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Fira is investing in environmental responsibility

Granlund worked as a consultant for Fira on the ISO 14001 certification, which demonstrates a commitment to the environment and also functions as a sparring tool for the organisation's operations.

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Environmental responsibility has become a tangible part of everyday business life in Finland and among bodies all around the world, and interest in various certified environmental management systems has grown accordingly. Granlund was involved in building an ISO 14001-certified environmental management system for Fira.

"The environmental certificate is a clear competitive factor for companies in the construction sector. Customers expect clearer and more visible means of demonstrating environmental responsibility. ISO 14001 is also a globally recognised management system, which is concerned with all of the organisation's processes and the means of acting in an environmentally friendly way within these processes," says Iida Vakkuri, Granlund's Environmental Management Service Manager.

Fira's mission to obtain an environmental management certificate was spurred by its personnel, although knowledgeable customers had already begun enquiring about matters related to environmental responsibility. "Customers asked us directly whether we had an ISO certificate. This got us to thinking that investing in environmental responsibility could give us a clear advantage in the market, and it was also highly compatible with the company's brand. It is natural for us to invest in environmental matters," says Juha Halme, Fira's Environmental Coordinator.

An environmentally responsible win-win scenario

Fira aims to set the standard for corporate responsibility in the construction sector. In Halme's view, they have a great opportunity in the construction and property sector, not only to take responsibility for the environment, but to increase environmental awareness in a scalable way. "We are well aware that the built environment and construction have a major environmental impact. For Fira, environmental responsibility means that, as a growing company, we aim to do our bit for the environment."

ISO certification is a powerful tool for improving and developing operations. It enables the elimination of overlaps or unnecessary operations and improvements to the activities that are retained. "Having a certified management system makes our operations more efficient, thereby boosting our competitive advantage. At the same time, we are operating in an environmentally friendly way, so it is a win-win situation," Juha Halme says.

ISO certification leads to new business opportunities

An entirely new environmental management system was created for Fira. This enables the company to modify the operations to suit it optimally , although certification ensures that a certain framework for operations is adhered to.

"By examining processes, it is possible to identify the hidden risks and opportunities when things are developed. This was a business-oriented examination with Fira. The process did not get bogged down in environmental risks; above all, it studied which new opportunities and businesses the company stood to gain from the certificate and from environmental responsibility more broadly," Iida Vakkuri says.

Fira received its ISO 14001 environmental certificate in June. The large project was executed to a fairly tight schedule, which was successful thanks to Fira's committed personnel, stakeholders and partners. Granlund and Fira worked well together.

"We went through the development areas in processes, construction sites and projects in a lot of depth. After that, we were able to quickly take development measures and rectify the deficiencies that arose. Fira set about changing and developing what was necessary in a very active way," Vakkuri says.

"Granlund was selected on the basis of a competitive tender competition and negotiations. We were reassured by Granlund's expertise, willingness to serve and genuine customer understanding. In the end, it was easy to choose a partner," Juha Halme says.

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