Promoting circular economy in Helsinki
Sustainability, recycling and sharing
Circular economy aims to use natural resources conservatively, keep materials circulating for as long as possible and generate as little waste as possible.
In circular economy, products are designed and manufactured to have long lifespans and to be suitable for modifications and repairs. Waste is prevented through product reuse. Materials that have come to the end of their lifecycle are used as raw material for new products, where possible. Some products can also be replaced by services, and instead of owning them, items and resources can be shared.
The current government aims to strengthen Finland’s role as a circular economy forerunner. Circular economy is seen as an important means of reducing overconsumption of natural resources, mitigating climate change and protecting biodiversity.
Adopting circular economy will also provide financial benefits: Sitra has calculated that circular economy can have a positive impact of at least three billion euros per year by 2030 on Finland’s economy.
Helsinki promotes circular economy
As stated in Helsinki City Strategy for 2021–2025, the city’s goal is to implement emission reductions and circular economy projects in Helsinki in cooperation with the corporate world and residents. Helsinki wants to function more and more actively as a platform for interesting and profitable innovations, which will also create new export opportunities.
Of the 147 actions in the Carbon-Neutral Helsinki action plan, around twenty are related to circular economy. Among other things, they are connected to learning more about the climate and circular economy, the city’s procurement, constructing, reducing and utilising food waste, encouraging the reuse of materials and products, and promoting sharing economy.
The City of Helsinki’s Roadmap for Circular and Sharing economy is one of the actions of the Carbon-neutral Helsinki Action Plan. The focus areas of the roadmap are construction, procurements, green waste and sharing economy and new business opportunities in circular economy. To achieve specific goals there are 31 practical actions in the roadmap that will advance circular and sharing economy in Helsinki and in the day-to-day life of the city employees. The actions will be updated during each council term starting from 2025.
The roadmap’s progress can be followed at the Kiertotalousvahti service (in Finnish only). For every action there are contact persons who will coordinate the action and update in this service how the action is proceeding.