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Sustainability report 2022

Sustainability report 2022

Sustainability Report 2022

Responsibility is a key part of our strategy. We bear responsibility for the environment, people and financial sustainability. We aim for 110% carbon neutrality by 2029, and we help our customers to act responsibly.

We report our sustainability work in accordance with the UN’s sustainable development goals.


Environmental work continued, with the goal of being 110% carbon neutral in 2029.
Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre also renewed its Sustainable Travel Finland label and joined Glasgow’s climate declaration.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre 110 % carbon neutral in 2029

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre received an ISO 14001 environmental certificate for its environmental system in 2009, as the first Finnish exhibition and congress centre. The environmental work goal has been set to be a 110% carbon neutral event house in 2029. The goal is achieved by reducing energy use, increasing the share of renewable energy and utilizing carbon neutral alternatives.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre is the City of Helsinki’s climate partner and committed to the tourism industry’s global Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism in 2022. As a signatory of the declaration, we commit to measure and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, reform operating methods, increase cooperation and ensure the funding required for development work.

We are committed to the energy efficiency agreement of the Confederation of Finnish Industries. In the first period 2011-2016, our goal was 9% energy savings, but we achieved 26%. This earned us a recognition award from the Energy Authority and Motiva. The work will continue in the period 2018 – 2025.

In 2022, energy use was reduced by lowering the night temperatures of the halls outside of events, keeping the ventilation on in customer premises only during event times and in the office during office hours, and by optimizing the lighting of the premises.

In 2019, the solar power plant built together with Helen Oy opened on the roofs of the halls and it produces 533 MWh annually, which corresponds to the annual consumption of approximately 250 two-room apartments. In addition to solar electricity, geothermal heat, district cooling and heat recovery is used, and LED technology and motion detectors are used in lighting.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre already halved its water consumption in the previous decade by introducing water-saving bubble nozzles. Our tap water is of high quality, and we encourage our visitors to fill their own drinking bottle from our water points. We process wastewater respecting the environment. The use of chemicals is guided by environmental friendliness and close monitoring. The Save the Baltic Sea prize is awarded annually with the support of the Finnish Fair Foundation.

Procurement has shifted to more environmentally responsible choices and the use of single-use products has been purposefully cut back. Event signage is implemented on digital screens, which reduces the need for printed materials.

Together with our restaurant partner, we reduce the amount of food waste and the use of plastic. The share of vegetables in the selection has been increased. For meeting catering, we prefer organic and local food. Fish used in restaurants is caught responsibly e.g. following WWF’s recommendations for tuna supply.

Self-monitoring is part of our quality assurance, and monitoring is carried out in our premises by Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre itself, our restaurateurs, and the health authorities who regularly monitor the events.

We help our customers to act responsibly

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre reuses 99% of its waste. All our premises have a recycling facility. During construction and dismantling, our customers are assisted by an environmental supervisor that circulates in the area. Environmentally friendly products are marked in our product catalogue with a special environment label. Increased attention is paid to the recycling of materials in the material selection, planning and sales of stands and programme areas.

In 2022, our goal was to bring sustainability more visibly and systematically into the programme of trade fair events, especially for example through circular economy areas, themes or competitions.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre is the City of Helsinki’s climate partner. As part of this goal, we encourage all our customers to use public transport for the benefit of the environment.


As the pandemic loosened its grip, we were able to abandon layoffs and started to ensure our employees’ successful return to work and their coping during the stressful restart phase. We also restarted cooperation with educational institutions and civil society organizations. 

Caring for personnel and customers

Staff satisfaction is monitored with regular surveys. In the second quarter of 2022, the staff’s work situation stabilized after the event business started. The staff’s coping during the challenging restart phase was supported by paying special attention to open discussion and information flow.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre offers its employees a work environment that maintains occupational well-being and high-quality occupational health care. An early care model is used to support work ability. ePassi as a staff benefit opens the doors to the use of sports and cultural services. The staff is regularly trained in both occupational safety and other safety-related matters. The office premises have ergonomic furniture that supports well-being at work and first aid supplies.

We support our personnel’s studies alongside work and offer the opportunity for study leave. In addition, we develop the professional skills of our personnel with our own trainings. Our employees can also, as part of their own work, get to know the events and participate in the suitable trainings organised during the events.

