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The Materialisting platform received €300,000 in growth funding and will expand to the European sustainable construction market

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The Joensuu-Helsinki-based start-up Materialisting Oy has collected €300,000 in growth funding and will start commercialising the digital Materialisting platform service in the European market. The company offers a unique tool for calculating the carbon footprint of property and indoor space construction, as well as for comparing construction materials and products, enabling environmentally friendly and responsible material choices in construction projects. The service utilises a product-specific environmental profile based on product life cycle calculated emissions data, which presents the carbon emissions, ecosystem impacts and circular economy suitability of the material. Materialisting is a pioneer in its field, combining environmental data, technology and responsibility in construction. The solution supports the green transition and the sustainable development goals in the construction sector.

Construction sector on the way to a sustainable and low-emission future

The construction sector is strongly committed to responsibility and low-emission activities in the fight against climate change. Buildings account for about 40% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, and this highlights the need for sustainable development. The EU's goal to be climate-neutral by 2050 will guide the direction of the sector, and EU legislation and the new Finnish Building Act, which will enter into force on 1 January 2025, will support the adoption of sustainable practices in the sector. The new act sets requirements for responsible construction, for reducing the carbon footprint, for conducting climate studies, material declarations and for considering the building's life cycle. The starting point of the climate study is that those starting a construction project must ensure that the building is designed to be low-emission according to its intended use. In addition, the anti-greenwashing Green Claims Directive (GCD) aims to curb product marketing decorated with climate and environmental terms.

The Materialisting platform responds to this demand by providing its users with tools for making smarter choices regarding construction and surface materials, as well as by increasing the transparency of the sector. The platform offers property and indoor construction professionals, designers and other construction sector actors a user-friendly data bank that enables them to make responsible material choices based on verified information. This covers both legal requirements and customer needs. The platform has been developed in cooperation with researchers and authorities in the field, designers, as well as material manufacturers and suppliers to support sustainable building construction of the future.

Materialisting platform: sustainable material choices based on verified data

The Materialisting platform is based not only on the technical data and product images of the materials but also on verified scientific environmental data. On the platform, each product receives an individual environmental profile, the source data of which are standardised environmental product declarations (EPD) and life cycle estimated emissions data. Environmental profiles present carbon emissions, ecosystem impacts and circular economy suitability of materials, enabling comparison and selection of materials based on verified facts. Materialisting makes full use of the potential of environmental data (EPD) and, at the same time, corrects the issue in the sector where part of environmental information has been left unutilised in construction projects.

Materialisting not only provides information, but it also fights greenwashing. Presenting standardised environmental data in a comparable way, tackles the threat of greenwashing, and sharing information among all stakeholders in the sector, including public authorities, creates transparency and raises awareness of responsible choices. 

The Materialisting platform enables designers to make easy and informed material choices, while providing material manufacturers a channel for sharing information and presenting sustainable solutions to designers and the wider public.

The platform provides designers, architects and project managers with comprehensive information on construction and surface materials, helping them make informed and sustainable choices. Searching for and comparing materials is quick and easy with versatile search criteria. The information on the selected materials and their environmental impacts can be easily communicated to clients and authorities in a clear and convincing manner. This reduces the time spent on design processes and enables environmental-based decisions without the fear of greenwashing.

For material manufacturers and suppliers, the platform provides an effective channel for presenting product information and environmental impacts directly to designers, architects and other clients. The presentation of product environmental information and profiles increases reliability and transparency, which also provides a competitive advantage for material manufacturers.

- Our focus is particularly on the assessment and utilisation of data related to the environmental impacts of materials in a visual, easily understandable and reportable format. This sets us apart from other calculation-based solutions. Our unique approach is based on the environmental profiles we create for the products, which make it easier to understand and compare information, and are based on third-party certified environmental information and standardised calculations, says Hilda Rantanen, founding member and CEO of Materialisting.

The platform also provides material manufacturers with an opportunity to interact and collect feedback.

- We want to extend cooperation with users much further than in traditional data banks, where it may remain passive, for example, to material suppliers immediately after the data has been saved. Through the platform, we can help material manufacturers monitor the performance of their products on the market and improve their operations, especially from the environmental perspective. The openness of our service is one of our key strengths that distinguishes us from our competitors, Rantanen emphasises.

Solves the responsible material choices of spatial design and interior construction

Materialisting covers not only building materials but also interior surfaces and movables. This dimension is an important but often underestimated part of sustainable construction. Design Agency Fyra is one of the offices involved in the pilot phase of the platform that understands the importance of this dimension. 

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- Emissions and environmental impacts of indoor spaces form a key part of the environmental load of the building when the life cycle of the building is examined in a comprehensive manner. When indoor renovations are carried out every 5 to 10 years, the environmental impacts of the changes will be repeated. The designers bear the responsibility for bringing these perspectives to the attention of customers and for considering the impacts of the choices in decision-making, says Hanna Neuvo, CEO of Fyra, emphasising the importance of designing and choices. 

- The Materialisting platform helps designers understand and utilise the environmental data of products, which supports responsible material choices in addition to other perspectives. This helps to dispel the delusion that environmentally friendly choices would be expensive or visually unpleasant. Sustainable choices can be both responsible and aesthetically pleasing at the same time," Neuvo emphasises.

