South Karelia's circular economy roadmap

Publication Date
December, 2018
Language for original content
Key Area
Salme Muurikka

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

  1. Sustainable wellbeing, no emissions, no waste, or excessive consumption
  2. More jobs and business activity in the field of environment
  3. 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.