Solar panels on the roof of the LUT University.


South Karelia was presenting low carbon real estate management to an international consortium


South Karelia aims to become a carbon neutral region by 2030. Climate action will have to be taken within the region especially regarding non-ETS sectors, such as the living and buildings or transport systems. In order to implement new solutions, the high knowledge of the LUT University and public sector processes e.g. municipal public procurement, need to be harnessed.

Interreg Europe project S3UNICA has since August 1, 2019 been active in mapping smart and sustainable real estate management and related policy incentives in partner regions. Within the 9-partner consortium the Finnish partners are LUT University representing campus benchmark and technical point of view and Regional Council of South Karelia representing public authority and policy point of view. Key activities in the project include exchange of experience visits to other EU regions and sharing of best practices.

Within the three-year project, the visit to South Karelia planned for May was postponed due to corona situation. Regional Council of South Karelia and LUT University did, however, offer a virtual exchange of experience on June 17th, 2020. The EU project partners and their stakeholders from Italy, Spain, Romania and Poland, attended the web-based session. Participants, in total about 60 persons, represented companies, research and education institutions, public administration and NGO’s.

Presentations of the session:

The event was opened by Regional Council of South Karelia’s Regional Development Director Satu Sikanen who told about the region and its development targets. Regional best practices introduced in the virtual EE included: the LUT Green Campus and SRI evaluations, Greenreality Network environment and energy PPP, City of Lappeenranta virtual power plant project, City of Imatra carbon neutrality lead by new bio-heat plant, and an innovative carbon capture and storage as energy business developed by startup Soletair Power.

South Karelia is well underway towards sustainable living. The “S3UNICA – Smart SpecialiSation UNIvercity Campus” project idea has been to enhance the sustainability of university campuses as well as expanding the impact of campus knowledge and practices to the regions. “Clean energy and environment” as well as ”Smart Services” are thematic priorities of regional Smart Specialisation outlined in the “South Karelian Innovation Strategy 2018-2020”.

(More on Smart Specialisation in South Karelia

Picture on the top of the page: Teemu Leinonen, LUT