Secure and future-proof school environments

Peter Andersson, AcadeMedia’s Property Director, has strategic responsibility for an area of 1 million square metres in three countries. The cost of these premises is the second-largest single cost that AcadeMedia has, second only to salaries. Our premises also constitute our single largest environmental impact.

Peter, who took up the role of Property Director in April 2019, views this as a significant opportunity to make a difference for the environment.

“Although we don’t own our premises, we can do a lot to reduce the environmental impact they cause. If we ensure the schools have their full capacity of students, this reduces each individual’s environmental impact, as more people are sharing the same resource. Using existing environmentally efficient premises is better than building new premises. None of this is difficult or expensive, quite the contrary,” says Peter Andersson.

Significant interest in sustainability

The first thing Peter Andersson did upon becoming Property Director was to enhance and strengthen the property organisation in

Sweden and then develop strategic aspects of AcadeMedia’s property supply. Before joining AcadeMedia, Peter Andersson was CEO of ABT-Bolagen, a privately owned company in the construction industry. He has in-depth experience, both from the property sector and as a manager. His previous roles have included CEO of Uppsala Skolfastigheter.
Peter Andersson has a genuine passion for sustainability issues. When talking about sustainability in relation to property and premises, he divides the discussion into three areas: premises’ function, finances and environment.
Function includes things like capacity utilisation, flexibility and, if possible, using the existing stock instead of building new property.

Financial management and social sustainability

Financial management is about carrying out building work correctly: choosing the right property owners, the right contractors and the right suppliers. It also involves purchasing goods and services, and energy consumption. And, perhaps more surprisingly, ethics, morals and social sustainability.
“Socioeconomic and cultural aspects are also important to consider, not only inside the school but also outside the school gates.”

Under environment, he adds issues such as security and safety, playground gender equality and solar energy.
“Secure environments are an incredibly important issue for society, as well as being a sustainability issue. Within the school it’s absolutely vital; without a secure environment we can’t create a good school,” says Peter Andersson.

“The playground should be a place for everyone, whatever your circumstances. There might be students with various disabilities. It’s also important for the playground to accommodate a number of activities; there should be room for everything from football to a moment of peace and calm.”

Solar energy and energy consumption are important environmental issues where there is a lot to do.
“Heating and electricity are usually included in our tenancy agreements. We need to work a lot closer with our landlords to measure and improve our KPIs. We need to constantly reduce our energy consumption, that goes without saying. I think it would also be really interesting to explore opportunities for greater use of solar energy” says Peter Andersson.