Study: concern over climate change influences city-dwellers’ choices at home

YIT Corporation Press release 14 August 2023 at 7:00 a.m.

YIT Niemenranta puukerrostalo 2
YIT Niemenranta puukerrostalo 2

According to a barometer* commissioned by YIT, half (50%) of the residents living in larger cities keep themselves up to date of their carbon footprint and continuously take environmental actions to reduce their carbon footprint. One-third (38%) of the respondents are not interested in looking for information about the topic themselves, but wish to receive tips and guidance for actions. Slightly over one-tenth are not interested in the topic.

Concern over climate change already influences many city-dwellers’ choices at home. For example, approximately one in two respondents prefer shared saunas, want the building’s form of heating to be as low-emission as possible, and they also support the housing company in building electric vehicle charging points.

“YIT Homes facilitate taking the environment into consideration, as they outperform the continuously tightening energy efficiency requirements. Our buildings keep heat better inside and use modern technical building systems, which lowers the need for heating energy, provides savings in heating costs and reduces the carbon footprint of housing. Of the the new YIT Homes designed since 2021, already almost one in five are heated with geothermal heat. We also want to share information about how to reduce the carbon footprint of housing and thereby make a more ecological lifestyle possible for residents,” says Pekka Helin, Senior Vice President, Customership and Living Services, YIT.

The matters valued the most by city-dwellers in their current residential area are good public transport connections and bicycle lanes (63% of respondents). The appreciation of good public transport connections and bicycle lanes increased compared to last year’s survey. Their importance is highlighted in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Jyväskylä. Slightly over one-half (54%) of the respondents also appreciate shops and services being located close to their residential area. The proximity to nature was important for 42% of the respondents.

However, concern over climate change has increased slowly among those living in large cities, by only three percentage points compared to the 2021 results (37%) in 2022 (40%). There is a big difference on this point between men and women; climate change is a concern for young women in particular. One in two women are concerned over climate change, while only one in three men are concerned.

Popularity of electric vehicles has grown quickly

Electric cars and rechargeable hybrids have been getting increasingly common, from 8% to 20% during a year, especially among those who commute more than 10 kilometres. The people who own a full electric car or a rechargeable hybrid has increased to nine percent and every fourth plans to purchase a rechargeable hybrid or full electric car in the next 1–2 years. Every sixth respondent (16%) lives in a housing company with an electric car charging station, which is an increase of four percentage points from last year.

*The Sustainable Urban Environments barometer survey is directed at the residents of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä and Kuopio. The number of respondents for the online panel this year was 1,074 + 348 (separate sample of office workers). The data represents the population of 18–75-year-old residents of cities by gender and age. The survey was carried out between September and October 2022. Prior Konsultointi was commissioned by YIT to conduct the survey.

Learn more:
Download the Sustainable Urban Environments barometer

Further information:
Pekka Helin, Senior Vice President, Head of Customerships and Living Services, YIT, tel. +358 40 588 8135,
Maija Taimi, Senior Vice President, Communications, YIT, tel. +358 50 487 1561,

YIT is the largest Finnish and a significant North European development and construction company. For 110 years, we have been creating better living environments for our customers: functional homes for sustainable living, future-proof public and commercial buildings and infrastructure for smoother flow of people, businesses and society. We employ 5,500 professionals in nine countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Our revenue in 2021 was EUR 2.7 billion. YIT Corporation’s share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy.