Smartmes for the Environment – Can a Software Company Truly Be Green?

Are Green Values Genuine in the Software Industry or Just a Trendy Buzzword? An Interview with Jari Kukkonen, CEO of Production Software, for Insightful Perspectives.



The positive environmental impact of smartmes comes from the overall optimization of things.


What does being environmentally friendly – or more broadly responsible – mean to you??

Personally, I prefer to talk about sustainability because it includes more important things than just taking the environment into account. It is, in fact a very complex concept. Sustainability must be at the heart of the business today, not just icing on the cake that is added because the spirit of the times dictates it. Personally, I could not even be an entrepreneur if I did not strive to do things as right as possible across the board and if I was not also convinced that my company’s actions also make the world a slightly better place.

The world is improved one small step at a time, and every Smartmes software package that is deployed contributes to this effort. The positive environmental impact of Smartmes comes from the overall optimization of things. By doing only the essential things, the software can achieve savings of tens of percent in the consumption of raw materials, energy, and water.


Tens of percent savings?! That’s really significant!

Yes, they are. One of my customers now makes 2.5 times as much product from the same amount of raw materials. Energy and water savings are almost the same. My long-standing customer Tulikivi, a domestic jacket brand, has also improved the environmental friendliness of its production with Smartmes.

Our Smartmes software runs at Tulikivi’s Juua factory, controlling material use to minimize waste. For example, small-sized fireplace stones are always made from material that would not be enough for a larger stone. When waste is minimized, the environmental friendliness of production is automatically improved. (Read the full Tulikivi story here.)


Isn’t production already highly automated everywhere today?

That is a very good question. It’s a fairly common assumption that this is how things are done nowadays. In reality, only about 10% of the Finnish industry uses some form of computer software to optimize the operation of its entire factory or production.

Of course, individual machines/equipment are usually already controlled by automation, but the production process consists of several pieces of equipment that need to communicate with each other. Most of these production discussions are still carried out by means of various slips of paper and/or verbally, even though a modern production control system could reliably take control of the whole system.


What is a software company in Lahti, Finland, doing for the environment itself?

Lahti is a great city for entrepreneurs in many ways, and it was elected as the European Green Capital in 2021. I feel that made many local companies think more about sustainability issues. This has also been supported by the city and the Regional Development company. Of course, work on more environmentally friendly companies has been done long before the Year.

Our company joined the City of Lahti’s Climate Partnership Program in 2015. It then became clear that my company’s carbon handprint was much more important than its carbon footprint, even though we also agreed to reduce the latter.


Wait a minute? So what is a carbon handprint?

Unlike a carbon footprint, which focuses on negative climate impacts, a carbon handprint describes how a company can help mitigate climate change. A positive carbon handprint occurs when a solution provided by a company reduces the carbon footprint of someone else, usually a customer.

Increasing a positive carbon handprint is a target set at the national level and in the export industry. The Government Programme also states that Finland can be bigger than its size in tackling the climate and sustainability challenge – we can have a small footprint but a big handprint.

For more information on the carbon handprint, see for example VTT’s news: Hiilikädenjäljestä-tuli-ymparistökädenjälki.


What were the concrete actions taken in the Climate Partnership?

Together with the City of Lahti, we agreed on the measures to which Production Software committed itself. The list included the usage of virtual meetings (note: during the period before the pandemic!) and the preference for trains over cars.

The goal was to reduce the number of passenger car kilometers driven by my company by at least 20% over two years. The reduction ended up being more than 50%, which was a good indication that change happens when you start to plan for it. Even small changes make a difference to everyone, so there is no point in underestimating one if you are ‘only’ a smaller company.

Summary of the Climate Partnership:


What greetings would you like to send to a company wondering whether it could also make its production more ecological and, at the same time, more productive?

It is likely that both objectives will be automatically achieved once the most suitable software solution for your company has been identified. Production Software’s software procurement service is designed for companies that need help at this stage. We can carry out a simple software specification for a call for tender, but we also offer a complete turnkey software procurement service.

You can always contact me in any software related matters either by phone +358 40 5811 333 or by email You can also get started by doing a free Smartmes Assessment yourself.


Lahti ilmastokumppani
Production Software is one of the first climate partners of the City of Lahti. The cooperation started already in 2015. The photo shows Jari Kukkonen, CEO of Production Software, and Eira Rosberg-Airaksinen from the City of Lahti.


Jari Kukkonen was interviewed by Terhi Kangas from Toteuttamo Verbaali. The interview was made possible by the City of Lahti Sustainable Growth Service Voucher for Production Software.