1. Cycling is an easy way to reduce your own carbon footprint.


    Efficient energy use and using renewable energy are essential to help us deal with climate change.

  2. Energy production diversified

    How we produce energy will be key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Production will be diversified, and we will use more renewable energy. Decentralising the way we produce this clean energy will offer Finland new business opportunities.

  3. Our choices matter

    The choices we make when shopping, travelling, buying or building a home and using energy will change the market. And those choices will be made easier if the volume, cost and amount of emissions are made more visible.

  4. Climate change requires action - and leaders

    We Finns have made a commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The built environment and travel account for more than half of the emissions. To make this change happen, we need visionaries, visible examples and the courage to strike out in new directions.

  5. Ecologically responsible communities

    Urbanization is a global trend. And urban communities will play an increasingly important role in greenhouse gas reductions and energy use. They will need to be ecologically, as well as socially and economically, sustainable.

  6. A new era in construction

    In the near future, almost all new buildings will be virtually zero-energy. Significant savings can be achieved by renovating existing structures. New ideas will make maintenance easier. Future buildings will not only be user-friendly and smart, but will produce energy.

  7. Energy efficiency means business

    Producing renewable energy and using energy efficiently are significant growth industries on a global level. Sitra stimulates such development by investing in clean energy and energy-efficient solutions. In turn, growing companies mean more jobs and a better well-being.

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Energy efficiency in key role

Ended theme

Better use of energy is key to combating climate change. If Finland is to achieve its objectives on greenhouse gas emissions, individuals, businesses, decision makers and the public sector must all face up to major challenges. Everyone on every level must be encouraged to actively make choices in their daily lives. For this we need innovations, good examples, incentives and legislation. Meeting these challenges successfully will also create new business opportunities and enhance well-being.

Communities use as much energy as the industrial sector. So an energy revolution is already underway in the building industry, which is moving towards almost zero-energy construction. This sustainable construction will have a far-reaching impact on the development of communities. Sitra promotes the more efficient use of energy in the built environment and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy production diversified

How energy is produced affects greenhouse gas emissions. So, energy production will be diversified, and the share of renewable energy will increase significantly. Communities, buildings and their residents will play a role in the production of local renewable energy. Solar power, geothermal energy and local bioenergy solutions will supplement district heating and cooling production. And with these new decentralised solutions come more business opportunities for Finland.

For example, Sitra has been involved in the development of a streamlined district heating system, heat pump testing and the use of solar energy in construction, and helped boost the renewable energy business through investments.

Lifestyle is the key

If Finland is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, people must accept and make lifestyle changes. Each and every one of us can make a difference through daily choices - the choices we make when buying or building a home, travelling, choosing which foods and consumer goods to buy and using energy.

But these choices will contribute to changes in the market, and making people more aware of how much they are using and what it is costing will lead to better choices. The Peloton project for example - launched by Sitra and Demos - has identified gatekeeper groups which may, through the services they provide, help people make energy efficient choices. Lunch canteens, hardware store assistants and property managers can all influence sensible changes.

Climate change can be mitigated

We Finns have committed to do our bit to combat climate change by committing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Currently, the built environment and traffic account for more than half of the emissions.

One way to help is to include climate change mitigation efforts as guiding principles in large scale urban development. For example, in Tampere, the ECO2 project makes emission reductions an aspect of all municipal decision-making. The Mayors' climate network also promotes changes in the six largest cities in Finland.

The significance of community development

The majority of Finns live in cities, towns and urban areas, so community development plays an increasingly important role in terms of energy use and greenhouse gas reductions.

Land use planning can help create a sustainable urban structure and reduce the need for travel, in turn reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Sitra has demonstrated the opportunities and impact of urban planning in Skaftkärr, a project developing an energy efficient residential area for almost 6,000 people in Porvoo in Southern Finland.

Energy efficient construction

Building construction has entered a new era. In the near future, almost all new construction will be virtually zero-energy. In renovating the existing building stock, too, the focus is on energy efficiency.

Future buildings will also produce energy. Different production methods will be integrated in construction and building technology. Solar power and heat, geothermal and air source heat pumps as well as traditional heating stove and fireplace solutions will be developed further to complement local solutions.

A sustainable building uses little energy. Conservation of natural resources and material efficiency are also aspects of sustainable construction, which makes good building maintenance possible and helps reduce energy use during the building’s life cycle.

Together with its partners, Sitra implements projects which help demonstrate that necessary changes are possible and profitable. Such projects include the Jätkäsaari city block in Helsinki, which is based on sustainable construction, and Luukku, the first zero-energy building built in Finland. The Low2No project applies the opportunities of sustainable construction from energy efficiency to lifestyles and a renewal of urban living.

Investments accelerate development

Developers and property investors influence the property and construction markets through their investment decisions. Lower energy costs, a lower vacancy rate and a higher rent level drive sustainable investments. An energy-efficient, sustainable building with an advantageous location in terms of traffic is a safer investment.

