Jukka Viitanen looks at the changing face of real estate development.
makes a profit by producing solutions that meet climate change challenges
in achieving climate targets. Innovations, products and solutions will promote sustainable practices, improve the competitive edge, create new business and boost a managed transition towards a carbon-neutral society.
for a transition that will sweep through all industrial sectors. The change will be supported by promoting low-carbon ecosystems in the Finnish market, which will enhance the transition throughout the value chain.
Finnish companies need a reference area on an international scale for developing new low-carbon solutions, testing innovations and showcasing their cleantech expertise. The Helsinki metropolitan area can provide this and boost Finland's competitiveness.
Sitra helps companies towards carbon neutrality by providing building blocks for the transition. Companies can combine these at their own pace to create plans for long-term carbon neutrality strategies.
enables companies to face global climate challenges and improve their competitive edge. Cleantech provides companies with opportunities for growth through solutions that support carbon neutrality.
Companies play a key role in the achievement of climate targets: they can produce innovations, products and solutions that help the move towards a carbon-neutral society. Doing so also enhances their competitiveness. All industrial activities – from material and energy flows to production – must be included in the transition. The development of low-carbon products and services will create important export opportunities, enhance competitiveness and lower the risks related to the transition process.
In 2014, Sitra launched a project in which a group of leading Finnish firms committed themselves to providing the solutions needed to take us closer to a carbon-neutral Finland. The project builds on the national Energy and Climate Roadmap 2050 from a business perspective and feeds to the development of the national energy and climate strategy. The operating model drawn up by the participating companies will set an example for others and encourage them to follow suit.
The project will also be producing some background reports to provide decision-makers with comparative data and facts, while helping companies making the transition towards carbon-neutrality.
Future success stories will be based on resource wisdom
Solving global environmental problems is a lucrative business and a major opportunity for Finland. Carbon neutrality provides companies with a strategic competitive edge. Those companies that are among the first to understand this will be the most successful in the future. If big firms fail to get on board, the transition will not take place in time. Large companies are the locomotives which must pull the entire value network into the transition, the ones that need to lead the change and bring with them the established cleantech companies, most of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and who play a vital role in enhancing local economies by creating jobs.
Many companies in Finland and elsewhere have already begun to make the transition. They consider low-carbon products and solutions to be strategic, competitive assets. But the transition needs to pick up speed. Investors have also come to understand the carbon risk associated with investment portfolios full of carbon-dependent companies. This will join climate risks, technology risks and financial risks as a major investment criterion.
Finland has made a commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050. This is an all-embracing transition that will have an impact on the whole of society. The transition will occur slowly and require long-term investments. Solutions we choose today need to be sustainable in 2050, as well. As a first step, businesses, production and products should become low-carbon, significantly lowering the existing emission levels.
Transforming the Helsinki metropolitan area into a leading cleantech reference area
Finnish companies need a reference area on an international scale, in which new low-carbon solutions will be designed for the circular economy, innovations will be tested and cleantech expertise will be showcased. The Helsinki metropolitan area can provide a suitable setting for all such activities. The Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation started in June 2016 with Tiina Kähö as its Managing Director.
Sitra supports the cities and key companies of the Helsinki region in the creation of a leading cleantech metropolitan area. We are also lending our support to the achievement of the objectives set in the Finnish government's Strategic programme for cleantech, aimed at making Finland a global leader in cleantech by 2020.