Hemsö invests SEK 30 million in school playgrounds
Hemsö will invest SEK 30 million in the Skolgårdslyftet development project. The aim of the project is to raise the quality of the outdoor environments in all of the portfolio’s pre-school and school playgrounds. The investment will help to improve social sustainability by enhancing and developing the outdoor environment of our schools, with a focus on children and young people. The objective is to develop the school playgrounds in line with current research on quality outdoor environments. Hemsö currently owns approximately 80 preschools and schools across Sweden.
The environmental psychology research resulted in a conclusion that there are eight elements in the outdoor environment that stimulate basic human needs for activation or relaxation. The research shows that green and varied school playgrounds promote the learning of children and young people, as well as their social and physical development. Skolgårdslyftet is an initiative that aims to raise the quality of the entire existing portfolio of pre-school and school playgrounds. It enables us, as a property owner, to embrace our social responsibility and contribute to greater social sustainability. The initiative began in 2017 by reviewing 13 schools and preschools in Nacka Municipality using a special template to capture important green values. It led to an ongoing action programme. An overview of all schools and preschools in the portfolio was also conducted.
"Sustainable development is central to Hemsö and we are proud to be making this investment on behalf of our children and young people. The initiative represents an important step in the creation of a well-functioning learning environment, as well as a sound workplace for teachers and other members of staff. New production projects will also be part of the process," says Nils Styf, CEO Hemsö.
The oldest schools date back to around 1900, while the newest schools are currently under completion. Historically, society has not given equal priority to the outdoor environments of schools. Accordingly, the quality and size of the playgrounds vary considerably.
Alongside of the Skolgårdslyftet initiative, Hemsö will also be taking part in a research project on restorative workplaces together with several other players, run by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). This project will also form the basis for the actions taken as part of the Skolgårdslyftet initiative.