Supporting sustainable business innovation

To support innovation in sustainable business solutions development projects for housing and mobility services were implemented during spring 2023.

Housing services tools towards concretion

Alma has been a partner of Aalto University since 2019 and during the partnership the students have implemented various development projects benefiting Alma’s business.

In February-May 2023, Aalto University School of Business students Maisa Ruonamaa and Joonas Heininen implemented a mapping and development project for Alma’s housing services. The aim was to find out what digital services currently exist in sustainable housing solutions and what opportunities the market could offer. In addition, the study assessed what kind of concepts or solutions would add value to Alma’s existing services.

“There is demand for responsible consumption, but in many cases there is still a lack of supply. So, the purpose of the project coincided with the need and will accelerate our work on the subject.” says Kalle Koivuniemi, Founder and Business Manager of Alma’s Urakkamaailma, the largest renovation marketplace in Finland.

Alma’s housing services will use the results of the work in their own conceptualization work. The study helps both structure the previous ideation and mapping work done in housing services, but also brings new perspectives.”The project was able to combine Alma’s strengths beyond unit limits and packaged attractive services for both consumers, business customers and Alma. The project brightened how Alma Media’s current service offering has exciting potential to take our consumer and corporate customers towards more sustainable operating practices.” Koivuniemi continues.

Also read the students’ article about the project on the Aalto University website.

Several ideas for the mobility unit from hackathon

Sustainable choices of mobility began to be explored together with Ramboll. The collaboration included market research and stakeholder interviews to identify sustainability trends and an innovation workshop, a hackathon, for Alma’s staff. “The aim was to find a link between responsibility and business opportunities, but also to deepen understanding and take time for ideas only from the perspective of sustainability,” says Heikki Huttunen, Director of Mobility Services.

Based on the market research, three potential themes were identified that could be focused on in service development. The hackathon resulted in four ideas either developing existing services or creating new business, which will be carried forward in the internal evaluation.

“I was delighted to see that we managed to inspire, because there was an active discussion going on throughout the workshop and the business ideas presented at the end of the day were all carefully thought out. In particular, one idea related to an already existing project brought significant added value to the positioning of the service being worked on,” Huttunen continues.

Sustainability as a business driver

Alma’s digital services are developed in the framework of ethical green service design tailored to Alma, where technological solutions, continuous development of their own staff and ethically sustainable services ensure an environment in which both corporate customers and consumers can make responsible choices.

“Our services are used regularly by a large number of Finnish consumers, which provides an opportunity and responsibility to help them make sustainable choices, and thus influence the world around them,” points out Minna Kemppainen, Brand Manager at Alma Media, who coordinated the development projects and adds “Alma has a solid foundation in developing the sustainability of our own operations, and it is really inspiring to support our experts and teams in developing our business solutions in sustainable ways.”

In both housing and mobility services, sustainable conceptualization and development work will be continued in close cooperation with customers, industry operators and partners.

More about Alma’s sustainability work in the latest sustainability report