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Pioneering a more sustainable property sector

By implementing BREEAM, the internationally recognised certification tool, the Olav Thon Group is leading the way in "greening" the property sector.

Fasadebilde av Sartor Storsenter viser ute-plassen foran senteret
In 2023, Sartor Storsenter in Øygarden outside Bergen achieved BREEAM In-Use environmental certification. The centre opened in 1978, since when it has undergone several conversions and upgrades.

Environmentally-aware tenants set high requirements 

By 2030, Norway has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50-55%. In the same period, the Olav Thon Group (OTG), Norway's largest private property company, has the ambition to cut emissions by no less than 60%.

"We have increasing numbers of environmentally-aware tenants who make high demands of us as their landlords, and we want to meet these demands," says Ole-Martin Moe.

As OTG's Technical Manager, he describes how the Group will achieve its objectives with the help of BREEAM In-Use, the highly recognised international certification tool.

"BREEAM is an important tool to spotlight the qualities of a building," says Ole-Martin.

To reassure business partners, tenants and investors that buildings can fulfil future requirements, the Group has a strong focus on BREEAM, and has established a separate certification department.

"The BREEAM work is led by the Energy and Environmental Engineering Department. Our BREEAM initiative is not unique, but I do think the department we've set up to ensure fulfilment is pretty unique," says Ole-Martin.

Portrettbilde av Ole-Martin Moe
Ole-Martin Moe, Technical Manager in the Olav Thon Group. PHOTO: Madeleine Gedde Kjällgren

What is BREEAM In-Use?

  • BREEAM In-Use is the world's oldest and most prevalent environmental certification tool that is used to minimise the operating costs and environmental impact of existing commercial buildings.
  • The scheme is managed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in the UK.
  • In Norway, BREEAM is administered by the Norwegian Green Building Council. They have defined a national version of the certification method, called BREEAM-nor.

Source: Green Building Council

"The Olav Thon Group plays a key role" 

Since 2019, OTG has been a member of the Norwegian Green Building Council, a membership organisation that works to ensure greater climate and environmental awareness in the property sector.

When we ask Kjell Petter Småge, adviser at the Green Building Council, whether OTG stands out in any areas, he points to BREEAM certification.

"It was no coincidence that we in 2022 invited OTG to share their BREEAM experience at a forum about the scheme. They have a lot of buildings, and certifying them all takes a lot of planning.

It's really quite significant that OTG has started certification of its buildings," says Kjell Petter.

"We want more people to see the value of BREEAM In-Use. As OTG operates properties throughout Norway, they have an important role to play by implementing BREEAM In-Use in their buildings." 

High goals for tomorrow's certified buildings 

OTG's sustainability strategy defines the Group's certification goals. Before 2030, BREEAM In-Use certification must be achieved for 50% of existing buildings, and 60% of the Group's shopping centres and hotels must have gained the "Very Good" grade.

Tord Edvin Mosdal is team leader for the achievement of BREEAM certification. Before they started the actual process, the team toured Norway to perform analyses of the buildings to be certified, mapping the grade levels they could achieve.

"There are several hundred OTG properties to be certified. Certifying this high volume will take a lot of time, but we're well on the way to achieving the goals for 2030", says Tord.


  1. TM Tord Edvin Mosdal Building Certification Team Leader
  2. Portrettbilde av Ole-Martin Moe Ole-Martin Moe Technical Manager in Property Service
  3. KS Kjell Petter Småge Norwegian Green Building Council adviser

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