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Sustainable environment

A person walking in a forest.

The NLS is working for a sustainable environment at two levels. First, it aims to actively reduce the environmental loads of its activities. Second, it strives to identify the significance of the data and competence of the NLS as an enabler of sustainable development in society.

The goals defined in the NLS sustainability programme are: 

  1. We reduce the carbon footprint of our operations.
  2. We produce knowledge and research to support decision making and development that can slow down climate change and promote biodiversity.

In 2022, we will advance the following acts related to the goals:

  • With concrete measures, we will promote the long-term sustainability act, which is to expand the Green Office concept into a common environmental system for the entire National Land Survey by 2024.
  • We are testing and studying the perks of offering a bicycle benefit to all employees.
  • We will carry out a study on how we can promote environmental sustainability in our information management, and what solutions we can use to print less. 
  • We produce new research data under the Academy of Finland’s flagship UNITEA project, which aims to diversify forestry industries, promote the impact forests have on health and wellbeing, and protect biodiversity.
  • By developing the real estate structure, we reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture and forestry, enable the development of biodiversity and increase traffic safety in the region. In 2022, we will develop indicators for this. 

Read the ‘Responsibility for the Earth’ sustainability programme (PDF).

Smaller carbon footprint is the goal

In facilities and travel, the National Land Survey aims actively at decreasing the burden that its own operations cause to the environment.

We have improved the efficiency and sustainable use of our facilities by favouring multipurpose spaces and considering sustainability in renovations. Our space efficiency is at a good level. In 2020, the figure was 18.9 m2 per person-year. As recently as 2016 and 2017, the corresponding figure was 23 m2 per person-year.

The National Land Survey also started a Green Office environment programme in 2014. Now, the programme is implemented in nine National Land Survey offices. The goal is is to expand the Green Office concept into a common environmental system for the entire National Land Survey by 2024.

Compared to 2016, we have been able to reduce the use of private cars and correspondingly increase travel by train.

Data as part of planning a more sustainable environment

‘Information about the Earth’ is the mission of the NLS and the cornerstone of its operations. Key data includes registered data about properties and housing company shares, as well as geospatial data. Data and processed data products serve to fight for a more sustainable environment. Data allows us to better understand the underlying factors of biodiversity and climate change, make better decisions and  develop more sustainable solutions.

The NLS’s research data also helps decision makers in the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of biodiversity. In 2020, the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) of the National Land Survey of Finland developed methods to obtain more diverse and higher quality geospatial data about forests in the future. This data helps better assess the impact of forest use on biodiversity, carbon sequestration and landscapes.

Read more in the sustainability report

In the National Land Survey’s sustainability report for 2021 (pdf), you can read more about how the National Land Survey invests in environmental sustainability.