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Ylva strengthens its development know-how – Antti Ruuska appointed Chief Sustainability Officer

Antti Ruuska, D.Sc. (Tech.), has been appointed for Ylva’s new role of CSO as well as a member of its Executive Team as of 4 October 2019. Ruuska arrives at Ylva from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd where he has worked as Co-creation Manager in charge of the Smart Otaniemi project. Before his latest position, he has worked for VTT in different duties as a researcher and business developer since 2009.

Recruiting Antti Ruuska will considerably strengthen the responsibility and sustainability competences that lie at the core of Ylva’s strategy. This completely new role in Ylva’s operation emphasises product development. Ruuska’s exceptionally extensive background is an excellent starting point: he has experience in almost all Finnish sustainability innovations for constructed environments.

“For a long time now, I have had the opportunity to work from a premium vantage point of innovation work in Finland and for the benefit of sustainable business, especially in constructed environments. What motivates me about Ylva is the opportunity to work in an environment where sustainability has been brought to the centre of business operation. With the help of innovative solutions, it’s possible for us to go from mitigating damages to achieving genuinely positive results for our stakeholders and the environment. We operate from a key position in Helsinki, hastening the change. Through our own choices and in cooperation with our stakeholders, we can make an impact that belies our size”, Ruuska comments.

In recent years, Ylva has been known for its ambitious initiatives regarding responsibility, such as the Lyyra construction project that aims to be the leading project in Finland when it comes to inclusivity as well as from an environmental point of view. This goal is evident in the project’s circular economy solutions, energy sources and rental decisions as much as in the way subcontractor organisations and foreign workforce are integrated into the project. Responsibility is also central to Ylva’s other business operations, such as the UniCafe restaurants that have a long-reaching history as a pioneer in sustainable dining and are planning to surpass a 50% share for vegetarian and vegan food in 2020.

“Ylva’s recent initiatives and international projects with partners such as the OECD demonstrate that we have much to give to change the industry – this recruitment offers us unique starting points for designing increasingly sustainable buildings and updating current portfolios. In that sense, this isn’t an entirely traditional responsibility role but a way to advance our operation that is very much based on product development in particular. I have the great pleasure to welcome Antti Ruuska to Ylva’s Executive Team”, says Ylva’s CEO Antti Kerppola.

“New initiatives from Ylva with respect to the entire value chain of the property and construction industry are to be expected. To us, a sustainable urban environment does not only mean solutions to construction and ways to arrange inclusive conditions at the worksite. It also means citizen inclusion and its long-term development. Having added Ruuska to our capable team, we are once again closer to achieving our goals”, Kerppola continues.

Ylva’s operation is guided by a vision of a flourishing Helsinki as an international, sustainable metropolis of science and education. Our business operation is focused on property and finance investments along with the accommodation and restaurant industries. We are a company owned by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, and our profits help promote active student life. The results of our business operation enable current and future generations of students to develop our society.

Additional information:

Antti Kerppola, CEO, +358 45 353 2187

Antti Ruuska, +358 40 176 3142