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Release 23.10.2020

Finland and the U.S. advance cooperation in green economy

Finland – one of the greenest countries in the world.

Krista Mikkonen, Finland’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, discusses cooperation with U.S. at virtual high-level event on October 27th – leading Finnish bioeconomy companies to showcase innovative circular economy solutions.

Finland, one of the greenest countries in the world, is expanding its cooperation with the United States on forest bioeconomy and new sustainable materials – to replace fossil-based products with a heavier carbon footprint – and will advance partnerships with the states of Maine and Michigan. A high-level discussion on enabling a modern bioeconomy, along with company showcases from Finland, will be featured during a live webinar next Tuesday, October 27th, at 10:00 am EST.

Finland's Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Krista Mikkonen, and Maine's Commissioner for Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Amanda Beal, will discuss enablers for the modern green economy and green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

"Climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation threaten the security of humankind. Finland aims to be climate neutral by 2035," said Minister Mikkonen. "We are working hand in hand with our industries, businesses, cities, regions and academia to reach that goal. International partnerships, like the ones between Finland and the States of Maine and Michigan, are extremely valuable in this work."

Jake Ward, the vice president for innovation at the University of Maine, will present keynote remarks on current bio- and circular economy opportunities in Maine.

Victoria Hermann, President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute, will act as moderator. Mika Koskinen, consul general of Finland in New York, will provide welcoming remarks.

The event – an official side event of Sitra's World Circular Economy Forum – is produced jointly by the Consulate General of Finland in New York, the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., and Business Finland.

Presenting Finnish Bioneers include:

  • StepOneTech: Manufacturer of eFlexFuel, technology that enables gasoline and hybrid vehicles to run on renewable biofuel
  • Kotkamills: Renewable, recyclable products for packaging and food service industries
  • Dolea: producing recyclable and biodegradable drinking straws
  • Sulapac: sustainable, beautiful and functional materials designed to replace conventional plastic in a variety of products
  • Aalto University showcasing progressive bio & circular economy research, including recycled fibre technology Ioncell®, bio-based dyes and pigments BioColour, circular ecosystem of battery metals BATCircle, and bio-based adhesives LignoSphere.

Breakfast for Bioneers

Finland-US Cooperation on Clean Technologies and the Circular Economy of the Future – Featuring Leading Company Showcases from Finland

WHAT: Policy-makers from Finland and the United States will discuss enablers for the modern bio- and circular economies. In view of the urgent need to make our economies more sustainable, and the enormous growth potential of clean technologies and the green economy, how can governments support the research, innovation and industrial transformation needed to transition to a sustainable bio- and circular economy? What role do circular economy solutions play in our efforts to rebuild after COVID-19?

WHY: The US and Europe have much to gain from joining forces in the green transition towards bio- and circular economies. Finland has made the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2035 and is leading the world in the refocusing of its forest industry and creating solutions for the circular economy. Finland has partnered with two US states, Maine and Michigan, to jointly promote the development of modern bioeconomy and clean technologies. Bringing together experts and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic will boost the competitiveness of the transatlantic economy and help Finland and the U.S. stay at the cutting edge of new technologies and future innovation.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 27th – 10:00 am EST/4:00 pm EEST to 11:30 am EST/5:30 pm EEST

Register for the event

WHO:

  • Krista Mikkonen, Finland's Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
  • Amanda E. Beal, Commissioner, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
  • Jake Ward, the vice president for innovation at the University of Maine
  • Mika Koskinen, consul general of Finland in New York
  • Victoria Hermann, President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute
  • Juha Honkasalo, director of business development, StepOneTech
  • Ari Tanninen, senior vice president, consumer boards, Kotkamills
  • Mika Salomäki, founder/CEO, Dolea Ltd.
  • Antti Valponen, head of marketing/communications, Sulapac
  • Kristiina Kruus, dean, school of chemical engineering, Aalto University

 Finland: The world's greenest country

Finland ranks #1 in bio-based circular economy; #1 in wood cellulose-based fibers, and is ranked #1 in the EU in battery recycling. Finland is ranked near the top in equality and overall happiness of its society. The Finnish education system is renowned as the world leader. All of this produces innovation and creativity and tremendous bio-based expertise, stemming from a long history of forestry and sawmill industries. In recent years, Finland has produced world leaders in every aspect of sustainability: from sustainable steel to recyclable fabrics to micro-plastic-free solutions. These innovators are referred to as "bioneers" in the sustainability field.

Finland is a world leader in bio-based circular solutions. Everything derived from oil, for example, can also be fashioned from wood. Such innovations are already gaining traction in the market. Finnish companies are bioneers of next-generation sustainability, focused on creating solutions for a better tomorrow.

More information

Marika Ollaranta, Head of Bio & Circular Finland
marika.ollaranta (at) businessfinland.fi

Maija Palomäki, Marketing & Communications, Bio & Circular Finland
maija.palomaki (at) businessfinland.fi

Business Finland is the Finnish innovation funding, trade, investment, and travel promotion organization, headquartered in Helsinki. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network.