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Dedicated division drives the green transition in the Olav Thon Group

The Olav Thon Group aims to cut its emissions by 60 percent. Get acquainted with the division that is off to a flying start when it comes to energy efficiency at group properties.

Portrettbilde av Jarle Andersen Aasness. Han smiler.
Jarle Andersen Aasness, head of the energy and environmental engineering division in the Olav Thon Group.

Reduction of 100 million kWh 

"We're off to a flying start," says arle Andersen Aasness. He heads the relatively new energy and environmental engineering division in the Olav Thon Group (OTG) and is proud of what they have already achieved. 

Not surprisingly. Compared to the reference year of 2019, the group has reduced its energy consumption by 108 million kWh in 2023. But there is still much work to be done to succeed in the green transition. The goal is to reduce emissions in scopes 1 and 2 by 60 percent by the year 2030. 

"The more energy the group saves, the more challenging that target becomes," explains Jarle. 

"After we started focusing on this, emissions have been reduced considerably. The first kilowatt hours are the easiest to cut, but the lower the consumption at our properties, the harder it becomes to save the next kilowatt hour. At the same time, we need to maintain an overview of the group's emissions as a whole and consider which measures are most effective at reducing CO2 emissions for the Olav Thon Group."

Energy and environmental engineering division in the Olav Thon Group

  • Established in 2022 and headed by Jarle Andersen Aasness.
  • The result of a merger between the energy & building division and technical division.
  • Established to monitor and reduce energy consumption in the groups buildings. 
  • Comprehensive professional resource in relation to energy and environmental engineering for the Olav Thon Group. 
  • Comprises energy, environmental and technical consultants, specialists in BREEAM In-Use, a BREEAM-NOR auditor, project managers and experts in taxonomy and other areas. 
  • Manages the area coordinator scheme, which supports close collaboration with operations managers for the entire Olav Thon Group real estate portfolio. The division also supports the properties with implementing the group's sustainability strategy.

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Close energy and environmental monitoring of all Olav Thon Group subsidiaries 

To continue to reduce emissions – and equally as important, to keep them down – the OTG decided to combine all technical activities with a focus on sustainability in an energy and environmental engineering division.

The division is a significant step in terms of focus and provides the group with energy and environmental engineering-related expertise through advice, reporting, project support, skills enhancement, follow-up and more for all subsidiaries in the Olav Thon Group. 

The energy and environmental engineering division works continuously to ensure a systematic focus on energy-reducing measures. "A key role in this is close dialogue with the operations managers at the properties," says Jarle. 

"There is so much more that can be achieved by becoming familiar with the building managers and understanding how they operate. This lets us implement various effective energy efficiency measures. 

For example, an energy consultant who sees that energy consumption at a shopping centre has increased will try to identify the cause and help the operations manager implement measures. The consultant will also consider measures that can contribute to even greater energy efficiency at the property." 

Olav Thon Group unique in the real estate industry

The group has its own operations managers at most of its properties, who contribute to ownership and continuous efforts aimed at achieving the group's goals in terms of energy efficiency, reduced emissions and other relevant sustainability objectives.

Considerable savings can be achieved through operational optimisation and properly functioning systems 

One of those who works to attain operational optimisation is Tommy Lorentsen. He is an operating technician for commercial buildings in Oslo and uses sensors to control all lighting, ventilation and heating systems. 

"It often happens that a ventilation system is in operation 24/7 or that heating cables or lights don't switch on and off when they're supposed to. Sensors and meters notify me about this, so I can go and find the problem," he explains. 

Considerable savings can be achieved with a properly functioning system that can be controlled with an app, not just electricity. 

All buildings are to be energy relabelled 

"In large buildings, a ventilation system may be in operation all night long when no one is in the building, which costs both the tenant and us several hundred thousand kroner a year," explains Tommy. 

Tommy also points out that even though he can override most on and off switches, he cannot override tenants and how they use the systems in the building. 

"Fortunately, most of them are also interested in not using more energy than necessary. When we crunch the numbers together with them, most of them are willing to switch off the lights at night," adds Tommy. 

It doesn't stop here. Jarle also points out that further analyses are needed to continue to determine a course in the right direction. 

"The energy and environmental engineering division has started analysing the technical facilities at the properties and taking thermographs of roofs and facades using drones."

This is carried out in part with funding from Enova. It is then possible to analyse all properties in terms of the goals set by the group. 

"Many of our properties also need new energy labels. In the past, energy labels were primarily a legal requirement, but we know see that customers and banks are interested in this information. This has made them increasingly important to us and as a result, we have decided to obtain new energy labels for most of our properties," says Jarle.


  1. Portrettbilde av Jarle Andersen Aasness. Han smiler. Jarle Andersen Aasness Head of the Energy and Environmental Engineering Department
  2. TL Tommy Lorentsen Operations Technician at Thon Eiendomsservice at the operations centre in Oslo