A pioneer in developing solutions for a sustainable future, Finland was the first country in the world to prepare a national road map to a circular economy in 2016, responding to the challenges of climate change, overconsumption of natural resources and the biodiversity crisis. This was recognised at The Circulars Awards, held in conjunction with the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra was selected as the winner of the public-sector category.
Sitra updated Finland’s national road map in March 2019 (see digital publication or summary), presenting the vision, strategic goals and concrete actions by the government, cities and towns, businesses and citizens that can accelerate the country’s transformation towards a carbon-neutral circular economy by 2025.
The updated road map has a high level of ambition. According to Sitra, it describes the measures needed to implement the change in the national economy to which Finnish stakeholders have already committed themselves – as well as other necessary actions to which no stakeholders have yet committed to implementing.
The road map update was prepared in collaboration with stakeholders representing different sectors of society. It was also open for public comments online, as was the case with the first road map.
The road map’s four strategic goals call for renewing the foundations of Finland’s competitiveness and vitality by putting the focus on circular economy solutions, making the shift to low-carbon energy, treating natural resources as scarcities, and adopting a new kind of approach to ownership in terms of culture, taxation and income distribution.
The actions put forward in the road map include public procurement to accelerate the circular economy, commitments to a sustainable way of life, financing for internationally competitive circular economy solutions, tools to help manufacturing industry companies to make the transition to the circular economy, tackling environmental challenges by means of impact investing, and establishing circular economy criteria for the construction sector.
Sitra has also supported the adoption of the circular approach by providing funding for dozens of projects. For example, the Finnish education system is in the process of introducing circular economy perspectives to teaching, and the Kemi-Tornio’s circular economy industrial park is disseminating its circular model for heavy industry to other parts of the country. Sitra has also been involved in the testing of new regional mobility services, and the generation of regional, sustainable food systems in Finland.
“The national economy of Finland rapidly needs a critical shift that will take us towards a more efficient and smarter economy,” says Mari Pantsar, Director, Carbon-neutral circular economy, Sitra, in a statement.
Head of Industry Bio and Circular Economy
jari.tielinen (at) businessfinland.fi
+358 400 849 270