Responsible financing solutions for the common good

MuniFin’s mission is to build a better future in line with the principles of responsibility and in cooperation with its customers. MuniFin began updating its strategy in 2017 and this work continued in 2018 with the sharpening of values and the customer strategy. In addition, the implementation of the strategy was boosted, particularly with investments in digital solutions.

Many long-term changes are under way in the operating environment of MuniFin which has created new kind of needs for MuniFin’s services. For example, migration to regional centres is ongoing and the population is ageing. In addition, investment needs in growth centres compared to other regions are very different. Furthermore, the wait for the postponed regional government, health and social services reform and the changes it may usher in has also caused uncertainty among customers in recent years. Therefore, in 2018 MuniFin updated its customer strategy in order to even better identify customer needs and provide optimal solutions for their individual situations.

The most suitable financing solution from the best expert

In its strategy extending up to 2022, MuniFin’s vision is to be the best possible financial expert for our customers in an ever-changing world. MuniFin’s experts have the best understanding of the needs of its customer base as it is the only credit institution in Finland specialised solely in financing the municipal sector and non-profit housing production.

In order to offer each customer optimal solutions for their particular situation, the company draws on expertise from different functions on a broad scale. For instance, capital market experts participate in cooperation when searching for the best solutions for Finnish customers. Expertise is ensured not only by means of competence development, but also through even more efficient information sharing.

In order to find the optimal solution, alternatives must often be considered early in the investment planning phase. In this effort, MuniFin has stepped up its cooperation with its subsidiary Inspira, which specialises in advisory services.

Municipalities play a key role in tackling climate change. MuniFin seeks to support municipalities in these efforts by, for instance, providing green financing.

Digital solutions yield information and efficiency

The development of digital solutions is key to the implementation of MuniFin’s strategy. MuniFin is harnessing various technologies more extensively to develop services for customers, boost the efficiency of its own operations, respond to ever-stricter regulations and improve risk management.

The development of digital solutions ensures that customers are provided with even more information to support their decision-making as well as enhances both efficiency and transparency in their financial management. MuniFin keeps a close eye on technological development and constantly assesses new opportunities to benefit both customers and the company’s internal work. Service development is carried out in cooperation with selected partners.

A roadmap for the development of digital services was created in 2018. Going forward, service development will be based on this roadmap. In 2019, MuniFin will also deploy a centralised data warehouse that will boost operational efficiency and improve both risk management and data integrity and availability.

Responsibility is built into operations

MuniFin’s mission is to build a better future in line with the principles of responsibility and in cooperation with its customers. At the end of 2018, new values drafted in cooperation with personnel were approved. Responsibility was defined as one of MuniFin’s values alongside customer focus and transparency.

All of the company’s operations, from financing solutions to internal development and funding, are guided by the objective of providing customers with the best expertise and optimal solutions. Openness is increasingly evident not only in the provision of information to customers and the sharing of the entire company’s expertise, but also in insights and participation in discussions on social issues.

Responsibility has been built into the company’s operations throughout its history. The projects financed by MuniFin build the Finnish welfare society. Financing is granted when the investment decision is deemed to be sustainable in the long term for the customer’s finances. MuniFin helps customers to find the solution that is the best fit for their changing needs and finances, not only now but also in the later phases of the financing lifecycle.

In February, MuniFin approved its Responsibility Policy, which applies to all of the Group’s employees. Competent and responsible employees are at the heart of the Responsibility Policy. They have a deep understanding of the impacts of MuniFin’s operations and are committed to both complying with the company’s practices and pursuing long-term goals. The Responsibility Policy also serves as MuniFin’s key external policy for its stakeholders, such as shareholders, customers, funding investors, authorities, media and other actors.

MuniFin builds partnerships and cooperation with key stakeholders in a goal-oriented manner. For more information on partnerships and cooperation projects, see MuniFin’s Responsibility Report.

Best solutions are generated through cooperation

MuniFin’s customer strategy is based on close ­cooperation. Maintaining high customer satisfaction at all times is a guiding principle for MuniFin’s operations.

MuniFin shares its competence with its customers and other stakeholders, and develops products and services based on the needs of its customer base. MuniFin’s subsidiary Inspira focuses on ­providing financial advisory services that are needed to ­implement demanding financial and ownership ­arrangements within the public sector.

MuniFin’s role as a social financier is based on a partnership with its customers. Due to its wide social impact, MuniFin is also building partnerships and ­cooperation with other key stakeholders in a goal-oriented manner. These include the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Keva, the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA), the Ministry of the Environment, the State Treasury, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), universities and other higher education institutions, banks, and many others.

In 2017, MuniFin defined its first-ever corporate responsibility strategy. The purpose of the strategy is to ensure responsibility in all MuniFin’s functions and those of its cooperation partners.

MuniFin wants to ensure its customers are able to financially undertake their required investments. This also entails being responsible for ensuring that the customers’ investment decisions are economically viable and sustainable.

CASE 2018

Case:The Nordic Swan Ecolabel building

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel building focuses on sustainable eco-thinking and indoor air quality

An apartment building developed by VAV Asunnot Oy is Finland’s first and largest Nordic Swan Ecolabel building that complies with the stricter criteria. The building is located at Kaskelantie 1 in Vantaa. Its design set out to ensure safe and healthy living – both now and in the future. The building has 27 affordable rental apartments.

Complying with sustainable environmental principles, the building design ensures healthy indoor air and chemical safety, which were taken into consideration in, for instance, the choice of materials.
The building was financed with MuniFin’s green financing, which is intended for environmentally friendly investments.

VAV wants to do its part in tackling climate change and developing environmentally friendly construction and housing. The carbon footprint of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel building over its lifecycle is a fifth smaller than that of an ordinary apartment building. VAV will continue to focus on environmental friendliness. Its future new properties will also comply with the criteria of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

The carbon footprint of VAV Asunnot Oy’s Nordic Swan Ecolabel building over its lifecycle is a fifth smaller than that of an ordinary apartment building.