The goal we are working for has become clearer to me in time. When I was running for the Representative Council in autumn 2005, I had some kind of an understanding of what HYY Group is. However, too much time has passed for me to remember what I might have answered back then if someone had asked me why the Group exists.
Today, I would sum up the Group’s existence into these three points:
1) We look after HYY’s significant real estate assets: an area nearly the size of one block around the New Student House and another real estate complex near Domus Gaudium.
2) We receive profits from the aforementioned assets and distribute these profits to HYY. The Student Union can use these funds to promote the objectives it sees fit.
3) We conduct business while simultaneously advancing HYY’s objectives, such as societal and environmental responsibility, a better city – or simply good and responsible student meals.
What do these objectives mean for our work in the Group in practice? Many things. For services business, it means constantly striving to mitigate climate change. We do this by continually increasing the share of responsibly produced products, such as responsibly caught fish, organic and Fair Trade products and Finnish ingredients, among our products. In addition to this, we plan ways to reduce food waste, minimise transport emissions and act ever more responsibly towards our employees.
As for real estate business, the new Lyyra block, to be constructed in Hakaniemi, is a prime example of creating just the kind of better and more fun city that HYY believes in and wants to promote. Lyyra will create an internationally attractive meeting place for science and companies into the very heart of Helsinki, attracting top experts, allowing ideas to spread quickly and creating user-centric solutions.
If I had to sum up the purpose of HYY’s existence in a couple of rows, it might go like this: Our objective is to conduct business in the way the students of the University of Helsinki – you, our owners – want and guide us to. In 2005, I would never have believed how much I will get to influence the Group’s business activities, even much before I started working at the Group.
The writer is HYY Group’s business director in charge of services business. She spent her youth in meetings related to various positions of trust in HYY, for instance, but still believes it was worth it.