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Riihimäki's circular economy roadmap
The town of Riihimäki is already a member of FISU (Finnish Sustainable Communities), a network of Finnish municipalities committed to becoming waste-free, and has now adopted a circular economy roadmap focusing on the participation of local actors.
In 2017, the local authorities asked the 29,000 inhabitants of this town what sustainable choices they would be ready to make and how the municipal council could best enable these. Inhabitants also contributed ideas to develop the resource efficiency of Riihimäki.
The circular economy and resource efficiency roadmap of Riihimäki covers five themes:
- Carbon neutral energy production and consumption
- Sustainable circulation and ecologically efficient town structure
- Sustainable consumption of natural resources and circular economy
- Diversity of nature and comfortable living environment
- Inhabitant responsibility in Riihimäki.
Every one of these themes is dealt with by taking into account the following points of view:
- Vision for 2050
- Methods of working: who realises the vision
- Actions, ideas, commitments and promises
- Measures and indicators for monitoring and follow-up.
In addition to municipal actions, the Riihimäki roadmap also includes commitments to circular economy by local companies and communities. The roadmap also accentuates the education of students and recent graduates with the aim of incorporating the circular economy into all professional fields.
As cooperation is central to circular economym, the Riihimäki roadmap’s guiding principle is to increase cooperation between different communities and companies. The aim is to share good practice by developing a cluster that will monitor how companies are progressing and promote circular economy cooperation.
Vantaa creating business opportunities based on the circular economy
In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, coordinated by SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute), pioneering municipalities have developed local circular economy roadmaps in 2019. This roadmap, adopted by Finland's fourth biggest city, is based first and foremost on what stakeholders identify as local strengths, special characteristics and challenges.
Vantaa’s roadmap lists the priorities, objectives and actions to take in 2019-2030 that could a promote circular economy locally. Its priorities are the following:
- circular business models
- circular economy in construction
- circular public procurement
- sharing economy.
The objectives are to be reached by 2030 in four timeframes, with responsibility for implementation shared among several local stakeholders that vary from municipal utilities to private companies. Specific indicators have been developed to measure and report on progress.
To stimulate circular business models locally, the municipality will set up a local cluster in cooperation with Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY.
Vantaa’s roadmap also puts a strong emphasis on construction and land use, committing to increase local (re)-use of soil and recycled materials in construction, which should reduce GHG emissions from transport. The use of demolished concrete has already increased and become fairly commonplace in infrastructure projects. It is used in street structures, repairs of building elevations and green landscaping.
In addition to this, Vantaa aims to develop a set of procurement criteria incorporating circular economy principles. As the circular economy benefits the natural environment, businesses and residents alike, cooperation among stakeholders is central to implementation of the roadmap.
Porvoo's circular economy roadmap
In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, coordinated by SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute), pioneering municipalities have developed local circular economy roadmaps in 2019. The City of Porvoo is one of these and published its own circular economy roadmap in May 2019 to steer efforts that promote resource efficiency and circular economy in the coming years, so it can build on successes to date that range.
A steering group of 16 municipal civil servants and other local stakeholders drafted this roadmap, which focuses in particular on the following objectives:
- increasing the use of recycled materials in excavation and building sites
- cooperating to improve energy efficiency
- reducing the amount of total waste while increasing the level of recycling municpal waste.
The amount of high-quality soil and rock is not increasing in Finland, nor is the land area growing. This is why in Porvoo stakeholders are desiging a built environment that takes into account the sustainable use of soil materials and other resources.
Porvoo also aims to reduce food waste and improve the recycling of municipal waste through counselling and outreach for and to citizens. The impact of counselling on the volume of food waste is monitored at schools by weighing plate waste, for example. In addition to this, Porvoo will promote waste sorting by improving the quality of the recycling network using life-cycle analysis.
The roadmap also includes specific circular economy tasks and challenges for the local authorities and companies of the City of Porvoo to implement, with the most urgent having a completion date of 2020 while others have targets for 2030.
Central Finland's circular economy roadmap
In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, Southwest Finland developed a circular economy roadmap in late 2018 to help implementation of the national waste plan and define regional objectives with concrete measures to achieve these.
The Finnish Environment Institute formed an expert network on circular economy, and began identifying regional strengths and special characteristics to start with.
In 2018, the Central Finland region produced approximately 1,8 million tonnes of different kinds of waste. Stakeholders thus sought to focus on waste management during the drafting process, and received training on, for example, plastic lifespan and creativity in the circular economy alongside many networking opportunities.
While the overarching theme is public procurement, the regional strategy focuses on the following sectors in particular:
- construction and demolition waste (62% of all waste in the region)
- biodegradable waste, biogas and the nutrient reuse (approximately 30% of non-recycled waste is biodegradable waste)
- plastics (in 2018 households generated approximately 6,000 tonnes of such waste)
- electric and electronic wreckage (in 2018 citizens generated approximately 6,000 tonnes of such waste)
This roadmap seeks to reduce the amount of construction and demolition waste and increase reuse of such waste to 70%. The partial activities helping to reach the targets are listed in the roadmap.
Different stakeholders, ranging from municipal or regional authorities, to national institutes, educational establishments, and private companies will take responsibility for implementation.
North Karelia's circular economy roadmap
In 2018, Finland's easternmost region of North Karelia adopted a circular economy roadmap as part of the CIRCWASTE project. Its objectives are to:
- enhance material and energy efficiency and improve natural resource use
- make circular economy inherent to industrial production in priority sectors and strengthen the regional cooperation network in the field of circular economy
- strengthen and stimluate new circular business models while developing new technological solutions and know-how in the region.
