The EU will support SATO Corporation in financing new near-zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) through a EUR 150 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan will be extended under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) - part of the Investment Plan for Europe - the Juncker Commission's strategy to support investments and bring back jobs and growth to Europe. It allows the EIB, the European Commission’s strategic partner in the plan, to do more lending to innovative projects.

The main focus of the project is the construction of new NZEBs in urban areas in Finland; although the project also foresees renovation investments to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings. The goal is to reduce energy consumption and lower CO2-emissions, contributing to security of supply and EU climate impact mitigation objectives.

“Tackling climate change is a top priority for the EIB." said EIB Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori about the operation. “Investing in energy efficiency is one of the most cost effective and rational way of reducing emissions and we are glad we can support SATO in this. This project is not only a step forward in sustainable urban development in Finland, but should also lead to a reduction of energy consumption for the inhabitants, thus lowering their bills.”

“We are pleased to work with EIB on such an important topic as climate change. This arrangement helps us to reach the target of reducing greenhouse emissions, and it also supports our aim to diversify funding sources in order to create a flexible capital structure.” stated Saku Sipola, CEO of SATO Corporation.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Just one week after the Paris Agreement entered into force, we are announcing EU support for SATO to finance new near-zero energy buildings. Energy efficiency is one of the key sectors targeted by the Investment Plan for Europe. We need to keep up the momentum of the European Fund for Strategic Investments in supporting the low-carbon transition and the circular economy."

The renovated buildings will be upgraded to comply with the optimal cost levels as defined by the Finnish Government. Due to its interventions in energy efficiency in both new and existing buildings, the project is expected to generate primary energy savings of 2,461 MWh/y, roughly equal to 460.5ton/yr of CO2 savings. Building renovation is one of the key sectors in the 2030 EU CO2 mitigation scenarios, as buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption in the EU.