Porvoo, Vantaa and Riihimäki publish roadmaps for promoting the circular economy

News 2019-06-03 at 9:37
Nuoli sinisellä pohjalla 285
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Porvoo, Vantaa and Riihimäki, three of the pioneering cities of the CIRCWASTE – Towards Circular Economy in Finland project, have published their own circular economy roadmaps, which will steer the cities’ efforts to promote resource wisdom in the coming years. In accordance with the roadmaps, the municipalities will be focusing on areas such as resource efficiency in construction, waste management counselling, reducing food waste, the business potential of the circular economy and new types of partnerships.

The circular economy roadmaps define the municipalities’ key circular economy objectives and concrete measures for achieving them. The roadmap work is based first and foremost on the identification of the municipalities’ strengths, special characteristics and challenges.

Resource-wise earth construction in Porvoo

The City of Porvoo is focusing particularly on resource wisdom in earth construction in its roadmap. The comprehensive planning of the use of excavated soils saves valuable natural resources and facilitates sustainable operations.

“The amount of high-quality soil and rock is not increasing in Finland, nor is the country’s land area growing. This is why we are thinking of the future by building an environment that takes into account the sustainable use of soil materials and other resources,” says Community Planner Enni Flykt from the City of Porvoo.

Porvoo also aims to reduce food waste and improve the recycling of community waste through counselling and communication. The impact of counselling on the volume of food waste is monitored at schools by weighing plate waste, for example. In addition to this, the City will promote waste sorting by way of improving the quality of the recycling network with the help of life-cycle assessment.

Vantaa creating business opportunities based on the circular economy

The City of Vantaa is developing sustainable business operations based on the circular economy. One example of these efforts is the building of an operating model for circular economy centres and areas in cooperation with Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY.

“In many respects, the circular economy is a rational way of doing things that benefits the environment, business activities and residents alike. This is why we consider it important to ensure that everyone gets to participate in the implementation of the roadmap,” says Project Coordinator Kimmo Nekkula from the City of Vantaa.

Vantaa’s roadmap also puts a large emphasis on construction and land use. To wit, the City will increase the local utilisation of soil materials and the use of recycled materials in construction, for example, which will also reduce transports and air emissions. In addition to this, the City aims to develop a set of procurement criteria that incorporates circular economy principles.

Riihimäki bringing together the resource-wise solutions of communities and businesses

The City of Riihimäki emphasises the participation of local actors in the development of the circular economy. In addition to the City organisation’s measures, Riihimäki’s roadmap also includes circular economy measures defined by the companies and communities themselves. Furthermore, the roadmap emphasises the education of students and recent graduates with the aim of incorporating the circular economy into all professional fields.

“Our roadmap’s guiding principle is to increase cooperation between different communities and companies. Cooperation is a natural part of the circular economy – the aim is to share good ideas so that they can benefit others as well,” says Environmental Specialist Jenni Takala from the City of Riihimäki.

Riihimäki is developing a circular economy cluster that will collect information about companies’ activities and promote circular economy cooperation between companies. The cluster will benefit businesses in numerous ways, such as helping new companies choose the ideal location for their premises.

Riihimäki’s roadmap is part of a larger resource wisdom roadmap. Riihimäki is also a member of Fisu (Finnish Sustainable Communities), a network of Finnish municipalities committed to working towards becoming carbon neutral and waste-free and curbing overconsumption by 2050.

The CIRCWASTE – Towards Circular Economy in Finland project is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. Part of the EU Life programme, the seven-year project has a budget of nearly EUR 19 million. Its goal is to promote the circular economy through practical measures in the areas of construction, agriculture, industry, the food chain and households.

The other pioneering municipalities participating in the CIRCWASTE project will also be preparing their own circular economy roadmaps in 2019.

More information:

Sustainable Development Expert Sanna Päivärinta, City of Porvoo
tel. +358 (0)40 676 1479, sanna.paivarinta@porvoo.fi

Community Planner Enni Flykt, City of Porvoo
tel. +358 (0)40 766 6760, enni.flykt@porvoo.fi

Project Coordinator Kimmo Nekkula, City of Vantaa
tel. +358 (0)400 709 574, kimmo.nekkula@vantaa.fi

Environmental Specialist Jenni Takala, City of Riihimäki
tel. +358 (0)19 758 4162 jenni.takala@riihimaki.fi

Researcher Hanna Eskelinen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE
tel. +358 (0)295 251 592, hanna.eskelinen@ymparisto.fi