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Finland showcased among the circular economy front runners in a new EEA report

News 2020-04-07 at 16:09
© Kuva: Kai Widell

The EEA report ‘Resource efficiency and the circular economy in Europe 2019 – even more from less’ published on 1st of April 2020 presents an updated and extended assessment of approaches and identifies trends, similarities and new directions taken by countries in the connected policy areas of resource efficiency and the circular economy. It is based on information provided in 2018 by 32 participating countries of the EEA/Eionet (European Environment Information and Observation Network).

Since the EU circular economy action plan was adopted in 2015, there has been a clear shift from a national policy development focus on resource efficiency policies towards the broader circular economy perspective, report notes.

Updated catalogue on resource efficiency to support policy-making

The Finnish Environment Institute is an active member of the EEA/Eionet and its experts provided main inputs for the Finland’s country profile, a background document of the report. This report directly builds on the 2016 EEA report ‘More from less — material resource efficiency in Europe’ by reflecting the changing policy agenda with respect to the circular economy. It finds that since 2016 there has been a noticeable shift in the focus of policies from improving resource efficiency to a broader circular economy perspective.

The two main objectives of the report are to stimulate exchange of information and share good practice examples among country experts, and to support policymakers in Eionet countries, the European institutions and international organisations by providing an updated catalogue of resource efficiency and circular economy actions being undertaken in European countries.

“As one of the global circular economy front runners, Finland has plenty of excellent examples of policies, strategies or projects to offer to the Eionet network, but also globally. This has been recognised throughout the report. While Finland can in many ways serve as an example, we can also get inspired by other countries in the network. As can be expected, approaches, strategies and policies differ from country to country widely. This report concisely collects them and therefore becomes a valuable source of inspiration and a reference point for Finnish policy makers and stakeholders on all levels,” says Jáchym Judl, researcher in the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, resposible for collecting the inputs for the Finland’s country profile.

“Overall, the number of policies, strategies, projects and other activities that support the uptake of circular economy in Finland kept surprising me”, he adds.

SYKE counselling and coordinating circular economy actions and exchange of information

The Finnish Environment Institute is supporting the development and implementation of new solutions for the circular economy. For example, best practices on circular economy are produced in the EU LIFE IP project Circwaste which is a Finnish nationwide project aiming at both achieving circular economy targets and implementing the National Waste Plan.

“In February a group of pioneering Finnish municipalities, Ii, Jyväskylä and Rovaniemi published their road maps to circular economy to guide the resource wisdom of the municipalities in the future. The road map work identified local strengths, special characteristics and challenges and to activate the residents of the area”, tells Circwaste project manager, Head of unit Tuuli Myllymaa from SYKE.

“One of our concrete examples on measures taken for new generation information exchange in circular economy is the Energy and material leap portal, where we share real actions and solutions that have already made Finland more energy- and material-efficient”, says Myllymaa.

“Moreover, emphasis is put on monitoring the development, just as the recently released EEA report is stating. We must share the best practices with indications how they save money, time and resources, how and with which indicators all this can be monitored. Also, we must be able to draw the big picture on how the circular economy measures impact in our society”, says Myllymaa.

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Further information

  • Jáchym Judl, researcher, Finnish Environment Institute, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi, tel. +358 295 251 227
  • Tuuli Myllymaa, Circwaste project manager, Head of unit, Finnish Environment Institute, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi, tel. +358 295 251 437

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