that circular economy companies are innovating. We have identified some of the most interesting solutions Finnish companies have come up with and listed them on our website. These solutions range from providing mobility as a service by integrating various modes of transport, to recycling nutrients in agriculture to prevent run-off, to re-manufacturing gearboxes, with deposit schemes for incentivising returns.
Integrating the education system It will be important for circular economy businesses to have both customers and workers with a circular economy mindset, in order to thrive. As this is no easy task, we have introduced the concepts into our education system.
Circular economy is now being integrated into all levels of education in Finland, from elementary schools through to universities. Young people can play out what a society based on the circular economy would be like with the Me & MyCity concept, in which they are given a job for a day in their imaginary city.
In academic education, the circular economy is not forced into any single scientific field, but rather examined as a cross-disciplinary area of study.
Our aim is that future professionals, regardless of background, will understand this new economic paradigm and not teach old mental models of how the economy should work.
What Finland has learned, it will share with you Finland’s government has been very active on the circular economy. The circular economy is one of the current government’s five strategic goals, and a specific action programme for it was created in 2017. In 2018 Finland’s government released its Plastics Roadmap, which aims to prevent plastic waste and increase the recycling of plastics in Finland. The lessons from the industrial symbiosis of the ferrochrome mill in the Kemi-Tornio region are now spread nationally and internationally by a Finnish industrial circular economy competence and training centre.
In a globalised economy, a fully circular economy is not possible without global implementation. That is why Finland hosted the first World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki in 2017, a global event conceptualised by Sitra. The forum serves to share some of the world’s best circular economy solutions, from the public, private and third sectors, with a global audience. The second forum was co-hosted by Sitra and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan in Yokohama.
In June this year the forum will return to Helsinki as a pre-event of Finland’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Ernesto Hartikainen is a leading specialist in carbonneutral circular economy and Samuli Laita works as a communication specialist at The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
14 Resurgence & Ecologist
E C O L O G I S T CITIES
Ali Moore describes how the London Waste and Recycling Board is helping to build a circular economy C