How Finland is approaching the circular economy

Publication Date: 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 - 9:30am


Seb Egerton-Read

A national circular economy roadmap was published last year by parts of the Finnish government and Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra last year, showcasing a new direction for a country best known for surprisingly having one of the world’s leading education systems.

According to Sitra estimates, the circular economy could generate two to three billon euros in added value for Finland each year by 2030. This accompanies the Club of Rome’s estimate that circular economy models could create over 75,000 new jobs. The national roadmap was published as part of a collaboration between Sitra, the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Economics Affairs and Employment, the business sector and other key stakeholders.

Since the launch of that action plan, Sitra has identified 100 of the most inspiring circular economy examples in Finland today. The list includes Valtavalo, a company that offers light-as-a-service, instead of lamps, Valtra, a company selling remanufactured tractor parts and RePack, a startup that provides reusable packaging for digital retailers. Many of the businesses listed and new kinds of thought leadership, both in a Finnish context, and from a wider European perspective, will be showcased at the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki on June 5-7, an event that is also co-organised by Sitra, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and a number of Nordic Ministries.

Circulate’s latest feature article is drawn from a conversation with Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, who argues that disruption is critical at various policymaking and business levels to enable a transition to the circular economy.

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