As an event house, Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre is fire-safe and accessible. Our premises are equipped with defibrillators, and Finnish Red Cross’ emergency desk is always available at events organised by Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre. Our premises also have breastfeeding and baby care stations, and a quiet room is available at some events. Special diets are taken into account in restaurants and meeting catering.

Harassment and inappropriate conduct and treatment are prohibited at Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre. In 2022, we prepared ethical guidelines for personnel, and we refined our guidelines to prevent harassment and improper treatment in our premises and events.

Work related to COVID-19 safety continued throughout the year. Safety measures and the safety level according to the COVID-19 certificate were communicated through multiple channels, taking into account personnel, customers and all stakeholders.

We build with cooperation

The cooperation with UNICEF Finland, which was interrupted during the pandemic, was restarted. With the support of those who became monthly donors at fairs in 2022, up to 56,100 bags of life-saving, vitally important Plumpy Nut paste for malnourished children can be obtained. That amount is enough for 1335 children for two weeks.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre also supported UNICEF Finland’s and the Finnish Red Cross’ Ukraine fundraising by offering visibility in its events and advertising spots. The Child Fair collaborated with World Vision Finland.

The cooperation with Live Vocational College, which was paused during the COVID-19 years, was restarted. The cooperation gives students practical experience in working life and helps those who need special support to find employment. Students can for instance clean, participate in customer service and take care of pauses at the stands. In 2022, 150 Live students participated in Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre’s event productions.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre also offered internships and apprenticeships for students, getting to know working life periods for schoolchildren, and free admission for groups of schoolchildren to selected events.

The Christmas party for lonely and marginalized people organised by Hurstin Apu has been arranged at Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre for years. The goal of the touching event is to give everyone the opportunity to have warm festive food and experience the Christmas atmosphere.


The economic and employment impact of Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre on its environment is significant. The aim is to create more work and economic growth with purposeful goals, cooperation and quality management.

We create work and income

In 2022, Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre brought an income of 128 million euros to the Helsinki metropolitan area. The employment impact for the Helsinki region was 1,740 person years of work (Taloustutkimus 6/2022). The corresponding figures in the most recent measurement before COVID-19, and therefore in the full programme year 2019, were 357 million euros and 4,850 person years of work (Taloustutkimus 6/2019).

New business openings have included, for example, adding virtual and hybrid solutions, offering interesting digital content all year round, internationalizing selected trade fair events, further development of pricing, seeking growth from international business events and congresses, and increasing solution sales and additional sales. The development of the property also continues.

The 2022 period aimed to develop the cooperation with the City of Helsinki and the vitality of the Pasila region. A close cooperation with the shopping centre Mall of Tripla began and continued throughout the year. The neighbourliness of two strong commercial operators aims to strengthen the comfort, vitality and attractiveness of the Pasila area in accordance with Helsinki’s city strategy.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre’s largest shareholder, the Finnish Fair Foundation, supports Finnish business life by annually awarding more than 400,000 euros worth of scholarships, grants, and recognition and incentive awards.

Good governance

Sustainability has been raised as a central goal in Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre’s strategy. From the UN’s SDG goals, we have selected the five most important priority areas in our operations (SDGs 8,11,12,1 and 17) and we report on the progress of the work accordingly.

Our management system is certified according to the ISO 9001:2015 standard. Operating methods are constantly improved with the help of quality management and by following customer feedback. We develop operations through both internal and external audits in cooperation with our certification partner DNV GL.

In 2022, Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre was the first event organiser in Finland to receive a GOLD Excellent-level SHORE safety certificate. The certificate verifies first-class safety practices and risk management both at Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre and at the Holiday Inn Helsinki-Expo hotel which it owns. Such an extensive SHORE certification is the only one of its kind in the world. The certificate was awarded by the international, independent risk assessment expert SAFE Asset Group.

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre works in close cooperation with the authorities and numerous other stakeholders. With the help of cooperation with public authorities, risks are assessed and safety is maintained. Companies and associations from different industries are involved in development groups and bring valuable know-how to the development of events.

We are an active member in the networks that are important to us. Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre is a member company of the Finnish Commerce Federation and e.g. member of Tapahtumateollisuus ry, member of the Association of Trade Fair and Event Organizers in Finland, member of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry UFI, member of Congress Network Finland ry and member of the ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association.