Regarding waste management overall, this strategy aims to increase knowledge and change overall consumer attitudes.
A system to recycle construction waste is set for development, and will focus on logistics, demolition methods and supervision. This strategy aims to improve training concerning waste management in particular, and motivate companies to consider waste already in the planning stage.
As for municipal waste management, the strategy hopes to improve the collection network and logistics by creating incentives and introducing monitoring systems.
The objectives are to be reached in different timeframes by 2030. For each partial target, responsibilities have been shared among various actors: municipalities, the Regional Council of North Karelia, private companies, educational establishments, organisations etc.
South Karelia's circular economy roadmap
The circular economy roadmap of the South Karelia region in Finland, along the Russian border, was drawn up at the end of 2018 in the framework of the CIRCWASTE project. The Finnish Environment Institute formed an expert network on circular economy, and began by identifying regional strengths and specific characteristics.
In South Karelia, stakeholders set the objectives of circular economy as
- Sustainable wellbeing, no emissions, no waste, or excessive consumption
- More jobs and business activity in the field of environment
- Strengthening of knowledge and training in environmental and circular economy issues.
Stakeholders at different levels are responsible for achieving specific targets, and range from the regional development council to municipalities, private companies, networks, universities and other educational establishments, etc.
For manufacturing, this strategy focuses on construction and mining, energy efficiency, renewable energies, reducing CO2 emissions, increasing recycling and improving waste management.
Regarding bio-based industries such as forestry in particular, this strategy focuses on by-products, nutrient recycling, and developing new products and materials.
To develop intelligent public services, the region is hoping to stimulate the sharing economy and improve digital services.
This strategy perceives the factors enabling circular economy as citizen engagement, research cooperation, developing educational curricula, and the role of government procurement.
South Karelia's performance will be monitored using the following indicators:
- the amount and level of recycled municipal waste
- the amount and level of recycled construction and demolition waste
- the amount of biodegradable municipal waste and the amounts of composted or decomposed biodegradable municipal waste
- the amount and level of electrical or electronics waste.
The region has also set itself goals to:
- create 500 new jobs in environmental businesses by 2030
- increase by 20% the number of businesses in waste management and recycling within the region.
Southwest Finland's circular economy roadmap
In the framework of the CIRCWASTE project, Southwest Finland developed a circular economy roadmap to implement the national waste plan and define regional objectives with concrete measures to achieve these.
The Finnish Environment Institute formed an expert network on circular economy, and began identifying regional strengths and special characteristics to start with. A regional cooperation group of more than 20 members was founded to work the strategy. It was composed of representatives from various towns, education establishments, the Regional Council of Soutwest Finland, private companies etc.
For Southwest Finland, stakeholders set a focus on sustainable food systems, high-tech industry, transport and logistics. Public services and knowledge exchange with industry, academia and civil society are the overarching themes.
The objectives and measures are classified along the priority sectors:
- biodegradable waste
- nutrient reuse
- municipal waste.
Targeted training and versatile learning materials will advance circular economy in construction, where the strategy aims to generate less waste and increase the use of construction and demolition waste to 70%.
As Southwest Finland is a national frontrunner in making use of agricultural by-products and nutrient reuse, the region wants to build on its strengths and halve food waste by 2030. Another goal in this area is to increase the amount of recycled organic waste to 60%.
Additionally the strategy hopes to decouple municipal waste growth from regional GDP growth, and increase recycling to 55%.
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Circwaste is a 7-year LIFE IP project that promotes efficient use of material flows, waste prevention and new waste and resource management concepts. It is coordinated by the Circular Economy Service Centre established by the Finnish Environment Institute.
The Service Centre provides regional operators with expert support and disseminates information on good practices in the context of the circular economy. It distributes information on material-efficient public procurement, harmful substances, establishing industrial symbioses and the possibilities of funding new initiatives. In particular, it supports regional working groups and a select number of pioneering municipalities in preparing their own circular economy roadmaps, which should be adopted by late 2019.
A regional cooperation network provides support and expert assistance for developing the circular economy and implementing the national waste plan in Southwest Finland, Central Finland, South Karelia and North Karelia.
The circwaste.fi portal (in English), which distributes information on national good practices in circular economy, similar to 'Good news from Finland', is an abridged version of the Finnish-language service materiaalitkiertoon.fi.
To learn more about circwaste activities watch the video below:
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Päijät-Häme roadmap towards a circular economy
A circular economy is a strategic priorirty for Finland's Päijät-Häme region, which is reflected in its RIS3 orientation and in Lahti's (the region's main city) development strategy. Whereas Finland's national framework for a circular economy provides an outlines for this transition, the Päijät-Häme regional roadmap, a joint strategy for nine municipalities, implemeents the national aims with actions at the regional level.
The roadmap was launched in October 2017 as part of Päijät-Häme's regional economic strategy for 2018–2021. The drafting process was coordinated by the Lahti University of Applied Sciences, in close cooperation with the regional council and local stakeholders such as regional and municipal authorities, academia, a regional development corporation, as well as public and private companies.
Päijät-Häme's roadmap has five main themes, with regional goals and actions set for each. The overarching themes are:
- Closed loops of technical streams to create added value
- Sustainable business from bio-circular economy
- Towards energy self-sufficiency by sustainable transport and energy solutions
- Shared economy generates new consumption models and business opportunities
- Piloting and demonstrating innovative circular economy solutions
Because input was sought from across the region through workshops and discussions, a stakeholder consultation and further informal contacts, the regional council created substantial enthusiasm and buy-in throughout the area, thus creating a foundation for successful implementation. The roadmap is a living document, with annual updates scheduled to identify new opportunities and involve new actors.
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