Dealer Spotlight: Valofirma, Finland

In almost every occupation, employees have ideas and opinions of how their respective industries could function better. In most cases, those ideas seldom become more than water-cooler chats. For three professional gaffers based in Finland, that spark of an idea flared into a burning passion. And so, in 2006, Ake Arminen, Jukki Tuura, and Tazu Ovaska created Valofirma. 16 years later, Valofirma, which translates to “The Light House”, is Finland’s largest film equipment rental house boasting the most comprehensive and high-end film equipment available in the Nordic and Baltic region.

“We have always felt that the voice from those out in the field should be an important facet at every level in running an equipment rental company,” says Jani Lehtinen, CEO of Valofirma. “That has been at the crux of why and how we do business, and the feedback we get from the field has a direct impact on the equipment we use and how we rent it out.”

Like every person in a creative field would attest, the visionary minds at Valofirma were not satisfied with being a one-stop rental shop for all film lighting gear. They wanted more, which is why in 2016, Valofirma established a subsidiary, Kamerafirma or “The Camera House”. “As the name suggests, Kamerafirma focuses purely on camera equipment, rentals and crew,” Jani says. “Six years on, we have Finland’s most extensive selection of digital and film cameras and lenses.”

“We’ve seen how unprecedented growth can change the ethos of a company. Valofirma has steered clear of that fate. To this day, Valofirma remains an independent company and everyone who has a stake in the company is highly involved in its day-to-day business. Filmmaking is one of the coolest jobs in the world,” Jani says as an answer to how the company has stayed true to its roots. “Being able to do cool things inspires our day-to-day.”

Being sustainable means being responsible

During our conversation with Jani, it was apparent how much he and Valofirma love the art of filmmaking. This love doesn’t make the company blind to the impact the industry has had on our planet. “We’re acutely aware of how film and television productions strain the environment,” says Anni Wessman, CMO at Valofirma. “Right from my orientation, it became clear to me how important sustainability is to the company. We have set goals to decrease our environmental impact and actively reduce the effects caused by our work.”

“We have 186 solar panels on our roof, which we use to power our facilities,” Jani adds. “We’re always looking for new ways to do things in this profession that we love.”

That drive to be a sustainable company flows through all facets of Valofirma’s business down to customer service. Besides housing sustainable products, the company’s booking managers make it a point to suggest sustainable alternatives to all potential customers. Moreover, Valofirma’s sustainability initiatives are in line with the global film industry. Production studios like Netflix, Disney and NBC have GHG emission targets and are constantly looking for new ways to improve on their sustainability initiatives.

“We aim for responsibility in all our equipment acquisitions and also social responsibility,” says Anni. “We’re one of the biggest companies in our industry in Finland, which means we’re also in a position to affect change in the industry and work towards development. Playing a part in that conversation and how it permeates to all elements of production. Not just the equipment side, but also how things are run on set and how people are treated. We actively engage in that.”

This isn’t just talk. The team at Valofirma seems to understand the responsibility that comes with being an industry leader in Finland. Jani mentioned the solar panels that generate 40,000 watts of energy per year – avoiding 28,6 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. In addition to having their own power generation source and storage, the Valofirma team uses Euro 6-class vehicles whose emissions can be half of standard diesel vehicles and MY diesel™ – a Finnish innovation wherein the fuel is refined only from leftovers and industrial residues. Its greenhouse emissions are up to 90% less than traditional fossil fuels. Then, of course, there are Voltstack® e-Genertaors.

Valofirma and Voltstack® clean energy power stations or e-Generators

Among the arsenal of sustainable goods that Valofirma houses are our Voltstack® e-Generators or portable power stations. “In Finland – and across the world – putt-putt generators are super polluting and generate a lot of noise pollution, which is just awful,” says Jani. “Voltstacks are a great solution. They’re silent, non-polluting and seamlessly incorporate into any film set. We’ve been fans ever since we first saw them in 2019.”

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