Vision: Europe's leading service provider of sustainable construction

Materialisting has a clear vision of the future. Growth funding accelerates the development of the Materialisting platform and promotes its expansion to the market. 

- Our goal is to provide a premium user experience that meets today's demands and our customers' needs. We will continue to improve the user experience of the platform and will bring more features and products to the platform during this year. Our aim is to provide a more comprehensive and efficient tool for the benefit of our customers, says Rantanen.

Currently, nine design offices and ten material suppliers around Finland participate in the pilot phase of the platform.

Before the end of 2023, Materialisting will move from the pilot phase of its platform to the actual operating model, launching the service on the Finnish market. The aim is to quickly establish a position in Finland and expand to EU countries in 2024. 

- Our goal is to become Europe's leading service provider of environmentally friendly building material choices by 2027, says Rantanen.

Investor support boosting growth

The support provided by investors enhances the company's ability to realise its vision and expand its impact both domestically and internationally. The Start Up Fund Joensuu has invested €100,000 and North Karelia Growth Fund, managed by Redstone, €90,000 in the company. Fyra and private investors have also participated in the funding.

- Sustainable and responsible construction is gaining increasing attention from both legislation and the market. In this changing operating environment, Materialisting provides a practical solution for responsible choices of building materials while promoting transparency in the sector. We see Materialisting as a pioneer in the market, making the transition towards sustainable construction more concrete. We believe that there is a global need for such a solution, and Materialisting has strong growth potential in international markets. The company's dedicated and responsibility-oriented professional team is prepared to advance the company's vision and conquer international markets. The experts who came aboard in the investment round bring added value and expertise to this goal, says Kari Pulkkinen, Business Joensuu's growth coach and the manager of Start Up Fund Joensuu.

 

Pictures: Materialisting Oy, Design Agency Fyra

Inquiries:

Materialisting Oy
Hilda Rantanen, CEO, founding member, Interior Architect SIO, UX/Graphic Designer
+358 400 813115, hilda@materialisting.com

Sakari Tolppanen, founding member, researcher, PhD,
sakari@materialisting.com

Design Agency Fyra
Hanna Neuvo, CEO, founding member, M.Sc.Econ
+358 40 582 8961, hanna.neuvo@fyra.fi

Business Joensuu Oy, Start Up Fund Joensuu
Kari Pulkkinen, Fund Manager & Growth Coach
+358 50 406 8716, kari.pulkkinen@businessjoensuu.fi

Redstone Nordics, North Karelia Growth Fund
Kaj Hagros, managing partner, CEO
+358 40 849 1749, kaj.hagros@redstone.vc

Materialisting Oy
Materialisting Oy is a pioneer of software services committed to environmental responsibility in the construction sector, established in 2021. It operates in both Joensuu and Helsinki. Materialisting is a platform service promoting green transition in the construction sector, in which architects and designers can easily find, compare and select construction materials and products, based on their various environmental impacts and circular economy suitability. The platform saves a significant amount of time in obtaining, communicating and comparing environmental information on products for all parties. The service increases the transparency of the sector, eliminates the risk of greenwashing, and brings environmental considerations to the root of the planning process, where it has the greatest steering effect. 

Design Agency Fyra
Fyra is a Helsinki based design agency focused on functionality, aesthetics, and branding through interior design. Mastered in hotel and restaurant spaces as well as working environments, real estate development, different concepts, and cross-sectional projects, Fyra has claimed its place as a responsible and proactive player in the industry. Fyra is the Architizer A+Awards 2022 Best Interior Design Firm and the Dezeen Awards 2021 Interior Design Studio of the Year.

Reform of the Land Use and Building Act in Finland
The new Land Use and Building Act, which will enter into force on 1 January 2025, will integrate the fight against climate change in building legislation. The Act promotes the circular economy and digitalisation of the sector, improves quality and increases transparency. It also guides towards low-emission activities and considering the climate impacts of buildings during their life cycle. The decrees will be specified in the new Act and included in the National Building Code of Finland.

Start Up Fund Joensuu
Start Up Fund Joensuu helps start-up companies grow, employ and internationalise. The Fund obtains its capital from the City of Joensuu and private investors. The fund is managed by Joensuun Startup Kehitys Oy, a subsidiary of Business Joensuu. The fund's capital is €2.5 million, and a typical investment is €50,000–200,000. Together with Business Joensuu's Business Accelerator and internationalisation services, the Fund supports the domestic and international growth of its target companies. The Fund is an avenue for companies’ second phase funding round. While the Fund is not subject to any field-specific restrictions, its main focus is on companies that specialise in digitalisation, the forest bioeconomy, and materials and innovative technology. Target companies must operate in Joensuu, want to be located in Joensuu or have a connection with the Joensuu region at the operative activity level.

Redstone as a company
Redstone is a Berlin venture capital company that manages a large number of venture capital funds. Redstone is a general partner of the North Karelia Growth Fund. The North Karelia Growth Fund invests in newly established young companies, especially in the fields of digitalisation, forestry, bioeconomy, photonics, tourism, creative industries and materials research.

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