(FINLAND)

Talking a good game is one thing, delivering on the rhetoric quite another. And when it comes to the circular economy, few can claim to be acting as boldly as Finland.

The country was the first to publish a roadmap setting out the steps to realising a new sustainable economic framework. The blueprint was published last year, thanks to the leadership and direction shown by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. “We are motivating Finland to be the first country in the world to adopt a way of life that will carry us far into the 22nd century,” the organisation’s website states.

“A circular economy is about using resources more efficiently and creating more value with what we have,” says Dr Mari Pantsar, Director of Sitra’s Carbon-neutral circular economy. “It can be the win-win approach everyone is looking for. For companies, circular products and business models help cut costs, manage risks and create new revenue. For societies, moving away from the current linear ‘consume-and-throw-away’ economy offers large benefits for tackling the climate crisis, reducing waste and creating jobs.”

In a blog for Deloitte, Riikka Poukka said: “Sitra has estimated that circular economy provides a growth potential of 1.5-2.5 billion EUR for the Finnish economy, while the investment opportunities of circular economy to the global markets has been evaluated to be over 800 billion EUR.”

The pace of change will be dictated by how quickly the benefits are communicated to the wider global population. And Finland gets that. Neste, a global leader in the supply of renewable diesel, has its headquarters in Finland. It is a great example of a company promoting the circular economy in engaging and innovative ways.

To learn more about Finland’s lead in the circular economy, stakeholders will flock to Helsinki next month for the inaugural World Circular Economy Forum. Organised by Sitra, it will identify the solutions which can most swiftly deliver the shift to a circular economy framework. And it will also look at the central role it can play in supporting the UN’s global sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The event, which takes place between 5 to 7 June, is already a sell-out but will be live streamed. The link will be published here.