Clean energy, decentralised energy solutions and new energy services have driven cleantech investments for ten years now. Sitra invests in clean energy production and energy-efficient solutions. Investments in bioenergy harvesting technology, biogas production, wave power, smart networks, digital hydraulics, industrial modular housing production and heat pump technology have accelerated the development of the sector.




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Publication Carbon handprint

This research report is the result of work carried out by the sustainability assessment team of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, and the preliminary overview is a jointly funded project with the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and VTT. It aims to analyse the handprint concept and associated approaches from a corporate perspective with special emphasis on the carbon handprint concept...

Katri Behm, Roope Husgafvel, Catharina Hohenthal, Hanna Pihkola, Saija Vatanen

Event Dialogue for Climate Action

This global conference will discuss opportunities for climate action by the private sector and address the dialogue gap within the framework of COP21 to lead to greater alignment and cooperation with national goals for climate action. The event will be held at Hofburg Conference Venue, Vienna, Austria and broadcast globally online. Sitra is one the conference partners. More detailed information...

1 week ago by Liisa Poussa

Project Biogas ecosystem in Central Finland

Implemented in close co-operation with the Regional Council of Central Finland, this project involves the practical realisation of the targets and outcomes of a Sitra study* exploring the opportunities provided by biogas business ecosystems. Although the project focuses on Central Finland, it will be providing other regions with examples of how they too can promote the biogas business. By drawing...

April 2016 to September 2016

Event Millennium Talks: Smart & Clean

Sitra is arranging in co-operation with TAF, the cities of the Helsinki Metropolitan Region (Espoo, Helsinki and Vantaa) and Helsinki Business Hub a discussion on how cleantech and energy are transformed to a new wave of business. The  Millennium Talks  will be opened by the mayor of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä  together with Sitra's Senior Lead  Tiina Kähö . The keynote will be...

1 month ago by Tuula Sjöstedt

Event World Circular Economy Forum 2017

The forum will be bringing together world’s leaders, top experts, entrepreneurs, financiers and the civil society to share their ideas and to find common visions towards the transition to a Circular Economy globally.

1 month ago by Mirja Gröhn

Blog Those low expenses!

Sitra's Markku Sjöstedt on negawatts and how the cheapest energy is the energy that is never produced.

1 month ago by Markku Sjöstedt

Project Two-way district heating

Competition for customers in the heating market has become much more intense in recent years. This is due to the technological development of different forms of heat production, as well as Finland’s current energy policy and building regulations. District heating companies must actively develop their operating models and seek the most competitive heat production and procurement methods...

January 2016 to May 2016

Project Carbon risks and climate risks

The goal is to clarify the discussion on climate and carbon risks. We want both companies and investors to begin assessing the climate change-related risks their business activities and investments may involve. The project also involves the development of practical tools for investors and companies. Assessing carbon risks in an investment portfolio The Helsinki Stock Exchange’s Climate...

January 2015 to June 2016

Event World Circular Economy Forum 2017

The forum will be bringing together world’s leaders, top experts, entrepreneurs, financiers and the civil society to share their ideas and to find common visions towards the transition to a Circular Economy globally.

1 month ago

Project Nationwide learning module: climate education and basics of climate change

The project was launched in the autumn of 2014 by facilitating a dialogue between Finnish universities. Co-operation was based on the question of what kind of climate change know-how society needs and whether such needs can be met by the current curricula of universities. A report on the current status of climate education in Finnish universities was drawn up as a basis for discussion. The...

October 2014 to October 2016

Article Getting things done in sustainable development

The recently appointed Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development started its activities with a forward-leaning approach. At an intensive workshop on the first Monday morning of February, Finland’s current strategy for sustainable development was mulled over and developed further. The idea for the workshop was born last year from the Expert Panel on Sustainable Development, which...

3 months ago by Tuula Sjöstedt

News Expert panel welcomes two new faces

The Expert Panel on Sustainable Development hosted by Sitra has welcomed two new expert members and a new chair. The new members are Tuuli Hirvilammi and Anne Birgitta Pessi.

3 months ago

Event Sino-Finland Low Carbon Solution Workshop

The workshop is jointly hosted by Renmin University of China (RUC), The Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra), Green & Low Carbon Development Foundation (GDF) and Green Innovation Development Center (iGDP) together. Experts from government, enterprises, academia and media in China and Finland are invited to share their experiences in low-carbon technology innovation and discuss how China would...

4 months ago by Samuli Laita

Event Middle East launch of the Green to Scale Analysis Report

The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and the independent public Finnish think tank Sitra, will 19th January jointly host the Middle East launch of the Green to Scale report that assesses a number of high-impact climate change mitigating solutions from around the world and...

4 months ago by Samuli Laita

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