AirSon Engineering News 2023 Väla launches Vision Zero: Energy use to reach zero by 2023 Case Stories, Energy | 10 January 2021

Väla launches Vision Zero: Energy use to reach zero by 2023

Now Väla - one of Sweden's largest shopping centers - stands out in the current climate and sustainability debate. By 2023, Väla's net energy consumption will be down to zero with the help of extensive investments in its own renewable electricity production, energy-efficiency improvements and reduced use. The unique and ambitious goal is called Vision Zero.

The vision is to symbolically cut all the wires that supply us with energy and in the long run become a self-sufficient and sustainable energy ecosystem, says Fredrik Arvidsson, Technical Manager at Väla.

Already in 2012, Väla initiated systematic sustainability work to reduce the shopping center's purchases of real estate energy. In these years, it has managed to reduce its total energy use by 40 percent; from 150 kWh per sqm to about 90 kWh per sqm today. At the same time, they are grappling with the challenge that large parts of the properties were built in the early 1970s, when things like energy efficiency, indoor climate and sustainability weren’t hot topics

Väla sign

"Our current energy use per square metre corresponds to the level in entirely new-built commercial properties, which is proof that we have already come a very long way in our work with Vision Zero.”

Better control of energy usage

The success is the result of investments in own energy production, energy efficiency improvements and reduced use, as well as a digitalization of the properties to better optimize the systems that provide the properties with cooling, heating and clean air.

“With digitalization, we have gained a completely different control than before and can continuously measure and evaluate the measures we carry out. It allows us to control our energy usage in a completely different way than before.

We are already carbon neutral in that all the electricity we still buy for the retail area, comes from solar, wind and water, as well as carbon-neutral district heating. But Vision Zero means that we are even more involved in contributing to a more climate-neutral world that is less fossil-dependent.”

Compressed Air

The sun is increasingly important

In addition to digitalization and energy efficiency, the big gains come from the sun. Väla already has one of Sweden's largest solar parks on its roofs. Right now, there are 15,000 sqm of solar panels that provide the shopping center with renewable solar energy, but there will be even more in the future. (Comment: Väla Centrum + Väla Park: about 6,000 solar panels, about 10,000 sqm of efficient solar cell area that occupies a roof area of about: 14 -15,000 m²)

"Within the framework of Vision Zero, we will continue to expand our solar park and there is an expected production potential of 4.5 GWh of solar energy per year. We are also looking at wind power, but there our location means that it will rather be about small-scale production.”

Väla, which is owned by Skandia Fastigheter, is one of Sweden's most popular and well-visited shopping destinations, constantly awarded for range and well-being, service and accessibility. Every year we welcome 11 million customers and visitors. It brings together 200 shops, restaurants and cafés – from trendy local small shops to large international chain stores. From electronics and food to fashion, beauty and sports. All this is located just outside Helsingborg, right next to the E4 and E6. You park for free in our 6,000 parking spaces.