Finnish Environment Institute | Suomen ympäristökeskus | Finlands miljöcentral

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Circular economy

SYKE analyses and promotes sustainability of the circular economy, studies barriers hindering the transition towards the circular economy, and spreads the circular economy best practices. We research the sustainable use of natural resources throughout the life times of products and services.

Circular economy

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A circular economy aims at replacing the current linear economic system, which is based on consuming materials and simply disposing of them after their use. In the circular economy, the use of virgin raw materials is minimised. In addition, material losses and negative environmental impacts are reduced throughout the material cycles. Shifting to the circular economy is estimated to create positive economic, employment and climate impacts.

Waste of one actor is often raw material for another actor

New business models, products and service concepts will be required to enhance recycling, reuse and remanufacturing. Expanding a sharing economy will also help to reduce material consumption. Additionally, it is important to design the products so that they are durable, repairable and recyclable. Product planning, research and development, and experimentation all play important roles in developing new circular economy solutions, in producing new knowledge and in assessing impacts.

New solutions and policy instruments

SYKE investigates novel circular economy solutions, and promotes their application. These solutions can help to direct the development of the production and consumption, and speed up the market creation. We study the circular economy opportunities in various economic sectors, including textiles, plastics, nutrients, water, manufacturing industry and consumer-oriented business models.

The development of a favourable operating environment for the circular economy is slowed down by different material and societal path dependencies. Those should be identified and removed. SYKE analyses the practices and impacts of environmental governance and institutions on the circular economy, and identifies the instruments that retard the circular economy transition. SYKE also helps to remove the barriers and to promote the policy instruments enhancing the circular economy. 

Project examples


More information:

Senior Research Scientist Riina Antikainen, SYKE
tel. +358 295 251 146,


Published 2017-07-24 at 13:52, updated 2017-08-28 at 11:57

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