Destia, a silver sponsor of TRA2020, is a Finnish infrastructure and construction service company that designs, builds and maintains traffic routes and railways as well as industrial and urban environments.
We spoke with Timo Räikkönen, Executive Vice President of Urban Development and Design Services at Destia, about the Transport Research Arena 2020 in Helsinki.
What do you expect from TRA 2020?
Destia is looking for a more prominent role in the sector’s value chain. Our strategy is to deliver higher value add to our customers of our core businesses, grow internationally as well as introduce more refined business and urban development together with our partners.
TRA2020 provides an excellent opportunity to introduce Destia as an innovative reformer of urban and transport infrastructure, and to communicate our strategy “Connecting Northern Life” to our customers and stakeholders both in Finland and internationally.
Destia has a unique Sense of Infrastructure based on our long experience and full value chain perspective of design, construction, maintenance and services within infrastructure. Our strategy is to grow internationally, for example in Scandinavia, as well as to develop cities and urban areas together with its partners.
From your point of view, why do we need to rethink transport now?
The transport sector is facing a major turning point in terms of means of mobility, logistics and infrastructure. Safer and more efficient means of mobility and transport create social benefits in the future. To undergo this significant shift, it is crucial to ensure that our infrastructure construction supports the development. Mobility and the infrastructure supporting it should be considered as an ecosystem in which information flows between different operators, not as separate entities.
What would you describe as the rising trends and issues in the field of infrastructure services?
The operating environment is changing due to factors such as urbanisation, digitalisation, climate change, the ageing of the population and the depletion of natural resources. In other Nordic countries, and especially in their northern areas, the markets are expected to continue to grow. In Finland, the infrastructure construction market is expected to develop positively as well.
Today’s Finland is built with a good sense of infrastructure that connects Northern life to the rest of the world. Urbanisation requires better connections between cities, and the ageing population creates greater demands for infrastructure – thus we are constantly developing better northern connections for international traffic, cargo and energy flows and creating solutions that facilitate people’s interaction and enable a smooth life.
Climate change, depletion of natural resources and thus sustainable development are challenges which Destia takes seriously. Our corporate responsibility work is guided by our mission, purpose, values and strategy. Our values define that we strive to achieve our goals fairly, together, renewingly and successfully. Our purpose of connecting northern life requires responsible operations, both from us and from those who work with us.
Digital transformation creates many opportunities for the infrastructure sector, and we invest significant resources in using digital operating models and production practices that take advantage of them. We are an industry pioneer in model-based construction. Using digital design models (infra BIM) and 3D machine control systems in the field makes our operations more efficient, improves quality and reduces material waste. The systems we use allow us to monitor project execution and quality assurance in almost real time. The use of model-based process and related technology also generates digital project material that can be subsequently used in, for example, planning repair work in the maintenance phase.
How does Destia take sustainability and climate change into account in its operations?
Efficient infrastructure serves the needs of residents and companies and is environmentally effective. Environmental impacts are inevitably created from construction and maintenance during the life cycle. Destia’s aim is to minimise the impact on the environment for the good of biodiversity and people. At the same time, we are constantly working to improve resource-, material- and energy-efficiency. Thanks to our significant investments in digital solutions, we can create efficient infrastructure of good quality. For example, using model-based process and 3D machine control makes the operations more efficient, improves quality and reduces material waste.