacon, I’m afraid.
Our rooms have waste recycling bins.
Our strength is in diversity and our connection to our community.
We collaborate with associations and groups that support diversity and wellbeing in Finland, such as The Finnish Association of People with Physical Disabilities, Mieli ry (Mental Health Finland) and Joulupuu ry (a Christmas campaign collecting presents).
We value education and offer various opportunities for collaboration with educational institutions such as Haaga-Helia. We provide internships, assign projects to courses, and speak to students at events to help them gain practical experience and insights into the industry.
We prioritize employee satisfaction and regularly measure it through quarterly surveys. We are committed to creating a positive and supportive environment for all our team members.
We highlight Finnish and local culture. Our interior design draws on traditional Finnish architecture and visual culture. Our wellness area is modelled after traditional Finnish lakeside saunas, and we sell traditional sauna paraphernalia such as sauna hats. Our hotel rooms resemble a traditional Finnish ‘saunatupa’, a small room attached to a sauna you can sleep in.
We hold community events and celebrate equality, such as our International Women’s Day event full of free and low cost workshops and mini events.
VALO Hotel & Work has been awarded a Green Key certificate, the highest standards of which we strive to exceed. In addition to above mentioned choices we’ve considered sustainability in our operations.
You can read more about the Green Key certificate at http://www.greenkey.fi/
In addition, VALO Hotel & Work has taken the following measures to ensure sustainable development principles already during the construction phase:
The Finnish Association of People with Physical Disabilities has audited VALO Hotel & Work and outlined development points.